Motivational Monday: Establishing Your Voice as a Swimmer


Motivational Monday: Establishing Your Voice as a Swimmer

As much as swimming is a team sport, most races are only completed by one person. However, the training often organized by coaches applies to many teammates instead of one person. Even though this practice is effective and makes sense for helping coach large groups, the individual can sometimes forget they have a voice in how they train. One of the hallmarks of an athlete growing up is learning how to use their voice to ask for what they need. Here are a few ways that you can establish your voice.

Ask Questions Of Your Coach

Coaches are here to help! They have considerable swimming knowledge and experience, and most likely a lot of knowledge about your swimming. If you do not know if you are doing something right, asking for help will give you corrective feedback. Even trying to understand how swimming works, like why underwaters have dolphin kicks instead of flutter kicks, are good questions to ask if you need clarity. Coaches are a great way to grow knowledge of the sport that you can then use to self-improve.  

Not Skipping Corners 

Participating in your own training also means taking ownership of how you train. Are you skipping any corners? Is there a part of training that you feel like you could improve the most? Where are you most enthusiastic to train? Self-evaluation is a great way to look at where you may not be doing things “the right way.” For example, having high attendance for practices. But that also can mean things like sportsmanship and being a good teammate. How do you take ownership over the culture of your team? Coaches are also a great resource for answering these questions if you are unsure. 

Asking Coach To Review Certain Skills 

There is nothing wrong with asking for extra help on skills that you are confused about or need more work on. Often, coaches will work with you before or after practice, or they could even set aside established time within their training plan. Just like school, if you have a question about a skill, someone else probably has the same issues. Actively seeking out ways to improve is a key moment in establishing your voice and independence over your own training! 

Establishing and Working Toward Goals 

Every person on a team has different specialties and ideas of where they want to be at the end of a season. Knowing what you want out of your training is the best way to know what tasks you need to accomplish daily to reach those goals. For example, dropping a second in the 50 free would mean that you could work on the speed of your turn during practice. Understanding what you want will better help you focus on the skills that you need to improve.

Knowing Your “Why”

The best way to make training yours is knowing why you want to train and learn. Knowing your goals is good, but knowing the reason why your goals matter to you is even more important. Your “why” doesn’t necessarily have to be deep and serious. It can be as simple as enjoying competing, or that you like the way you feel after a hard set. The why is what makes you unique and is something personal. Establishing your voice means knowing what matters to you first and why, which makes knowing the “why” integral to obtaining success!