One Thing at a Time
What happens at home when you do too many things at once? If you’re like us, dinner gets burned, clothes get wrinkled and the phone goes unanswered. Now, let’s take that lesson to the pool;
Ladies, a female swimmer can make huge strides in power, speed, efficiency and endurance by working on improving only one training variable at a time. Called Parametric Training, it’s an important part of a number of many swim training programs. Once one particular variable has been mastered, (for example breathing) the next variable (for example stroke length) can be introduced.
Drink Like a Fish
As Mr Brinkley, your High School Science teacher told you, its scientific name is H-2-O. Commonly known as Water. Look into it, girls;
Fluid intake is essential on dry land. But it’s especially important during swim training and competition. Even though swimmers work in water and may not appear to sweat, there’s still considerable fluid loss in an average session. Have a bottle of fluid with you on poolside and sip regularly throughout a training session and leading up to a swimming competition. Maybe Science class wasn’t such a waste of time, after all.
Train Like Flipper
In the TV show, Flipper was supposedly a male dolphin. Not true. The animal that actually played Flipper was a female stunt dolphin from just off the coast of Texas.
Flipper could swim circles around mere humans (especially men). We might learn from that. Among other benefits, the occasional use of swim fins or flippers can help you achieve a better body position (even though it’s artificial). You’ll learn to become familiar with what this better position feels like. Then, you can try to recreate your ‘flipper’ position later on, during harder training, or swimming competition.
Swimming, more than any other sport demands that your lungs provide the rest of your body with oxygen at an extremely high rate and at exactly the right time. Otherwise, you’re going to be breathing-in water (more commonly known as drowning). Effective breathing (inhaling and exhaling) is critical in turning oxygen into the energy needed to move through the water, keeping correct pH levels in your body and enough carbon dioxide for bodily functions.
Try this breathing technique walking on dry land before you try it in the water; when breathing-in, take in a fast and large volume of air. On breathing out, make a prolonged and even discharge of air. Maintain this air discharge throughout the arm cycle of your stroke (for example 3 seconds). At the end of the exhalation phase, give a little puffing action. This will enable you to completely empty your lungs, ready for the next intake. Try it next time on your way to the pool.
Be a TV Star
We almost made it, big-time in Hollywood. But we only had enough bus fare to reach Toledo. Now, it may not be big screen drama, but we can all feature in educational videos. Have your coach or a friend shoot video while you are in the pool swimming and then critique yourself. You might be surprised. And it’s very likely that you’ll be able to improve at least one facet of your stroke.
Keep a Positive Attitude
Strive for optimum, not maximum, performance. Emphasise the things which you can control (so forget about your boyfriend, husband or significant other). You can control only your own performance, so put your emphasis on good technique and personal best times. Improvements in these aspects are attainable by everyone, whereas winning a gold medal is achievable only by a few (including you). You will enjoy training more if you can see yourself making progress. And if those around you are encouraging and praising your achievements.