5 Ways to Stay Motivated in the Off Season

Photo Courtesy: Glenn Mills

By Kate Smarjesse, Swimming World College Intern

After a demanding season, a break is something all swimmers look forward to. Although this break is much appreciated and well deserved, getting back into shape is seldom an enjoyable process. Here are a few ways to keep you motivated during the off season and prepare you to come back stronger than ever.

1. Find a workout buddy.

Photo Courtesy: Kalina DiMarco

Photo Courtesy: Kalina DiMarco

Getting up early in the morning to lift is difficult, so having someone holding you accountable will make rolling out of bed easier. Not only will a friend make working out more enjoyable, but they will push you out of your comfort zone. Having someone there to cheer you on and get you through your last rep makes the work load feel lighter.

“I love to have a workout buddy because they always push me when I feel like I can’t do something. They cheer me on and give me the motivation I need to finish my workout strong.” –Alex Howard, University of St. Thomas Swimming

2. Set short-term and long-term goals.


Jul 18, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Sierra Schmidt of the United States celebrates after winning the women's swimming 800m freestyle final during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports Images

Having specific goals in mind will make training much easier because every effort will have a purpose. Set goals for yourself that you want to meet before the season starts, and specific goals you want to attain by the end of the season. Your goals don’t all have to be focused on your exercises in the water. They could be as simple as eating healthier or being able to do more reps of an exercise.

3. Reflect on your past season(s).

USC Southern California swimming 2015 Pac 12 champions

Photo Courtesy: Fred Stumph

Think about what parts of the season you were happy with and other parts of the season that could be improved upon. Whether it is nutrition, taper, or a certain event, it is important to realize what needs to change in order to be more successful the following season. When thinking about your season be honest with yourself about your weaknesses and determine ways to improve upon your shortcomings.

4. Make a plan with Coach.


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Having a prearranged schedule for your summer training is key. Know what your coach expects of you for the upcoming season and that will help dictate what kind of workouts you should be doing. Be sure to include your strength and conditioning coach as well, because off season training should consist of workouts in and out of the water. The most effective way to do this is to schedule a meeting with your coaches before you leave for summer break.

5. Stick to a routine.


Photo Courtesy: Madison Kennedy

Set up a workout schedule that works for both you and your lifting partner. Some people make the mistake of designing a workout routine that is too intense to keep up with. Start out by keeping it simple and be sure to mix in other types of workouts such as running, CrossFit, or yoga.

“If you have a routine you will get into the habit of going everyday.” – Jason Tri, University of St. Thomas Swimming

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Tim Lecrone
8 years ago

Off season? What is this off season of which you speak?

Maggie Cattell
8 years ago

There’s an off season ? ….

David Valdes
8 years ago

Is the off season those two weeks of recovery workouts?

Yannine Morales
8 years ago

Jatziry Reyes work out buddy ?

Linda Pattinson
8 years ago

Credence Pattinson ???

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