Swimming high school is one of the best sports and experiences you can have. I loved swimming in high school (must be one reason I’ve coached swimming for so long) and I loved coaching high school.
If you’ve got a good or great coach, congratulations. There might be some good information here that can help you be more successful.
If you’ve got an experienced coach (or just a plain bad one), then I hope you find this site immensely usable.
If you are new to swimming and this is your first time swimming on a team, then this site will help you navigate the waters (bad pun) and show you how to have success and fun.
Here’s my top 8 tips for swimming success in high school.
High school Swimming Success Tip #1
High school swimming is a team sport. Treat it like one. Encourage your teammates. Help them. Communicate with them. Work together to improve at practice and at the meets.
High School Swimming Success Tip #2
Success in swimming in high school takes commitment. Commit to coming to practice. Everyone practice. On time, every time. Swim in every meet as many events as possible.
High School Swimming Success Tip #3
Pick one or two things to work on every day. For instance, work on your streamlines, starts, turns or finishes. You can’t work on everything all the time so pick one and focus on it. You’ll do everything in practice but you’ll make sure your streamlines are perfect.
By picking one skill and developing it in one practice, eventually you’ll get to every skill.
High School Swimming Success Tip #4
Set season goals, time goals, weekly and daily goals. Know where your times and work to improve them every day. You won’t always improve them but you can always strive to improve something.
Goals don’t have to be time goals. They maybe event goals (to swim the 500), attendance goals (be on time and to 100% of practices) or sportsmanship goals (say something nice to every teammate during practice).
Of course, one of the things that makes swimming such a great sport is that the stop watch does measure your success. Be careful of setting goals that you don’t have 100% control of or are unreasonable.
If you’re swimming a 100 freestyle in a minute thirty seconds, the odd of you breaking a minute in the hundred are very unlikely.
Likewise, if you set a goal of being first in the league championships that isn’t entirely in your control. You control your work and your effort. You have some control over the final results but someone may be faster.
High School Swimming Success Tip #5
Technique is more important than effort. Swimming fast is dependent on technique. Improving your swimming technique will have a quicker and large effect than getting stronger or fitter.
There are many ways to work on technique. You can improve your stroke efficiency. You can improve your distance per stroke. You can have better starts or turns.
The problem with improving on technique is maybe your coach doesn’t have the time to help you. Here are four blog posts that can get you on the right track. (Oops…the site is in development and those posts aren’t ready. Come back soon!)
There are lots of videos on Youtube with videos that can help you. The Total Immersions one are pretty good.
High School Swimming Success Tip #6
Use daily visualization and self-talk. Visualize yourself being successful. Visualize yourself going to practice and working hard. See yourself at a swim meet. Make it as real as possible. Image the feel of the water, the heat of the sun, the roar of the crowd. Feel the pain from exertion and the roar of your breath as you race.
The more vivid and real you make your visualizations the more benefit you will get.
Likewise, positive self-talk will help push you to higher levels of achievement. Make affirmations that work to keep you focused and motivated.
High School Swim Success Tip #7
Set a routine. Routines are the key to establishing good habits. There are many routines that you need to be successful in the pool (and outside as well). Here are five areas that you should have a routine for. Chunk them all together and it’s only one!
- Study/homework routine. Keeping up with your school work is critical. If you’re worried about your grades, you can’t focus on swimming.
- Sleep/eating routine. Many athlete don’t get enough sleep and don’t eat well. You’re working out harder than you’ve ever done. You’re under a lot more stress. Get at least 8 hours of sleep and eat good nutritious food.
- A swim practice routine. Have some favorite drills that you like to do and do them every day. Maybe it’s 10 extra turns. Maybe it’s spending ten minutes at the end of practice working on your technique. Maybe it’s doing a team cheer at the end of swim practice.
- A visualization routine. Set time to visualize and rehearse your swims.
- A swim meet routine. There will be a blog post about this but I like my swimmers to have a routine they do at the meets (and to rehearse it at practice). It goes beyond just a warm-up. It includes what you do before you race and after you race.
High School Success Tip #8
Take time to recover and get away from swimming…and even school.
There is more to life than just school and swimming and work. Take time to enjoy yourself. Relax.
If religion is a part of your life, then make sure you include that.
Spend time with your family and friends. Let them know they are loved and appreciated.
Swimming in high school is a great experience. There’s so much you can learn from it. It can give you skills that go way beyond the pool and even college.
Whatever your level of swimmer you are, you can have an incredible experience. I wish you the best of luck!