5 Ways Swimmers Self-Sabotage

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5 Ways Swimmers Self-Sabotage

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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I've been a swimmer my whole life. My parents started me with lessons as a three year old and by five I had joined my first team. I started swimming year round at eight and by thirteen I was qualified for Junior Nationals. By fifteen I was a member of the US National Junior Team (National 'B' Team) and a Senior National Qualifier. I attened my first Olympic Trials in 2000 and finished third in the 200 butterfly. I am a US National Champion, three time NCAA Champion, NCAA record holder, and was a memeber of the US National 'A' Team for five years. I've competed in two World Championships, two Duel in the Pools, a Pan Pacific Championship where I earned a bronze medal in the 200 fly, and competitor in the Goodwill Games. I love to swim and love to coach. I have been working with 12 & Unders for the past ten years including a lengthy stint as the head age group coach in Houston, TX with the toughest bunch of little swimmers I have ever had the privilege of working with. Now I am a mom who swims! I substitute coach and swim master's. I have only competed at one Master's Nationals but walked away a two time champion.

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