If you’re the parent of an avid swimmer, you’ve probably had some discussions about your child trying out for the local swim team. Once the decision to try out has been made, it’s time to prepare for the tryouts in earnest. So what should your child do so they can be as prepared as possible when it’s time to try out?
Learn What to Expect
Knowledge is power, so encourage your child to talk to current team members and coaches about what to expect, both in regards to tryouts and what it means to be on the team. What are practice schedules like? How frequently does the team attend meets? What level are swim team members at? Most importantly, when and where are the tryouts and how long do they go for? All of that is important information your child needs to understand before trying it out.
Swimming is an important part of preparing for tryouts, but it’s not the only way to prepare. Working out outside of the pool, also called dryland, is a great way to build the strength and endurance needed to do well during tryouts. That is, as long as the workouts are targeted towards building lean muscle. Bulking up can easily backfire. It makes the body less streamlined and can slow a swimmer down. Calisthenics like pushups, squats, crunches, planks, and jumping jacks can be great exercises for swimmers looking to improve their strength and cardiovascular endurance.
Dryland can be great, but your child is trying out for the swim team. That means they need to practice swimming. Your child should be proficient in the four competitive swimming strokes: butterfly, freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke. They don’t necessarily have to be perfect, but they should be able to demonstrate each. This is where private swim lessons can pay off. During these lessons, your child can get feedback on their form that allows them to improve faster and improve their chances of doing well during tryouts.
Knowing what to expect, working out, and practicing are good ways for your child to prepare, but that’s not everything. They should also have a decent practice suit, goggles, and swim cap. It’s also important to make sure they eat a nutritious, balanced diet and get plenty of sleep. That way they’ll have the energy they need to bring their best to tryouts.
Breath control is a big deal for competitive swimmers. Click here to see SwimJim’s tips for improving underwater breath control today!