How to Stay Relaxed and Focused During a Swim Meet

How to Stay Relaxed and Focused During a Swim Meet

Whether you’ve been involved in competitive swimming for some time or you’re just getting started, you’ve likely felt the butterflies in your stomach before a big race or even before your first couple of practices when you don’t know what to expect. The good news is you don’t have to feel that way. While being nervous is completely normal, swim teams find ways to relax so they can perform better.

Competitive swimming doesn't have to be stressful.
There are ways to relax before your competitive swimming meets.

Focus on the Simple

It’s easy to lose sight of the competitive swimming techniques you’ve worked so hard on. It’s also easy to over complicate things when you’re facing an important race. The good news is this can often be resolved by focusing on what you know so you can tap into your power and swim your best.

Ignore Your Surroundings

Whether you feel intimidated by your competitors or you easily get distracted by their routines, ignoring your surroundings can be the perfect way to calm some of your anxiety and nervousness. A great way to do this is to use an MP3 player and ear buds to distract yourself from the sounds around you and help you focus on the task at hand. Choose music that calms your nerves and helps you concentrate.

Remember Past Performances

While no one likes to think about the races they feel they have failed in, it’s highly likely there are also past races you feel great pride in and felt you swam your absolute best. Focus on those races and what you did before and during them. When you remember the times you have performed well, you can feel more confident in your ability to do so during this race as well.

Practice Deep Breathing

Deep breathing can greatly relax the body, helping you center your mind and prepare your body for your next race. Closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths when you’re feeling stressed out can do wonders for your anxiety level.

Feeling nervous for your next race is perfectly normal. It’s up to you to learn how to channel that anxiety into a more productive swim. With the help of these tips, you can accomplish those goals.

If you’re looking for the best competitive swimming gear, contact us. We carry everything you need to be a more effective swimmer.

How Swimming Improves Athletic Performance in Other Sports

How Swimming Improves Athletic Performance in Other Sports

While competitive swimming is a sport in itself, these individuals aren’t the only ones who need competitive swimwear in Dallas. In fact, athletes in other sports can often benefit in participating in swimming, either casually as part of their training or as a competitive swimmer in the off season of their primary sport. In either situation, there are a number of benefits swimming can offer to athletes in all sports.

Competitive swimming can help with other sports too.
Condition for other sports with the help of competitive swimming.

Prevent or Rehab Injuries

Injuries are common in every sport. However, when you participate in swimming, you will condition your muscles without causing additional stress on the muscles or joints. This can help prevent injuries when you’re participating in your other sport as well. If you do become injured, swimming can be a great supplement to your rehab, working your muscles and joints in a less stressful environment.

Improve Your Cardio

One of the areas all athletes need to work on is their cardio. There are many ways to work on this aspect of your health and stamina, but swimming can be one of the best options. Instead of heading to the gym and working up a sweat on the machines, you can jump in the pool and enjoy yourself while you work on your cardio.

Build Muscle Strength

The stronger your muscles are, the better you will be able to do what you need to for your chosen sport. Whether you do a lot of running or you need power in your arms, swimming can offer the muscle conditioning you need to become a better overall athlete. Unlike the workouts you get at the gym, spending time in the pool and swimming laps can help strengthen your muscles just as effectively without an increased risk of injury or stress.

Better Lung Capacity

Breathing is an essential element when it comes to participating in any sport. While you will learn how to hold your breath for longer, you will also learn how to better control your breathing. This, in turn, increases overall lung capacity. In the end, you will find your heart rate returns to normal much faster after working out, allowing you to perform better on the field without causing more stress on your body.

If you’re looking for performance swimwear so you can boost your performance in other sports, contact us. We carry everything you need to add swimming to your training regiment.

Preventing and Treating 5 Common Swimming Conditions

Preventing and Treating 5 Common Swimming Conditions

Even though swimming is great for the mind and body, there are chemicals in swimming pools that can actually lead to problems as well. It’s important for those who participate in competitive swimming to learn more about the conditions that can occur and how you can prevent them so you can stay safer and healthier in the water.

Competitive swimming can lead to a number of problems.
Learn how to prevent common problems in competitive swimming.

Dry Skin or Rashes

You’re surrounded by water so how can you possibly get dry skin from swimming? One of the leading contributors to dry skin or rashes after you get out of the water is not properly drying off. Chlorine and other chemicals will stick to your skin if you simply dry off. Instead, rinse off with warm or cold water and then dry yourself thoroughly by patting with a towel. Never air dry. Using a hydrating moisturizer can also help.

