When you're watching the most talented swimmers compete for a coveted spot on the most elite team in the world, you have to wonder what they do to get there. Eating right and paying attention to nutrition for swimmers is part of it, but what else are they doing? Here's our list of five things that make up an elite swim club.
1. It's Full Time
Being part of an elite swim club is not something that you do as a hobby. It's a full time commitment. When you're looking to join an elite swim club, learn about the commitment level of your teammates. If everyone is dedicated to being the best, you're more likely to perform at your best, too.
And being "full time" doesn't just mean logging loads of hours at the pool. It means paying attention to your diet, to the amount of hydration you're getting, and to the quality of your sleep during those "off hours". Doing all of this puts you on the path to performing well above the rest.
2. Have a Plan
When you're part of an elite swim club, you'll notice that everyone follows a plan. The best athletes sit down with their coaches at the beginning of the season to set goals, and then consistently check in to see if they're on track as the weeks go by. Waiting until the week before the big race isn't a good strategy.
3. The Glass is Half Full
Yes, while hydration is important for swimmers, we're actually referring to your attitude. The best swimmers have a positive outlook and are generally optimistic about their goals and performance. And this positive attitude rubs off on your teammates; when you hit a rough spot, your fellow athletes will be there to push you and get you back on track to have a good performance the next time around.
4. Accept Criticism
In a similar vein as the positive attitude is being able to receive constructive criticism from your coach and teammates. When you've had a less than stellar performance and you didn't make that desired time, be open to changing your technique and listen to the feedback. One of the benefits of belonging to an elite swim club is having access to the tips and tricks of other great swimmers, so take advantage of the wealth of information that is around you. Be open-minded about any criticism and use it to your advantage.
5. The Long Haul
And last, but definitely not least, the best swimmers are devoted to the long road ahead. They know that being part of an elite swim club means years of hard work. They don't let a bad day derail them, but instead get up the next day and commit to another grueling practice session.
Perfection takes time and swimmers who are in the sport for the long haul know that they need to develop different skills to become the best. Right when you master your underwater kicking, your coach may tell you that it's time to refine your stroke. That's okay; over time you'll hone each skill and gradually become the best swimmer you can be!
Becoming an elite swimmer has many components, and one of those is nutrition. Here at P2Life we take nutrition for swimmers seriously and have a range of products to support your performance. For more articles about how optimal nutrition can help you achieve your swimming goals, check out our blog here!