There is not much of a life for swimmers. Imagine practicing seven days a week, two times a day for four hours each time in the pool. This is an ongoing process if one desires to become a nationally ranked swimmer. Since swimmers swim all year, their work-outs build up as their competition approaches making it harder to have time of their own. When they get closer to the big meet, swimmers put in more time at the pool and weight room. Since physical fitness along with preparation becomes essential as the important meet nears, a training process through the year is necessary for swimmers to compete successfully.
Early season training helps swimmers get into shape progressively without starting off with hard training from the beginning. The early season training regains swimmers’ strength after the swimmer does not have strenuous work-outs. Each week grows more intense than the previous as the early season progresses. The early season prepares for the mid-season, which usually begins after first month. In order to train a swimmer into the mid-season, the early season has to improve the swimmers’ strength and flexibility through dry land exercises, to improve stroke mechanics, starts and turns of the swimmers, and prepare or condition the body for the hard work that is to come in the next phase. Dry land activities have a direct effect upon swimmers’ strength. During dry land activities, it is important for swimmers to work the muscles that are mainly used to swim. Ninety percent of the thrust though the water comes from these specific muscles: the pectorals, the latisimus dorsis, the triceps, the shoulder muscles, abdominals, the upper thigh, hip muscles and muscles located in the wrist. Many of these muscles are located in the upper body, because three out of the four competition strokes use the arm pull for two-thirds to three-quarters of the stroke’s propulsion.
To improve swimmers’ stroke, coaches of swimmers focus on stroke drills in order to enhance the swimmers’ skills. By splitting up a stroke, it helps swimmers concentrate on individual parts of their stroke. The stroke is usually split into pulling, kicking, swimming and breathing to increase the stroke’s technique. Along with stroke work, working on starts helps out swimmers’ race. Not only starts are part of a race, turns can increase or decrease a swimmers’ season depending on the quality of the turn. By analyzing a swim into the stroke, start and turn, it will assist swimmers when they approach the mid season and their future competitions.
In the course of mid-season, competitions and time trials occur. By swimming in smaller meets, swimmers can prepare themselves for their top performances. Swimmers find out how to swim their race through smaller meets. With testing pace, breathing patterns and turns, swimmers experiment with stokes, events and speeds. Swimmers also learn how to cope with the stress conditions that occur in their race. By testing their techniques, it helps by preparing them for the next step. When reaching the peak of training, swimmers generally decrease workouts.
Anywhere between a month to three weeks before the most important meet, swimmers are ready to end their mid-season and “taper” for their top performance. Pre-competition or “tapering off” prepares swimmers for competition. At the peak of the season, swimmers gradually decrease the work load. Though the work-out…