Brittle Hair

Your skin isn’t the only thing that can dry out after you spend time in the pool. This isn’t solely because of the chemicals, however. The water also strips the natural oils from the hair. Wearing a swim cap can help, but it isn’t the only solution. Rinse your hair when you exit the pool and wash it if possible. A good leave-in conditioner can also be beneficial. When drying, wrap your hair in a towel, squeeze out any excess moisture and then pat dry.

Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear is another common condition that occurs when water because trapped in the ears. A swim cap can also help with this issue, but many swimmers also choose to ear plugs. If you don’t, be sure to dry your ears out as well as you can after you get out of the pool. Ear drops can also help dry out any excess water you can’t reach.

Cramps

We’ve all heard the old wive’s tale not to go swimming within an hour of eating to avoid cramps. However, cramping can occur regardless. Staying properly hydrated by drinking enough water is one way to prevent this problem. Bananas can also help increase potassium levels in the body, which can avoid cramping as well.

Red Eyes

The eyes can easily be irritated by the chemicals found in pool water. Swimming goggles keep the water out of the eyes, which means they can’t get irritated by the chemicals found in the water. In addition, flushing your eyes out with clean water can also help. If you do get red eyes, though, eye drops can remove the redness and irritation.

If you’re looking for the right competitive swimming products in Dallas, contact us. We can help prevent these and other problems swimmers may often experience.

Improve Your Technique With Swim Paddles

Improve Your Technique With Swim Paddles

When it comes to competitive swimming, there are a lot of pieces of gear you need to ensure your training is as effective as possible. Swim paddles are one of the most overlooked training tools because many people don’t realize what benefit they could possibly have. As you shop for your competitive swimming products in Dallas, consider how you can improve your technique by adding swim paddles to your rotation.

Swim paddles are a valuable training tool.
Learn how you can benefit from swim paddles.

Build Your Power

One of the ways swim paddles can help improve your swimming is to help you build power. When you wear these paddles on your hands, it generates increased resistance against the water. This means you need to work harder to propel yourself forward, which gives your muscles a greater work out. While it’s important not to overuse your paddles, the more you use them, the more power you will develop.

Correct Your Technique

A good performance in competitive swimming hinges on using the proper technique. The longer you’re involved in swimming, the easier it is to fall into lazy habits that can have a negative impact on your race times. Swimming paddles can help you focus on how you are moving your hands in the water, forcing you to think about your technique. If you aren’t swimming properly, the swim paddles will hinder your swimming more than they will help.

Mix up Your Workout

Doing the same training exercises over and over can become repetitive and can actually hurt your performance. Your mind may grow weary of swimming and it can increase the risk of giving up altogether. If you aren’t already using swim paddles, adding them to your work out can help mix things up and ensure you are focusing on every aspect of your competitive swimming so you can do better.

Ideal for All Strokes

The good news is using swimming paddles is it works well for all strokes. It doesn’t matter whether you’re focused on the butterfly, the backstroke or any other swimming stroke, you will experience great benefits when you add this training tool to your arsenal.

If you’re looking for the best competitive swimming products in Dallas, contact us. We carry a variety of swim paddles, along with everything else you need to train more effectively.

4 Ways to Overcome Pre-Race Anxiety

4 Ways to Overcome Pre-Race Anxiety

When you’re involved with competitive swimming, there’s a lot to worry about beyond your competitive swimwear. Whether you swim on your own or you’re part of a swim team, you may feel some anxiety before your races. In fact, many swimmers report they feel anxious either the day leading up to the race or even just hours or minutes before. Regardless of when your anxiety strikes and to what degree you suffer from it, the following tips can help you overcome it.

Competitive swimming doesn't have to cause you anxiety.
Learn to reduce your anxiety for competitive swimming.

Keep Your Mind Busy

If you’re solely thinking about your upcoming races, it’s only natural you’ll start to worry about things. This is why it’s important to keep your mind busy leading up to your next competitive swimming race. Read a book, binge watch your favorite television series or do anything else that can help keep your mind busy and off your race. While it’s important to mentally prepare, it’s also not good to solely think about swimming.

Focus on the Bigger Picture

It’s easy to stress about just one race. However, when you’re part of a swim team, there are many more races to come. Finishing at a lower position for one of them doesn’t mean you’re going to do poorly the entire season. Therefore, it’s important to remind yourself not to worry about a single race. Learn from it and make changes going forward so you can do better in the next one. If you don’t focus on the outcome of one race, you’ll have less anxiety on race day.

Find Your Ideal Emotional State

Everyone is different and no two swimmers will be comfortable in the same emotional state. Some individuals prefer to get worked up, almost to an angry state, to give them the energy to get through their next race. Others do better when they are in a calm and relaxed state. Figure out what works best for you and how to get into that emotional state so you experience less stress and feel more confident in your performance.

