Turn Your Nerves into Positive Energy

16 09 2013
Competitive Swimming

It is perfectly normal to feel nervous before a race.

Feeling nervous is never a comfortable feeling, but this doesn’t mean it isn’t a perfectly normal feeling. Some people feel nervous before practices, while others only feel nervous before a big meet. No one wants to feel nervous, but if you don’t feel nervous, it can actually hinder your performance. Once you learn how to tap into the power of your nerves, you can turn these negative feelings into positive energy in the pool.

Understand It Is Normal

The first thing you need to do is understand that feelings of nervousness are completely normal. Whether you can tell that other competitors are feeling nervous or not doesn’t matter. Chances are every person who is about to dive into the water feels some level of nervousness. As soon as you are able to accept your nerves as completely normal, you can work on transforming them into a positive energy that can help propel you through the pool.

Focus on the Positive

Nervous feelings will drag you down if you continually focus on the negatives. For instance, if you spend your time before a race thinking about how you will feel if you lose and wondering if you will perform well, odds are you will perform poorly. Instead, you need to spend your time before the race visualizing a win for you. This will transform your nervous feelings into positive energy you can then use to swim your best. Nerves are the source of adrenaline so use it!

Use Breathing Exercises

Your coach has likely talked to you about breathing exercises before you enter a race. Breathing deeply and focusing your thoughts are great ways to enhance your performance in the water. If you aren’t feeling nervous, you are less likely to go through these breathing exercises. Without them, your focus won’t be entirely on your swimming, causing you to make mistakes and slowing you down.

While being nervous isn’t something anyone wants to feel, it can be extremely useful in your swimming meets. As long as you learn how to effectively transform your nervous energy into positive energy, you will find you swim much better and are more successful in your races. It’s all in thinking positively and helping you visualize the good so you can perform better than ever.





Using Competitive Swimming to Lose Weight

12 12 2012
Water Fitness Equipment

Working out in the water can be a great way to lose weight.

When you think about losing weight and the various exercises you can perform, the standards of jogging, aerobics and weightlifting likely come to mind. One exercise many people do not think of that is sometimes even more effective than the standard methods is competitive swimming. Swimming offers one of the most effective all-over body workouts with the least amount of impact, allowing you to exercise without the risk of serious injury.

Weightlessness

If you have tried other exercise programs but have had to quit or delay your efforts due to serious injury, you will love the benefits of swimming. Once your body hits the water, you become weightless, taking away all the aches and pains your body previously felt. This allows you to exercise in the water more frequently than other heavy-duty exercises that wear on your muscles, creating the need to relax to allow the muscles to repair themselves.

Various Strokes

There are a variety of strokes you can perform in the water, each of which burns a different number of calories. If you switch up your routine often, you will give your body the most benefits by working different muscles each time. The various strokes you can perform in the water include the freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, breast stroke and side stroke. Create the perfect routine to incorporate all the strokes into your workout, and you will realize the greatest benefits in your weight loss efforts.

Equipment

Swimming is a sport you can do without any equipment, but if you want to add more intensity to your workout, there are various pieces you could use. If you want to take a break from swimming but still want to work out in the water, water dumbbells are a great way to lift weights while still remaining in the water. If you want to increase the resistance of the water while you are swimming, you can wear aqua fitness gloves to give your upper body a more intense workout. If you want to focus solely on your legs, you can use a kickboard to keep your upper body stable, causing your leg muscles to perform all the work.

There are a variety of competitive swimming methods you can use to achieve your weight loss goals. Whether you have a large amount of weight to lose or you simply want to tone your body, swimming is one of the best exercises you can do. It is appropriate for almost anyone in any health condition and is easy on the body, reducing the risk of serious injury while you meet your health goals.





Learn the Benefits of Competitive Swimming

15 10 2012
Competitive Swimwear

Competitive swimming provides a vast array of benefits.

Swimming has been a favorite pastime for people for many years. People of all ages and all abilities can swim, either for fun or competitively. There are many benefits for those who do take up swimming as a competitive sport, including the incredible exercise, the ability to participate in it, even as you age, and the weightless qualities it provides. Even if you have never swum competitively, it is never too late to start enjoying a sport thousands of people enjoy every day.

Exercise

Regardless of your age, exercise is an important part of your life. Medical and fitness professionals suggest you exercise three to four times a week and work all your muscle groups as much as possible to get the most vigorous workout. When you choose to swim competitively, you will work all the major muscle groups in one exercise, especially when you participate in all the various strokes, including freestyle, backstroke, breast stroke and the butterfly stroke. This makes it possible for everyone to exercise, even those who suffer from knee, leg or back ailments.

