- Swim to improve technique, not to get fitter – As contrary as it sounds, the more you focus on how to swim with correct technique and less on improving your fitness the more improvement you will ultimately see. Fitness is important in swimming, but it comes as a result of swimming with correct technique. A mistake which many swimmers make is they train as hard as they can until their stroke breaks down and their technique goes ‘out the window’ so the speak. If you are wondering how to swim and see constant improvement, swim to master your technique rather than become fitter.
- Repeat the same swimming set for measurable improvement – Repeating a swimming set once a week for 4-6 weeks can allow a swimmer to measure their improvement in speed, times and fitness. An example set would be 10 x 100 meters/yards freestyle on 2 minutes. So the swimmer would do each 100 on 2 minutes and may be taking 1 minute 30 seconds for each 100. The goal would then be to try and reduce that time each week so eventually it may only take the swimmer 1 minute 20 seconds after six weeks.
- Keep learning – The best swimmers are continually learning. They read the books, watch the underwater videos and always get feedback on how they are doing. If you are interested in how to swim and see constant improvement in speed, swimming technique and fitness, the fastest way is to get the programs which teach it. Copy someone who has done it before and do what they do and you will get what they have.
You might be surprised to know though, that the abdomen is at the core of swimming. A lot of the work and power in a swimming stroke comes through there – so any swimming strength and conditioning work needs to focus on that area as well as the more obvious shoulders. Don’t waste time on crunches though, a six pack never got a swimmer a faster time!
Another area where a swimming strength and conditioning programme should focus is on “core stability”. The reason? That are of the body is a big part of things. Have you ever had that feeling you are struggling round the hips and pelvic areas and sinking a little? That is a certainty to slow you down and one area that people new to swimming struggle with. Some improvements here can work wonders.
You can even combine the two ideas by doing some exercises in the pool with the benefits of some water resistance as part of your swimming strength and conditioning plan. It provides a nice warm up before your swim.
The final word has to be variety too, make sure you vary the exercises you do to keep the interest up. Tired body, tired mind goes the saying. It does work the other way round too.
A coach will play a very important role in the lives of young swimmers. Their actions and attitudes help shape their view of the world and of themselves. For some children the coach will enter their world at a time when they may be striving to reduce their parents’ influence. Children may look to you for considerable support either physically or psychologically. The potential to impact on young lives should not be off-putting.
A common mistake in young coaches is to assume that verbal communication is not only the best form of communication, but it’s the only way to communicate. A further problem is that some coaches frequently talk too much. Verbal communication is vital; but it can lose some of its effectiveness when used unnecessarily – especially during training.
Non verbal communication like facial expressions or gestures by the coach showing anger, frustration, acceptance, empathy, disapproval or pleasure can and do have an effect on swimmers during training and competition. Recent research concludes that young swimmers assume that non-verbal cues are more revealing of a coaches actual feelings and thoughts than words.
The implications for coaching are clear – what you do is far more important than what you say.
In the first three years of our life we learn to talk.
In the next three you learn to read and write.
How much time is spent teaching people to listen?
Learn this skill, then teach your staff and swimmers.
The coach must be a good listener, that is, being attentive to what is being said by the athlete. Individual needs of athletes must be taken into consideration.
The element of respect comes into play here, as the response by the coach will govern the way the athlete will approach you in the future. Every swimmer must receive feedback on technique and performance in every session.
A great coach will have developed their own standards and philosophies in regards to their chosen sport. They will have strong communication skills and be honest and approachable to athletes, parents and fellow coaches.
Knowledge and coaching experience, not necessarily sport specific, are generally very helpful. A great coach will have strong self-discipline and will install a discipline into team members. If a situation arises with a swimmer, they will go after the situation and not the individual. It is important that you discipline in private and reward in public. Make sure that you never bruise the dignity of the individual.
A coach should endeavour to reduce and minimise the need to discipline, by ensuring their programme includes fun, activity and learning. They will have the ability to teach as well as coach. Coaching styles do differ, so don’t try to copy someone else.
The respected swimming coach will instill the highest desirable ideals and character traits into their swimmers. They have the responsibility for maintaining discipline throughout the training session and be self-confident, attentive, consistent, friendly, fair and competent. They should also be able to deal with initial treatment of minor injuries.
A great swimming coach will be very organised for each session, for the week, for the month, the year and be able to justify, if necessary why things are being done.
They will be able to create an environment were success is inevitable by instilling discipline & standards for athletes to observe and commit to. A great coach will have a high level of commitment and discipline and should be the nucleus of their swimming club. The Club’s goals should parallel the coaching program and vice versa and it is important that coach provides what is needed for the club to be successful.