Don’t Swim for Someone Else

One of the reasons many competitive swimmers feel anxiety and stress related to their races is they worry about letting someone else down. It may be your swim team, your coach, your parents or anyone else. The key is making sure you are swimming for yourself first and foremost. The bottom line is the individuals who care about you won’t be disappointed as long as you perform your best.

If you’re looking for the best competitive swimwear, contact us. We carry all the best brands so you can find just what you need to perform your best.

Why Hydration Boosts Swim Performance

Why Hydration Boosts Swim Performance

In competitive swimming, you still need to remain hydrated.

One thing many swimmers seem to forget when dealing with competitive swimming is how important it is to remain properly hydrated. After all, you’re spending time in the water so how could you possibly get dehydrated? Unfortunately, this can be a serious problem if you still aren’t drinking enough water. Simply being immersed in water isn’t enough, particularly because you are still sweating; you just don’t notice it in the water. As you consider the other competitive swimming products you need, don’t forget to add custom team water bottles to the list so you can enjoy the following benefits.

A Well Balanced Body

Your body is made up primarily of water, which means every system requires enough water in order to function properly, including your muscles and nerves. Drinking enough water ensures you can swim your best and don’t have to worry about any of the negative side effects of dehydration, such as headaches, fatigue and others. When you’re able to stay properly hydrated, you will find you swim much better in the end.

Makes Breathing Easier

Were you aware your level of hydration has an effect on your ability to breathe? One of the important basic elements of competitive swimming is proper breathing techniques. If you can’t breathe easily, you won’t be giving your body the oxygen it needs to function correctly. This can have a dramatic impact on your overall swim times and hurt your performance. As long as your taking in enough water, however, you can rest assured your breathing will keep up with your body’s needs.

Improved Cognitive Ability

Whether consciously or not, you are constantly thinking when you’re swimming. You need to think about your swimming technique, as well as make calculations and adjustments along the way in order to improve your performance on the fly. Studies have shown not being hydrated enough can impair the way your brain functions. Unfortunately, because much of the thinking involved with competitive thinking often becomes subconscious, you may not even notice your performance is suffering and your times are increasing.

How Much Is Enough?

Now that you’re aware of the importance of staying hydrated while you swim and why you should have custom team water bottles on hand at all times, you need to know how much you should be drinking. Because you’re less likely to feel thirsty, you’ll need to consciously think about it. It’s recommended to drink about 16 ounces of water prior to practice or a meet, as well as 8 ounces about every 20 minutes. Always be sure to drink plenty when you’re done as well to help aid in your body’s recovery.

If you’re looking for custom team water bottles, contact us. We carry everything you need for your whole team.

4 Reasons You Should Count Your Strokes In Practice

4 Reasons You Should Count Your Strokes In Practice

Count your strokes during competitive swimming practice.

Many times, swimmers are more focused on making sure they have the right competitive swimwear and are improving on their race times than they are on the more mundane details, such as counting the number of strokes you make. However, when it comes to competitive swimming, it’s important to find as many ways as possible to make improvements in your swim times. There are many reasons you should consider counting your strokes.

Preserve Energy

If you’re making too many strokes as you move across the pool, you’re actually burning more energy than necessary and thus costing yourself time. If you’re aware of the number of strokes you are making versus how many you should be taking, you can make adjustments to your technique so you can conserve energy and perform better.

Improve Your Focus

Many times, competitive swimmers often lose focus on the intricate details of their stroke, which can lead to sloppy swimming. When you’re counting your strokes, you’re also thinking about how your body is moving so you can improve your technique, as well as your swim times. Bringing back your focus is sure to help you become a much stronger swimmer.

Create a Habit

If you talk to most coaches, they will tell you counting strokes is an important element in becoming a better swimmer. If you’re not doing it, you’re missing out on an important training tool However, it can be difficult to start counting your strokes. The good news is the longer you do it, the easier it will become. Eventually, you will do it out of habit without having to think too hard about it.

Improve Breakouts

One of the areas swimmers struggle with most is their breakouts. Many swimmers have a tendency to push off the wall and drift for longer than necessary, costing precious fractions of a second on their swim times. When you’re thinking about how many strokes you take and you realize what a difference a couple more strokes could make on your time, you can improve your breakouts and get better times.

Becoming a better swimmer requires paying close attention to your performance and practices. Each time you put on your practice swim suits, you need to start counting your strokes and thinking hard about how you can improve your technique and perform even better.

If you’re looking for the best competitive swimwear in Dallas, contact us. We carry everything you need to become an effective competitive swimmer.