EXPLORE COMMON TOPICS
Read through all topics presented throughout the website.
Self-esteem is exactly what it says. It is defined by what you value most about yourself in every sense. Sure it’s good to push for a PB, but comparing yourself with others can do you more harm than good. Do you have a go to person when you’re not feeling great about yourself? Could you be one for a teammate?
Pressure can come from so many places. It could be from your peers or the inner fear that today your PB is not within you. It may not be race day anxiety at all, but the pressure of constant training. Knowing where pressure comes from is the key to keeping on top of it. A little extra advice on realistic goal setting is often a good starting point.
Your future isn’t dictated by what your body looks like. It’s what you do with your body that matters. The fact is great swimmers come in all shapes and sizes. That’s the beauty of our sport. And it’s something we should all feel proud about.
Listening to your body
When you’re growing, pushing your body to perform can have a long-term impact. It’s important to listen to what it’s telling you. How is your posture and flexibility? Does it feel like good or bad pain? Answers to questions like these may mean you need to develop your strength at a rate more suitable to your body type or have extra recovery time.
Paleo or gluten-free? Frankly there isn’t one magic diet for swimmers. However, there’s no doubt that a healthy balance across all food groups enables you to train harder and recover quicker. Come race time, there are certain ‘fuels’ that can also help performance. If your goal is serious competition, first talk to an accredited sports dietitian or a doctor.
Fast starters or late bloomers, we all share the same challenges puberty brings. One day your body can take on the world and the next it feels awkward. Your thinking can also shift, making you act differently or feel withdrawn. Whatever stage you are at, every young swimmer has been there or is going through it.
Setting challenging yet realistic goals is the best way to stay motivated.
Remember your PB’s aren’t just the times on the board. The time you put in both in and out of the pool on a daily basis also counts for a lot. So keep on going and enjoy the journey.
Setting goals is a skill. To reach them you need to create a realistic plan based on where you are now. Saying you want to get a medal or make a final isn’t enough. This won’t help you judge your goals, as you don’t really know who you are up against. Our best advice is to always go for a goal within your control.
Resilience is less about the strength of your body and more about your mind. It comes from knowing to let go of what’s beyond your control. The ability to bounce back and give a 100% time and again, also really helps you develop resilience. As soon as you dive back in, you’re already one stroke closer to your goal.
You can be sure as a swimmer there’ll be times when you hit a plateau. Take a breath and look around you. Alex Popov, one of the greatest sprinters ever, went fifteen years without a PB. So don’t put too much personal pressure on yourself. If you keep working hard and swimming is still fun then the PB’s will come.
Getting along with adults
When you’re on the pool deck you often feel like you just have to listen. That’s why it’s best to have a chat about training concerns or things happening in your life with your coach or parents away from the pool. What often works to create an adult conversation is sharing your own solution. If you can’t handle the load of extra aerobic fitness training until Term 3, say so.
Really this comes down to having open conversations with your coach, family and club. Clicking on Motivation, Goal setting and Getting along with adults could be pretty useful here.
Team conflict and bullying
When friendly competition becomes a power struggle the line is often crossed into bullying. It’s not always physical and can be as simple as relentless high-spirited teasing. But deep down everyone knows what’s hurtful. There’s no hiding from it. If it’s happening to one of you, it’s happening to all of you. Remember reporting bullying isn’t dobbing.
We encourage open honest communication in all areas of swimming. Writing things down and structuring your thoughts before talking to your parents or coach signals you have something important to discuss. Making your thoughts clearly understood is also skill that can also make a big difference in all areas of your life. So let’s start a conversation.
Leading a balanced life
How do you balance school and swimming for a start? Even when you’ve got that sorted, it can still be tough finding time for mates who aren’t swimmers.
That’s where balance comes in. Sharing other events and sports with friends is a great way to relax and open your mind to future possibilities.
After all, even a gold medal is not a gold pass to success in the years ahead.