Open and regular communication with parents is vital. A great coach will be approachable for parents and listen to them, but in the end make their own decision. It is important that coaches watch the type of relationship that they have with parents as if they become friends and the coach needs to make a hard decision, then the coach will be in a compromised position.
Coaches also have a legal responsibility to provide a safe environment, ensure facilities and equipment are safe for both the users and others involved in competition and training. Safety in all sport should be the message that we must put into practice in our daily work as coaches. Swimming pools are a dangerous environment to work in and all necessary precautions should be taken for your pool to be safe.
Plan your training sessions carefully to ensure progression of your athletes and limit the risk of injury. Be confident in identifying exercises that are potentially dangerous (eg. Straight leg raises) and provide a safe substitute. Activities must be adequately planned. Impaired learning ability and injury may be the result of unplanned practice sessions.
Young athletes should not be mismatched. Young athletes should be matched not only according to age, but also height, weight and maturity. Skill levels and experience should also be considered.
Safe and proper equipment should be provided and equipment should be in good order and safe to use at all times.
Athletes must be warned of inherent risks of the sport. The participants can only legally accept the inherent risks of a sport if they know, understand and appreciate those risks.
Ensure that activities are closely supervised. Adequate supervision is necessary to ensure the practice environment is as safe as possible.
Coaches should know first aid. Coaches should have knowledge of basic emergency procedures and keep up to date on them.
Develop clear written rules for training and general conduct. Many injuries are the result of fooling around in change rooms and training venues.
Coaches should keep adequate records.
Adequate records are useful aids to planning and are essential in all cases of injury.
The first stage in wetsuit selection would be determined as to what sport you pursue as well as the conditions within which you intend to participate in. The colder conditions would call for a thicker suit and perhaps a full wetsuit, often times referred to as a steamer wetsuit. By covering the entire body, you will be able to retain a large amount of the body heat that is often lost to the surrounding water. The thickness of the suit will also provide more protection in colder water conditions.
If you require more freedom of movement, many people opt for the shorty wetsuit within the wetsuit selection process, which essentially covers the torso of the body, which incidentally is the most important part of the body to cover, as the body will draw heat away from the rest of the body to ensure that the vital organs remain at the right temperature. The shorty suit also allows for more movement of the arms and legs which is especially helpful when surfing, waterskiing or body boarding.
With the onset of the latest technology and materials one also has the choice of a more fashionable look in terms of your wetsuit selection, as compared to years gone by when the wetsuit was only available in black, black or black, actually reminds one of Henry Ford and the Model T, who said you could have any color you wanted, provided it was black. Needless to say the variety of available colors and combination’s for your wetsuit selection has indeed come a long way.
One has to remember that the wetsuit selection process and subsequent purchase can prove to be quite expensive and therefore in order to protect your investment as well as to ensure that this wetsuit provides you with a long period of service it is vital that you follow the instructions accordingly to ensure the longevity of the suit itself. You will come to notice that one of the key points is to rinse the suit out after use and allow to dry sufficiently before packing the suit away.
There are a number of people in the world with physical limitation that cannot go to a fitness center to workout. They desire to get in shape, but are not able to use the machines or free weights in these facilities because of weight limitations or joint problems. Swimming cushions the joints and gives freer range of motion while giving resistance to the body. There are many centers that offer aerobic exercise classes for people suffering for arthritis and other joint pains. These classes are a wonderful place to work your muscles and meet new people with the same physical problems as you.
Athletes us water to help recover from injuries. When swimming your body only bears 50% of its weight when you’re in chest level. This means less stress on joints that are painful to move. When swimming you use all your major muscles such as back, shoulders, hips, legs, and abdomen. From you head to your toes muscles help us do every day things in life. Strengthening these muscles helps us overall with every thing we do. Swimming is not only rewarding for adults children get a great benefit from it also. Their young muscles need workout to develop as they grow. To children swimming is not exercising it’s a place to have fun.
Today many of our children would rather sit in front of a TV playing games or watching movies. Getting them to go outside and play becomes a battle at times, but swimming is not the same as going out side to play to a child. Swimming becomes a game in the water and sunshine. They make new friends and before you know it they will be asking to go swimming every day. They don’t realize they are getting the exercise they need for their young body to stay healthy and strong, all they think is, yeah I get to go swimming today. There are many indoor pools that are heated when summer passes. Swimming is not only a summer activity it’s a year round fun exercise.