Helpful Tips to Prepare For the Start of a New Season

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Helpful Tips to Prepare For the Start of a New Season

As the summer gets closer to its end, many swimmers are preparing to go back to school, whether that be high school or the start of college. The start of a new season brings nervousness, goal setting and new attitudes. Below are a few tips to be ready for the start of your next swim season.

Tip #1: Set Achievable Goals

It is important to visualize what you want to achieve for the season and beyond. Goals can range from making a Junior National cut to being on the all-conference team. Outside of goals that focus on times, what do you want to improve on? Analyze if you have any areas that are weaker than others. Be sure to write down your goals and discuss them with your parent or coach — they can support you. If you reach your goal, set some new goals next season. Just having goals can be a great motivator!

Tip #2: Check Your Gear

venue-equipment-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Look at all your past equipment. You may need some new gear because fins are broken or your paddle only has one band on it. Ensure all your equipment fits and works. See if you need anything purchased for the new season. 

Tip # 3: Be a Student 

Some clubs take a break from after the long-course season to the start of September or the school year. Use this break to remember that you are a student as well as an athlete. Get settled with classes but also look at other organizations and clubs you may want to join. Use the period of no distractions from practice to really focus on and get a sound footing with academics. 

Tip #4: Check Your Attitude

It’s nerve-wracking transitioning to a new team, especially for college freshmen and transfers. All you have ever known is a past club and teammates. It’s okay to be anxious for the unknown. But go in with a positive attitude to the team. Be welcoming. You will meet new swimmers and engage with more people.

Tip#5: Maintain a Healthy Diet

While preparing for your next sports season, it’s never been more important to maintain a healthy diet. Eating junk food and soda every day can severely cripple your motivation to work out and ruin your performance when the next season rolls around. It would help if you focused on eating a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, protein, and grains to have the right energy and attitude to exercise. 

Tip #6 Return to Sports Slowly

If athletes jump back into their sports too quickly, they are more likely to experience an injury. In the weeks leading up to the start of a new season, swimmers should slowly start practicing for their sports. Gradually increase the number of days per week, the length of time they practice, and the intensity of their practices. It can be very tempting to start full pace from Day One. Also, sometimes, athletes tend to make huge jumps while increasing the intensity of training. This will only result in injuries and ruin your training and preparation. 

There is plenty to prepare for in the following sports season. Whether it be setting new goals or training with your peers, and eating a healthier diet, the number of things to consider when thinking about a new sports season is nearly limitless. Hopefully, with the help of this guide, you could get a few ideas and build on your own goals to succeed by the start of the upcoming season.

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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