Competition

If you decide to take your swimming to the competitive level, you can choose your level of competition. If there is one particular stroke you excel at, you can choose to compete just in that stroke. If you prefer all the strokes, you can participate in a medley that incorporates two or more different types of strokes into one race. The length of each race varies, allowing you to choose the distance with which you are comfortable.

Weightless Exercise

Many people avoid exercises, such as weight lifting or jogging, because of the heavy impact those exercises have on the joints. Even young people suffer from medical issues as a result of too much rigorous exercise. This is another main benefit of taking up swimming competitively. There is no contact and the water can actually be good for your joints, healing you while you swim.

If you have given thought to swimming competitively, it is not too late. There are always pools available with lanes that give swimmers a chance to practice their skills. Grab yourself a competitive swimsuit and a few swim gear items and start swimming competitively. It is definitely something you will feel good about.





Ways to Keep a Competition Swimmer Motivated

26 09 2012
Competitive Swim Awards

A swimming medal is the perfect way to motivate your swimmers.

Everyone suffers from a lack of motivation at certain periods in their life, even Olympic swimmers, believe it or not. Competitive swimmers, no matter how driven they might seem, suffer from burnout or a lack of desire to continue competing. The various reasons include a serious loss in a competition, being overworked by a trainer and general burnout. There are various ways coaches can help swimmers gain their motivation back.

Incentives

Offering incentives to swimmers works just as well as in other areas of life. Incentives give swimmers a reason to want to try their hardest, whether in practice or at actual meets. Coaches who use tactics, such as awarding a swimmer of the week or month based on various themes, motivate swimmers to want to do well. There does not have to be an actual prize at the end of the period, but if you do wish to give a prize, there are several swimming medals available to use as incentives. There is nothing better to swimmers than to have a decorated bag filled with all their achievements to help ignite motivation.

Set Goals

Setting goals that are achievable is key to keeping motivation levels up. When swimmers try to achieve a goal that is too far out of their reach, it is easy to lose the desire to try. Taking baby steps is a better choice for swimmers of all levels. Whether you set a goal that has to do with shaving time off a race or reaching a certain endurance point, giving swimmers the opportunities to reach their goals will give them their passion and desire to swim once again.

Positive Reinforcement

No one likes to be yelled at, even competitive swimmers. Even if your swimmer is having a bad day, finding a positive point in their race will help them not to lose their motivation. Coaches that dwell on the negative, make swimmers not want to try harder in their next race. Focusing on the positives allows swimmers to see the best in themselves, keeping their self-confidence up and their motivation to continue swimming strong.

If you coach swimmers or are a swimmer yourself, understand that losing motivation is normal. Finding positive ways to gain the motivation to swim back is the key to your long-term success. Finding ways that work for you and your swimmers will yield everyone the best results.





Training Beginners for Competitive Swimming

5 09 2012

Whether you are trying to train a child or you are an adult who wants to get started in competitive swimming, the training is the same. Learning the proper swimming methods in the water, as well as practicing certain drills on dry land, will provide you with the best competitive swimming experience. Your body needs endurance and strength to succeed, which can be reached in a variety of ways.

Training Swim Gear

The proper swim gear can help swimmers build endurance and strength.

Build Endurance

While it is important to perfect the four major strokes, you will need to be able to build your endurance and strength to be competitive. Before perfecting any stroke, you should focus on endurance. Kickboards are a great way to build endurance because it allows swimmers to focus solely on their legs and not on the movement of their arms or head. Keeping their head above water, swimmers can perfect their kick, slowly increasing the number of laps they can do comfortably.

Strokes

Once the endurance is built up, swimmers can learn to perfect their strokes. The four major strokes are freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. Focusing on one stroke at a time will help swimmers perfect each one before moving on to another. Once the strokes are perfected, swimmers can then learn to vary them within each swimming session; this will allow them to participate in medley races that incorporate two or more strokes in the same race.

Strength

Strength is an important component of competitive swimming. Once swimmers have mastered the endurance, you can begin adding training tools, such as pull buoys and swim paddles, to give swimmers the additional resistance required to build up their strength. A pull buoy allows swimmers to keep their legs stable, while their arms get the intense workout, pulling the body through the water. Swim paddles give swimmers extra resistance as their arms skim the water, allowing the body to build more strength. Swimmers can also practice weight training outside the water to further their strength in the water.

Training beginning swimmers to be able to participate in competitive swimming is a process that can easily be done if it is taken slowly. Children and adults can learn to swim competitively by working on improving endurance, perfecting their strokes and building up their strength. Swimming is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages; it is never too late to begin perfecting your swimming to participate in competitive races.








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