Sunday, July 6, 2014

So, What’s Your Plan?

End of the summer season is coming up faster than you think and we are urging all of you, coaches and swimmers alike to have your plan for finishing up. Ken here at North Bay Aquatics uses the analogy of landing the plane. Wait until the last minute and you end up with a nosedive; begin too early and you fall short of the runway…here in San Francisco that means you end up in the Bay.
Then there is your plan for the meet itself. How many races are you swimming, how many days? Do you have it written down on your training/racing calendar? Don’t have one of those; better go get one now.
What about the last couple of tune up races before the really big ones? Do you have a plan for those? Are you going to wear a tech suit; if not why not; if yes, then why? Are you going to make finals?
The list seems endless but it really comes down to having a plan of action and then following that plan. If after the meet things didn’t go as intended, then reexamine the plan. But have a plan and then follow it.
You can then make a race plan for each event. How fast are you going out; what’s the breathing pattern, how many dolphin kicks? Do you know your stroke count; they may differ up or down per lap depending upon your skill level.
Do you have your warmup in place, as in exactly how much you are doing before you race, and how much before, if at all, will you get into the pool? What about your loosening up after the race; how much?
Then remember that nutrition along with hydration is huge.
Clothing can be a factor as well…got something warm for finals? Do you have your compression socks, pants, sunscreen and a hat – of course, unless you are indoors?
The list goes on but if you factor all the training time, weight room effort and the expense of travel, you want to give yourself the best chance for success. You probably wouldn’t get in the car and head out for a week’s vacation not knowing where you were going and therefore what to bring with you.
Same with the meet; knowing your races inside and out makes a huge difference. Someone said “failing to plan is the same thing as having a plan to fail.” Hmmmmm…

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