There are many swimming pools, and many swimming clubs that are good places to start if you are serious about becoming a better, or competitive, swimmer.
Finding a good coach is essential to becoming a better swimmer. From determining your best stroke, and helping with the right technique, to dietary and motivational help, your swimming coach will be there to help you every step of the way.
Because of the huge role your swimming coach will play, it’s important to choose someone that you like, that has the experience and results so that you know their techniques and methods work, and that you like and respect as a person. Often the more disciplined the coach the better the results will be.
Training outside of the pool may well be prescribed by your coach. Strength training is a good way of building up muscles that will help you swim faster, and for longer. Upper body strength as well as leg strength are essential, and a good coach or gym instructor will be able to advise on the right sort of exercises for you. Sleep and rest are highly important factors in training.
Dedication is vital. There will be many times that you don’t want to swim another length, or get up early in the dark for a long training session before work or school. You will miss spending time with your friends, and that you don’t have much of a life outside of swimming and the gym. However, if you are determined to be an Olympic swimmer, then these sacrifices will have to be made.
Conditioning is also important. The body needs to be kept in the best possible condition. Ensuring that you get enough sleep, eat the right meals, train the right amount and are focused on competitions and doing well will ensure that swimming remains your goal.
Sometimes you will have a bad race, or not do as well as you’d hoped for in training, or perhaps even suffer from illness or injury. Knowing how to deal with these setbacks will help you to come to terms with them, and how to learn from them. You may find that in a race you started off too fast, and ran out of speed at the end, or that your pace was too slow at the beginning and so there was not enough time to speed up at the end. What will you do if you have cold for a few weeks, and can’t swim? Being prepared can keep you positive and allow you to focus on other areas of your training