Once Normal Returns - Some Steps to Reach Excellence in the Pool!
So I thought I would kick a blog off by pretending we are back in the land of normal. We have returned to swimming and all you training has returned to normal. But should it? Maybe there are some things when our pools open and our training gets back on track that you can change or improve to make yourself a better swimmer. So here are some suggestions that can be called:
"Key Elements for Successful Training!"
1. Attitude Development – Act like a Champion in everything you do.
2. Incremental Technical Improvement
3. Endurance (Central and Peripheral)
4. Specific Speed/Race Training Levels
5. Strength/Power Training
Our Guidelines for Training during a Season:
1. Attitude: Ordeal or Adventure?
2. Technical Improvement—an ongoing, long-term operation. Years (seasons) worth of small adjustments add up to large gains in performance capacity.
3. Continuous preparation is the key to significant performance improvement.
4. Condition the stroke and distance you wish to excel at.
5. Dryland work must enhance swimming performance (both in training and racing); not hinder or destroy it.
Here are some items that directly relate to our Key Elements in Training.
Things to think about in more detail to the points above and how some of these are seen through the eyes of an elite level swimmer and where you want to be some day.
· Clock Saavy. Knows time and intervals on everything.
· Mentally Tough/Sharp. Knows exactly where training should be in relation to certain pace or interval times and pushes themselves to achieve desired competition results. In competition, it is the execution of race strategy built off the confidence that comes from effective training. Outcome is expected and pushed for, not hoped and wished for.
· Not Complacent. What was done last month is no longer good enough. Does not swim through a workout just ‘to get through it’. Actively pursues whatever GOAL they have set for themselves and if unsure, will seek feedback from coach to make sure training/preparation stays relevant to goals.
· Knows Strengths and Weaknesses and actively tries to improve weak areas and use strengths to their utmost advantage.
· Technically strong and eager to learn new things. Uses a continual process to try and improve themselves in all relevant aspects of a race. Elite athletes don’t ignore technical work for choice of easier path (half hearted stroke or drill acquisition attempts).
· Knows what they are training for (again GOALS). Not going along day to day, wandering around different events or goal times, standards, or potential meet qualifications or placing, but has a strong understanding of exactly what they are training for and knows what preparation it will take to achieve that.
· Knowledge of competition. Knows that competition doesn’t wait for the lazy or UN-knowing. Competition is defined as someone in a lane next to them in competition; a time standard based from other athlete performances or a placing at a meet based from both.
· Does not allow ‘semantics’ to get in the way of results. (Ex. ‘you didn’t say sprint, you said fast’ – is there a difference?). An elite athlete will understand what the meaning of something is without splitting hairs as some may try to do.
· Understands that performance in workout counts. It matters.
· Don’t see any practice sets as punishments, just opportunities to improve themselves.
Hopefully some of these are ideas and tips that when swimming returns, you can either adopt, alter or keep working at to make yourself a better swimmer!