If you’re a coach who wants to build a stronger summer swim team, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to know where to start, so here are a few tips to help you out.
Create a Season Goal and Practice Goals
To build a stronger summer swim team, you need to be ready with goals. And not just for the season but for each day of practice as well.
Setting a shared goal or purpose for the season unites the team. It gives them something to rally around and focus on over the course of the season. Create a team goal that is unique, meaningful, and most importantly measurable.
Once you have the season objective, you as a coach need to make sure each practice you plan has a goal. Training should be planned in advance to build your swimmers’ strengths and capabilities throughout the season to achieve success in the end. So the goal of every single practice should be aimed toward achieving the objectives for the training phase you’re in.
Practice Technique Consistently
Teaching proper stroke technique is essential in building a stronger swim team. And just as building a stronger team doesn’t happen overnight, perfecting your swimmers’ stroke technique doesn’t happen after one session. Some swimmers might catch on quicker than others, but it takes at least a few repetitions before it becomes muscle memory and comes naturally every time they swim.
So teach good technique and teach it consistently until it annoys your swimmers. Without good technique, swimmers will be swimming inefficiently. Even after your athletes have developed the skills, come back to them every now and then. This will help your team maintain the skills as you continue on other areas of their swim, whether through drills or just reminding them to be mindful of it.
Promote Team Unity
The keyword in “summer swim team” is “team.” And to build a strong team, there needs to be a sense of unity.
Researchers at Stanford performed a simple experiment to see if thinking you were part of a team would influence motivation and resilience. Participants were split into two groups and asked to complete a challenging puzzle. The “together” group was told to work on their own puzzle for a few minutes, and then they would get help from someone else working on the puzzle. The “solo” group was instructed to complete the puzzle on their own. The “together” group worked longer, harder, and even had greater enjoyment of the task.
It’s important to cultivate team unity so your swimmers can reap all the benefits of a team mentality. Team building activities are great ways to help promote this. Depending on age, fun team swim group games, food events, or even community service outings can strengthen your team.
Cultivate a Positive Environment
Swimming is a sport of routine dedication and willpower. To build up a stronger team, you need to work on their mental strength as well as their physical strength. Creating an environment that cultivates a positive attitude, encourages engagement, and finds ways to reduce mental fatigue will have a winning strategy.
Encouraging athletes with positive reinforcement helps them hear and heed necessary corrections. This can include truthful, specific praise and constructive criticism. It can also include bursts of energy and fun like breaking up your swimmers’ routine by finding new ways to engage them with new sets to bring a new perspective to the sport.
Be the Best Coach You Can Be
Great swimmers start with great coaches. If you want to have a stronger summer swim team this year, you’ll want to work on yourself as a coach as well. A coach certification course is the perfect way to develop your skills and grow in your craft. Whether you’re a new or experienced coach, everyone can benefit from a certification course.
We are committed to helping each coach become the best possible version of themselves.
At Summer League Swimming, we are committed to helping each coach become the best possible version of themselves. That’s why we provide a coach certification course. This course will provide you with specific tips and techniques from leading researchers in sports and educational psychology to help you improve. By the end, you’ll learn methods to help swimmers enjoy and excel at swimming, work as a team, and ways to provide a more positive experience.
Let Summer League Swimming help you become equipped with the tools needed to positively impact your swimmers. No matter where you are in the United States, let us help you reach your full potential!