Many adult swimmers swim without a coach. Whether you are a lap swimmer, triathlete, came into Masters as an adult or grew up as a competitive swimmer who finished with a college or even post college career with national level swimming, you need to work with a coach. It doesn’t need to be every day, or even every week, but it should be at least once every three or four months. So, you top former collegiate are sitting there ready to stop reading because you don’t need a coach to look at your stroke. I dare you to read the bullets below, they will change your mind.
Here are my top reasons why everyone needs to work with a coach on their stroke mechanics:
- Swimming best practices change. Over time we get smarter and change stroke mechanics. You don’t care? You should. I am not worried about you getting faster, but its always be nice. I want to keep you healthy so you can still be swimming as an octogenarian. Many of the changes made over the years may not make us faster, they are meant to protect our joints from injury. