swimmer progress

How your “onlys” improve over time

Posted Lissa Articles, Training

Swimmer’s Progress

It’s very easy to get caught up in the minutiae of swimming.

Dominic likes to say it’s a sport of centimeters, and I 100% agree with him.  For example, the difference between proper and improper head position in freestyle is measured in inches. And you’ll be working on perfecting and maintaining this, probably throughout the entire time you swim. I don’t think there are many other sports like that.

Stroke flaws can slow a swimmer’s progress but you won’t make progress on every detail of your stroke every time you swim. So keeping that in mind from the get go will save you a lot of frustration down the road.

When our swimmers say things like, “that was a terrible practice. I couldn’t get my arm to do what I wanted it to do. And I only got in 2100 yards.”

We love to point out to them where they came from and help them to remember when they said, “I only got in 1300 yards” a year ago. How can you be bummed out about that? That is a huge improvement. 2100 is a far cry from 1300, and it’s definitely something to be proud of.

Think about what used to be your “onlys” and compare them to your current “only.” I bet they’re different from what you did before. Can you recognize you are “only” getting better?

It’s okay to be hard on yourself, but every once in a while remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Don’t get bogged down in whether you got all the distance in that you wanted, or that you didn’t get to the pool four times this week.

If you show up to swim with even one thing in mind, for example your head position, as opposed to just getting yardage in, you’re going to improve. It might take longer than you think, but it’ll happen.

Lissa Henderson,
Tri Swim Coach