- בחרו "יעד של 10 דקות" – 10 דקות ביום של מתיחות, גמישות, שרירי ליבה, תנועת דולפין….. 10 דקות כל יום ואם תתמידו – תראו שיפור
- בחרו יעד של אורח חיים – תזונה, שינה, לימודים – זה לא חייב להיות "משוגע" שיפור קטן באורח חייכם ישפיע לחיוב על הביצועים במים
- בחרו יעד לאימון מנטלי – תופתעו לראות איך האימונים יותר כיפיים והביצועים ישתפרו אם תאמנו גם את הראש
- בחרו יעד לגיבוש הקבוצה – שחייה היא ענף יחידני אבל כשכל הקבוצה שואפת להישגים – זו עוצמה שאינה ניתנת לעצירה
- בחרו יעד טכני – אל תנסו לשפר את כל הליקויים בבת אחת. טפלו בכל אחד בנפרד
בחרו לשחות העונה יותר חכם
For a lot of you swimmers out there it’s the beginnings of a new season. Which is funny, because for a lot of us, the last one literally just ended (and for a few, still going!).
The beginning of the season is an interesting time.
We huff and puff through the first couple weeks of training, wishing we had done more than Netflix and pizza over most of the summer.
But the beginning of the season is also a time for a clean slate and bunch of newness.
There’s new teammates. New program, coach, and/or pool. And most importantly, new goals.
It’s a moment for us to start fresh, start anew, and take things further with our swimming, regardless of how last season’s championship meet went down.
Here are five goals for you to set to get yourself rolling from day one:
1. Pick a ten minute goal.
One of the problems we have with the soft spots in our training is that we expect improvement to happen faster than it actually does.
We decide to fix something, throw a couple of days worth of effort at it…and then get disappointed when results don’t match expectations.
For example, there are a lot of swimmers who—after watching Caeleb Dressel throttle everyone on the starts and underwaters at Worlds this summer—will want to drastically improve their own start and dolphin kick this fall and winter.
Don’t get choked that you aren’t throwing down Dressel-like starts after one week of doing extra starts after practice.
Progress, and elite-level performance is made slowly (which frustrates our expectations of overnight success).
Start with ten minutes a day.
Pick something you want to work on this season and dedicate ten minutes—no more, no less—to it every day. Your own personal 10-minute goal.
Ten minutes of stretching after practice. Ten minutes of fish kick. Ten minutes of starts. Ten minutes of vertical kicking. Ten minutes of core work.
Pick one thing you want to level up and throttle it ten minutes at a time.
2. Pick a lifestyle goal.
Unfortunately for our pizza and doughnut cravings our swimming performance doesn’t begin and end in the pool.
The way we treat our bodies outside of the pool has a very demonstrable effect on how we perform inside of it. How much sleep you got last night helps dictate how recovered you are today. How well you eat yesterday influences how good you feel tonight at practice.
Pick one thing you can improve on and fix in terms of your lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be crazy either; go to bed half an hour earlier. Make your lunch the night before morning practice.
3. Pick a mental training goal.
What’s the thing you struggle with most mentally?
Is it your self-talk? Giving up on yourself during hard sets? Not being able to manage anxiety properly before a big race?
Pick something with your mindset that you want to improve upon this season.
You’ll be surprised at how much more enjoyable hard training can be (seriously), how tougher you actually are, and how much faster you can swim by doing some tweaking with your mindset.
(Go with the self-talk option…I’ve said it once and I will say it again: Self-talk is the gatekeeper to a bulletproof mindset.)
4. Pick a team building goal.
Swimming is a fairly lonely and individual sport. For the most part we race on our own, and train while lost in our own thoughts.
Want to make things easier?
Do your part to create a culture of awesomeness in the pool.
Encourage your teammates when they are having a rough day. Race the swimmer next to you (maybe just not during warm-up…). Give the youngsters on the team advice and support.
One swimmer chasing excellence is a force to be reckoned with…
But a group of swimmers chasing excellence together is unstoppable.
5. Pick a technique goal.
Looking at your swimming and stroke, what is one thing that you could improve on that would have a disproportionate amount of impact on your swimming?
Bilateral breathing so that you get stronger on your weak side?
A saggy elbow during the catch?
Not kicking from your core?
While it’s tempting to go nuts with listing all the things wrong with your stroke, choose one and hammer it.
(Ruthless focus on one technical aspect, and the inevitable improvement, will eventually infect the rest of your swimming.)
6. Pick to swim smarter this season.
Here comes the sneaky selly-sell…
Copies of YourSwimBook have been flying off the shelf this month.
Cracking a fresh log book at the beginning of the season gives us a sense of possibility of what is to come.
To quote Aladdin, it’s a whole new world.
(Wow…I’m quoting Disney movies now. I’ve changed.)
A world where we are unburdened by the disappointments of last season, and ready to take on our swimming with renewed focus and determination.
The beginning of the season is a great time to scrawl together some new goals…
…and it’s also a great time to start tracking your practices and getting all the benefits that come along with it.
See you in the water,