PICKING THE RIGHT SWIM CLINIC
Not everybody grew up with the ability to swim on a team or attend a swim clinic. Maybe there wasn’t even a swim team or pool anywhere near your hometown. That doesn’t matter anymore, because somehow you found your way to a pool. Now that you are a swimmer, swimming is for life. A great way to learn a lot about swimming in a short amount of time is by signing up for a swim clinic. But how do you pick the right swim clinic for your skill level? Be honest with yourself about your skill level. Set some goals. Do a little bit of research about the coaches running the clinic. Then commit 100%.
Why should I sign up?
It doesn’t matter when you started swimming, or what your goals are. What should matter is your technique. If you have ever watched somebody looking effortless at your local pool and could not fathom how on earth they could be so fast yet look so relaxed…that’s technique. That could also be you someday! Learning to swim smooth is a skill that can be learned just like anything else you do. Good technique will not only make you faster and more efficient, it will prevent you from injury.
Things to consider
Honesty is the best policy. Don’t sign up for an elite swim camp if you aren’t an elite swimmer. If you have to ask yourself whether or not you are an elite swimmer, that’s not a good start.
Find a clinic or camp that stresses the importance of drills, technique, and even some basic training. The goal is to learn how to become a better swimmer, not to work yourself ragged and come out the other side with a shoulder injury.
Setting a goal will help narrow down the options. Be specific about what you want, then look for options that mention something that you recognize.
Reach out to the local coaches to see if they offer the services that you are looking for. If you swim in a masters program, as your coach for suggestions. Talk to other swimmers who you think have good technique and see what they say. Find a couple of options that you like and email the coaches and ask some questions.
What you will get out of it
With better technique you will be able to get more of everything out of your swimming. You can swim farther. You will be able to swim faster! There is also the possibility that you will even be able to swim farther faster! It’s one thing to watch videos or other people swim and then try to emulate that idea, but having a coach give you the tools while giving you the opportunity to practice them under supervision is a really great option. Know that you are doing something correctly rather than just hoping you are makes a big difference.