5 Ways Swimmers Self-Sabotage

Take a minute to browse these potential scenarios so you can check yourself before you wreck yourself at competitions.

Ways Swimmers Self Sabotage

1. Hydrate – You must stay hydrated. Being in the water often gives off the illusion of being cool and hydrated, but you are still using up reserves faster than the average person who is not swimming. You should be drinking at least one full water bottle every hour. You do not need sports drinks, however if you are anti-water and need something for taste, a 60/40 mix of water/sports drink is much more tolerable.

2. Focus – Don’t bring video games, stay off your smart phone, etc. This is a sure fire way to miss your race or become consumed with something other than your performance. You’ve put in the hours, don’t waste them away.  Bring a deck of cards and talk or play with your teammates.

3. Warm up and warm down – Battle the stiffness and muscle fatigue by ensuring your muscles are warm pre-race and then take the time to cool down post-racing. If you don’t warm up, you risk pulling muscles or just feeling like a stiff board.  If you skip cool down you will likely feel your muscles start to tighten and become sore.  Set yourself up for success and do the right things!

4. Consider the elements – Sunscreen and clothes to keep you covered in the hot sun is especially important. Imagine trying to swim at your peak with a severe sun burn.  Burns also coincide with dehydrating!  Pack warm clothes, especially a hat and warm shoes if it is chilly.  The most heat escapes from your feet and your head when they are uncovered.

5. Check in with your coach pre and post race. Let them guide you with race strategy and let them help you evaluate after your race.  Their eyes see things you do not. Take their experience and use it to your benefit.

Of course these are just a few suggestions to avoid “flopping” at your competitions.  What kind of pitfalls have you experienced or witnessed? How would you avoid them?

About Emily Milak

Emily Milak is a lifetime competitive swimmer living in Southeastern Wisconsin. Emily is a US National Team champion, NCAA champion, and USMS champion with extensive coaching experience. She is a product development consultant at Kiefer.

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