5 tips to keep your goals on track during break
Every New Year there is a natural inclination to think about new resolutions. For swimmers–the New Year is really the middle of a season that started three months ago with less than three months to go for championship time.
The New Year resolution is really about how to maintain enthusiasm during the break to finish the season strong.
Here are 5-tips to keep your goals on track during break:
1. Don’t make yourself feel guilty if you don’t/can’t swim everyday.
It is important to stay in the water during break. However, a little rest is good for the mind, body and spirit. So if you can’t do every practice over the holidays, do not beat yourself up about it. It is important to note that skipping too many practices will definitely land you out of shape after two weeks, but if you miss a few don’t make yourself feel guilty. A little down-time mid-season is not a bad thing. Enjoy the break and time with your family and friends so when it is time to get started again, you can get back into gear with renewed enthusiasm.
2. Use the break to re-focus on the details.
As you practice during the holiday break, use this time to really focus on the details of proper stroke mechanics, perfect kick outs and breath control. These are the small details that will be the good habits you want to bring effortlessly into the championship season in a few months. Taking time out to reinforce these habits on your own time will solidify positive changes for your training and racing mindset.
3. Use the break to rest.
After a rigorous Fall of training and academics, use the time away from school to catch up on needed rest and de-stress. This will help your body recover and be ready to be pushed when you return. Make the effort to get to bed at a decent time; minimize social media and digital viewing, and in general reduce the stress. Your mind and body will thank you with a renewed clarity and vigor for attacking your goals in the new year.
4. Evaluate your progress.
Take some time to review your progress to this point. Sit down with a notebook or a log book and write down some thoughts on paper as to where you were three months ago and where you are now. Make notes on your time progression in meets; review your splits. Honestly evaluate whether you feel your conditioning has improved or your training intervals have improved. Take a few minutes to review what your goals are for the end of the season (in three months) and how you want to prepare for the championship meets.
5. Re-evaluate your goals.
When you take time to evaluate your progress, you will want to re-evaluate your goals and possibly make changes. For some, this may mean setting higher goals because you have already reached the goals you set in the beginning of the season. For others, it may mean adjusting the goals in a different way. For example, if you are recovering from an injury–you may not be fully ready to reach the original goals you set at the beginning of the season. Re-evaluate what you want to get out of the season and the championship meets and put that on paper. A mid-season check in will help keep you excited and motivate and on track when you return from break.
Holiday breaks do not need to be a tripping point for mid-season training if approached with the right mind-set. Be sure to communicate with your coach and let them know that you are keeping your goals on track during break.
Here’s to a happy and successful swimming New Year!