Offseason: Handling Your Well-Deserved Break The Right Way!


Offseason: Handling Your Well-Deserved Break The Right Way!

Swimmers everywhere, allow me to ask you a question. Do you recognize the term, “offseason?” Or is it a foreign concept? At this point, it might feel that way. Behind countless days of training, it almost feels infinite. Like it will never end. Boy, do I have some news for you.

It does end. Temporarily, at least. And that temporary ending is just around the corner, if not here, for all of us!

If you’re reading this, then stop. Stop reading. Put your computer down, or whatever you may be reading this on, and have a dance party, dude! Break it down! Pump your fists! You’ve made it! This season was full of so many ups and just as many downs. Regardless of how you performed, you have finally made it. A word even better than the word “taper;” swimmers, I introduce to you the lovely, beautiful, absolutely stunning “offseason.”

What it Means

If you still don’t quite understand what I’m referring to, let me spell it out for you: the big championship meet happens, the one you trained for all season, and suddenly it’s over. In the blink of an eye. You got on that block, you swam your heart out, and now it’s over… for now.

It’s that awkward time of year where swimmers don’t swim. At least, they don’t swim as often. In other words, you finally get a break!

As leisurely as this may sound, it is still an important time period. It’s a time to let your muscles rest, your mind to relax. There aren’t any big meets on the horizon. You finally get to chill.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; it’s party time! Whip out the ice cream, the chocolate chip cookies, the salt and vinegar potato chips, all of it! We can do whatever we want! … Right?

Now, I’m not trying to enforce the idea that treating yourself every once in a while is a sin. You deserve all of the treats in the world, little swimmer. But there is a correct way to approach the beloved offseason. It’s important to take care of yourself. At my good graces, I’ve compiled a list to guide you in the right direction.

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep!

You know all of those mornings you woke up to the incredibly awful sound of your alarm at five in the morning? You don’t have to hear that sound ever again! At least, not at such an ungodly hour.

Don’t sleep the day away, of course; there is such a thing as oversleeping. Try getting some shut-eye at a decent time, and set that alarm for the beautiful time of eight. Eight is a beautiful number, isn’t it?

You’ve worked so hard. You’ve probably had a lot of late nights working on assignments, only to receive a few unforgiving hours of sleep due to your intense schedule. Now is the perfect time to give your body the sleep it deserves. Pop a melatonin if you’re feeling crazy.


And by this, I mean mentally relax. It’s easy for swimmers to get caught up in the past, especially during offseason. What could I have done differently at that meet? Why didn’t I go faster? I wish I had gone faster! These thoughts are common, but I hate to break it to you; you can’t change the past. You can’t change the times you swam by thinking about them hard enough. It’s over, my friend.

If your meet didn’t go the way you planned, guess what? You still deserve to relax. You still deserve this time-period of no swimming. You still deserve a break.

Don’t dwell on the past too much. The only thoughts you should have about your most recent swim meet is that you are a rockstar. Nothing less.

The Term “Student-Athlete”

Remember that term, “student-athlete?” The one that defines who you are? Part student, part athlete? Well, the offseason is the perfect time to focus on that “student” part. You have all the time in the world!

Get ahead of your assignments, study for that test coming up, make some flashcards! During the season, it’s difficult to manage your time properly. You might get behind on your assignments. It’s okay, it happens to the best of us.

Now that you aren’t swimming the hours of the day away, it’s the perfect opportunity to study the hours of the day away! As gruesome as it sounds, it’s truly important, and you may as well take advantage of all of this free time you have.

Stay Fit

Although it is offseason, it’s important to stay in the game. The worst thing in the world would be to eat your body weight in ice cream with extremely minimal exercise, only to return to swimming out of shape.

Find new ways to keep moving! Mix it up! I know land sports are a controversial topic in the world of swimming, but there’s plenty of fun options worth trying. Spin classes, yoga, pilates, maybe a quick jog through the park? Let your creative brains fly! Just as long as you enjoy it. Which leads me to my final point.

Have Fun

This is important with everything you may do in this life, little swimmer. With no swimming, it’s easy to get lost in the free time; bored, even. We’re so used to running from one priority to the next. Suddenly, when that flow is interrupted, we find ourselves at a loss. Go out to lunch with a friend, make an absolutely magnificent breakfast for yourself, learn how to paint. Make sure you fill this time with things that make you happy.

May you always fill your time with things that make you happy. Cheers to offseason, my friend. What a time to be alive.

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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2 years ago

im the person rethinking the last 3 championship meets. didnt drop at any of them except ag state and that was the 200fly and 400 im.

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