5 Tips for a Successful Postseason

Photo Courtesy: Lindsey Williams; Great Lakes Valley Conference

By Kelsey Mitchell, Swimming World College Intern.

Postseason is an inevitable part of every swimmer’s journey. Some swimmers love it, others hate it. One thing is for certain, though: Time management and adjusting to a new schedule can be difficult for many athletes. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your postseason experience.

1. Reflect

Madi Wilson showing the strain of another hard set of training. University of Auburn Aquatic Centre, Alabama USA. Australian Olympic Swimming Team are in their final training staging Camp before heading over to the Rio2016 Olympic Games. July 29 2016. Photo by Delly Carr. Pic credit mandatory for complimentary exclusive editorial usage. Thank You.

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

Reflecting after a championship meet is always an important tool for goal-setting and finding motivation, especially during postseason when practices are no longer constant. Reflecting on your performance – not just during your championship meet but also over the entire season – can help you to find the motivation to continue pushing yourself during the off-season. It can simultaneously help you to determine athletic goals and rekindle your love for the sport. Working for months toward a single meet is both physically and emotionally draining, so be sure to reflect upon the positives and not just the negatives. Very few people can train as hard as you do. Be proud of your accomplishments, even if they aren’t exactly what you had hoped for.

2. Set Goals

Florida Gators Swim Camp

Photo Courtesy: Florida Gators Swim Camp

Goal-setting is an important tool that can help athletes stay on track and reach their intended destination point. During postseason, these goals can easily be swept aside and forgotten, so reevaluating and setting some smaller goals can help to keep athletes on the right track. Maybe your team lost your championship meet by a few points and you are aiming to come back on top next season. Or maybe you are now mere tenths away from that NCAA cut and are gunning to make it next year. Long term goals such as those are important to have but can be difficult to work towards in the postseason. To make these lofty goals easier to accomplish, start with some smaller goals. These can range anywhere from eating well on weekdays to being sure to attend that postseason lift after class.

3. Stay In Shape


Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

This can be one of the hardest things to manage during postseason. Practices are no longer mandatory, and after weeks of hard work both in and out of the pool, it can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise. Realistically, staying in shape during the postseason is one of the easiest and most important ways to set yourself up for success next season. Luckily, working out doesn’t have to be a chore! There are many great ways to make working out fun and enjoyable. Try taking a new class, such as aerial yoga, zumba or spinning. Classes will often offer group discounts, so be sure to ask your teammates to come too. Jogging, biking, hiking and going to the gym with friends are also fun and easy ways to maintain your fitness levels in the postseason.

4. Manage Academics


Photo Courtesy: Pexels

With the sudden change in your schedule that comes during the postseason, staying on top of academics is especially important. With all of the extra time that comes without swim practices, it can be easy to neglect your homework and push it off until later. For many, mandatory practices provide structure and force you to complete assignments within a reasonable time frame. With this in mind, it is important to prioritize classes, schedule time for studying and stay on pace with readings and lectures.

5. Rest and Relax


Photo Courtesy: Pexels

Resting and relaxing are arguably some of the most important things a swimmer can do during the postseason. As mentioned earlier, training for weeks on end can take a heavy physical and emotional toll on athletes. Resting and relaxing can be the best ways to recover from all of the stresses and strains you will encounter during season. Use this time to recharge, recover and rekindle your love for swimming. Be sure to enjoy yourself too. You’ve been working hard for a long time, so enjoy your break. Order that dessert, go out with your friends on Friday night, get that tattoo you’ve always wanted and take that impromptu day trip you’ve been dreaming about since season started. You’ve earned it!

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

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