5 Simple Ways to Become a Better Swimmer

Photo Courtesy: Andy Smith

5 Simple Ways to Become a Better Swimmer

By Sarah Noll, Swimming World College Intern.

The best swimmers are not always those who are the most talented, although talent obviously helps. What makes a swimmer – or any athlete – truly good extends far beyond talent. Instead, the greats are those who are coachable, teachable, work hard and persevere through challenges. Every team has them – those kids who everyone seems to really like. They are the coach’s favorites, the teammate you can rely on, and a hard worker. These swimmers are not necessarily the fastest on the team, but they have certain traits which are assets.To celebrate those champions of the pool who inspire us, here are five ways to become a better swimmer.

1. Be Open to Critique


Photo Courtesy: Facebook, @WVWCSwimming

Your coach’s job is to make you a better athlete, and good swimmers utilize their coaches well. Swim coaches are all committed to making us better athletes, and when a coach offers you advice, you should take it seriously. Coaches don’t tell you to change your stroke to annoy you: They want to help. Good swimmers recognize that they need to listen and try to fix whatever it is that they need to become better.

2. Show Up at Practice


Photo Courtesy: Brian Bergstrom

When you are at practice, you are there to work hard and get a good workout in. You swim the sets the way they are written. You drill when coach writes drill, you sprint when coach says sprint, and you always finish your cool-down. This requires no talent, just grit. It takes dedication to go to practice every day, but it takes grit to actually get something out of your practice. It is not always possible to get to practice every day, but it is possible to work hard each and every day.

3. Lead by Example


Photo Courtesy: Facebook, @WVWCSwimming

Be the first one in and the last one out. Help with the lane lines. Help teach the younger kids on the team how to have better technique. Clean up deck after practice and put equipment away. Set an example of excellence that others will want to follow. Little things like that really set some swimmers apart, and they have nothing to do with practice. Strive to be as helpful as you can. Your coaches and teammates will thank you.

4. Persevere


Photo Courtesy: Facebook, Andy Smith @mountaineastconference

Sometimes you have a bad day and it follows you to the pool. The sets are all distance and you are a sprinter. You don’t make the times, or your teammates are just getting on your nerves. Instead of getting discouraged and giving up, the coachable swimmer will focus on one thing to do right. They might not make the sets, but they focus on having fast turns instead. The best swimmers don’t have bad practices not because they don’t have bad days, but because they don’t let the bad day get the best of them.

5. Support Your Team


Photo Courtesy: Andy Smith

Team spirit is important! Encouraging your teammates and cheering them on is an underrated but important part of the sport of swimming. For example, it is hard both physically and mentally to swim a 200 butterfly. While you might not be able to help your teammate out physically, you can always help them mentally by showing support and cheering.

What other qualities make a swimmer better? Comment down below!

-All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Jeremy Brown
Jeremy Brown
1 year ago

Great family support is very helpful for younger swimmers . I really enjoy reading these articles as they motivate me.

DeeDee Simmons
DeeDee Simmons
1 year ago

Those traits are exactly what lead this old timer to many State , national and Jr. Olympics wins. Always have great Integrity and Character as well! Oh and have a good time!

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