Staying motivated to swim during the off-season isn’t exactly a walk in the park. You have to brave the uncomfortable feeling that comes with not having a routine and set reasonable goals that work for you.
While taking a break from swimming will help to refresh the body and the mind, it shouldn’t go past two weeks. A prolonged break from swimming will make balance, rhythm, and coordination to fall out of alignment.
This will negatively affect your comeback. For this reason, you should make swim-training during off-season a mandatory part of your life. Its benefits are highly rewarding.
Improve Your Technique
The saying “practice makes perfect” couldn’t make any more sense. The search for an exceptional technique will not be found in a heart rate monitor or a swimming suit that reads “The world’s best swimmer.”
The secret to excellence lies inconsistency.
The more you dedicate yourself to regular swim training exercises, the better you will become at the sport. The off-season is the best time to immerse yourself in improving your swimming skills by working on your weak areas and perfecting your strengths.
As an endurance sport, swimming helps in the formation and strengthening of endurance muscles. The stronger these muscles become, through regular training, the better your swimming skills will become.
Develop Stronger Aerobic Condition
It doesn’t matter how well you can swim if your endurance capacity rhymes with the word hero. Developing stronger aerobic conditions during the off-season will help you build endurance so that you show up ready and fit when the new season commences.
Aerobic exercises have been proven to be an effective way of strengthening the heart and the lungs and increasing oxygen circulation in the blood. Under these circumstances, the body can adapt well to endurance sport- a foundation for excellence.
As an endurance sport, swimming is as brutal as it is beautiful. It will teach you things about yourself that you never knew before.
You’ll be able to push yourself beyond levels that you never thought were possible. As your body adapts aerobically, ensure you keep track of the little forward steps, you make.
You will be surprised at how far you have achieved by the end of the off-season.
Learn a New Stroke
As with most things in life, taking the first step is usually the most important and yet the most challenging decision. We naturally love staying in our comfort zone because of the safety that comes with it.
But will it push us to where we desire to be? Your guess is as good as mine.
The most beautiful part about swimming as a sport is that it comes with a variety of styles. Breaststroke, sidestroke, butterfly stroke, backstroke, flutter kick, and front crawl are to mention but a few.
You might have attained excellence in breaststroke but have no idea about flutter kick. Off-season offers the best time to focus on learning such new strokes.
You get to have enough time to focus on a particular skill and master it. Since you are not under the pressure of performance, you can concentrate on perfecting new skills.
Practice Swimming Techniques for Rehabilitation
When you think of swimming in a pool, you probably imagine a refreshing dip during a hot summer afternoon or a rigorous exercise. While swimming can be both of these things, it also offers an excellent setting for rehabilitation following an injury.
Aquatic therapy is beneficial to those who have suffered injuries. You don’t have to be a professional swimmer to benefit from this therapy.
The benefits of pool-based rehabilitation to your body are immense. It improves your cardiovascular fitness, strengthens muscles and ligaments and serves as an effective workout program, all while gently supporting your body, particularly the injured areas.
Why is water such an effective medium for rehabilitation? Buoyancy. Water keeps your body afloat and also provides the resistance that will make specific movements more challenging.
Water rehabilitation exerts less pressure on the body by supporting the body weight, hence taking the pressure off joints. This makes swimming a good choice for people who have suffered certain injuries such as those of the knees and back.
Since swimming is a no weight activity, it offers a safe and comfortable alternative for people with back and other related problems.
Different strokes can work on different parts of your body. The backstroke, for example, is effective for those suffering from a back injury because it allows you to float on your back without straining it.
Practicing swimming techniques for rehabilitation is one way of preparing yourself for the uncertainties that come with being an athlete. Equipped with these techniques, you will have no problem recovering and bouncing back to the competitive platform in case you suffer an injury.
Just like practicing a new stroke during the off-season helps in its mastery, so does practicing swimming rehabilitation techniques. Practice precedes excellence. The lack of it breeds mediocrity.
As the off-season sets in, it is crucial to take a break from the pressures of competition. Nevertheless, this doesn’t serve as an excuse to avoid the pool completely.
For what’s worth, avoiding the pool during the off-season can have a drastic effect on your performance once you are back in season. Three months of not swimming are equal to 30+ of lessons missed, a significant derailment to your progress.
You must make it upon yourself to create a swim training routine that works for you during the off-season and commit to it religiously.
Swim training during off-season comes with the benefits of improving your technique, developing a stronger aerobic condition, learning a new stroke, practicing rehabilitation techniques amongst many others.
The most challenging part is at the beginning.
Once you understand the benefits of swim training and commit yourself to it fully, nothing will hold you back. As practice makes perfect, so will swim training during the off-season produce a seasoned you, ready to take on the challenges of a new season.