Four Advantages of Taking a Training Trip

Training Trip - Howard University

Four Advantages of Taking a Training Trip

New scenery. New environment. Change of weather. Training Trips.

It seems like a vacation with some of your closest friends on the beach or in a new state to others scrolling through social media. All they see are pool pictures, new tan lines, and smiling faces.

As swimmers, we know this is far from true. Training trips are impactful moments in a swimming career. This week (or longer) trip tests not only mental but physical strength. There are two or three practices a day with dryland work in-between. All of this work is just getting the team ready for the championship season. Although they are challenging, there are many advantages to training trips.

Advantage #1: Building Mental and Physical Capacity

Take this time to assess your thoughts behind challenging sets and change the conversation. The practices will test your physical strength, but it is easier to swim if you go after every set, ready to conquer it. Coaches can use this time to teach and help change and challenge how we mentally perceive sets.

There is no way around it. Training trip sets are no fun. You might feel like you may pass out and die afterward. Keep thinking about your goals and why you are swimming. These sets are made for the sole purpose of making you faster and stronger, and you need to keep that in mind. Know that you can and will get through the next week.

Advantage #2: Refocusing For the Rest of the Season


Photo Courtesy: Jonas Guzat

Training trips are not entirely a break. Yes, there is little to no schoolwork, so simplicity is welcomed. Just swim, sleep, eat and repeat. With no external obligations, it allows people to access the front half of the season and reflect on what went well and which items could be worked on. Allowing this reflection period provides for one to go on refreshed for the final stretch of the season. Championship season will rely on the hard work swimmers put in the multiple days of doubles practices during the training trip.

Advantages#3: Team Bonding

Suppose a time and place where the most bonding on the swim team happens. It’s definitely during a training trip. We get to see our teammates at our most tired, our most hungry, and least level-headed. It’s easy to say we all come out of this experience as the jolliest of friends, but that would not necessarily reflect reality. Instead, something more critical is formed over training trips: a cohesive team.

The weight of the training trip brings out the true character of each swimmer. When pushed to the limit, the kind of person you are begins to show. We each know where our breaking points are and when we can push just a little further. Paragraphs of information can be communicated in just a look of the eyes or shake of the head. In addition to making us excellent swimmers, the training trip brings us all together and remains a personal favorite memory of many college experiences.

Advantage #4: Exploring

Exploring the city is a must. For some teams, they are in a warmer climate and new state. Take the opportunities to explore. Especially on the beach days (if you get one), walk the local pier or the sandy beaches. The trip will feel extended if you stay in the hotel room. Take the opportunity to see a new part of the area. If someone on the team is from the area, have them come up with unique scavenger hunt ideas or have them guide the team around.

Yes, training trips are a lot of hard work. The memories created and bonds strengthened are undeniable and will last a lifetime. Between the tears and tiredness of training trips, there are plenty of laughs, smiles, and triumphs to last. Make sure to get rest and prepare for your trip. Enjoy the time with your teammates and remember you will survive.

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