The Untold Truths of a Training Trip

Training Trip

The Untold Truths of a Training Trip

Training trip. Whether you take your first training trip as a college swimmer, or take it in your younger years over Christmas break, most competitive swimmers will take one in the course of their swim careers, depending on how long you swim for. Every swimmer’s experience is unique during a training trip, and while the specific details look different based on your team, training trip location, and timeline, there will be unexpected things that happen on each trip. No matter how many swimmers you talk to or stories you hear from older teammates and coaches who have made the trip before, you could never receive enough warnings for the endless possibilities that these crazy trips hold. For now, I’ll do my best to give you the untold truths of the training trip through my own experiences.

The first untold truth of a training trip is that it’s hard physically and mentally. As a freshman college swimmer on my first training trip, I walked in and seriously underestimated the difficulty of those eight days I was gone. I missed my family and friends back home, but mainly I was excited to get out and get some warmer weather. Instead, I was too tired and sore to enjoy the moments. I was swimming four hours out of the day and was so sore by the end of each session that I could barely pull myself out of the pool. I was a swimmer for 14 years prior and this training trip made me feel like a guppy among the sharks. The underestimation of physicality on my part was a mistake that some training trip newbies make, but definitely not all, so make sure to take the time to prepare.

While I underestimated the physical side of going away, the mental side was a whole other level of preparation I found I lacked. A team getaway taxes you mentally and pushes you so far out of your comfort zone. That’s what it’s there for. You need to stay strong mentally, lean on your teammates, and find a way to maintain a positive outlook on what it is you’re doing.

I learned a lot about my relationship with swimming over those eight days I was gone with my team. When you do nothing but train for four hours a day, you have a lot of time to think and evaluate. I was able to think through and make observations about a lot within my own world of swimming. Not many people tell you how deep a training trip can hit, and how much you will learn about yourself that you may not have known. It might force you to confront an issue, or expose a quality you never knew you possessed.

There’s one thing I wish someone had told me before I got on that plane to fly to my first training trip: Enjoy the little things and appreciate the little details. Looking back on my trip, we moved so fast from place to place, and each day seemed so long, yet so short at the same time. When I remember the good moments of training trip, I remember the quiet pauses of the chaos that existed with my teammates. The moments where I bonded on deeper levels with them or learned something new about someone. Those will forever be my favorite moments of training trips I wish I had paid more attention to when I was living the moment.

No one can tell you exactly what your experiences will be for your own training trips. These are simply the things I had been told to watch out for. When you embark on the journey that is your first training trip, prepare yourself with an open mind and enjoy the crazy ride.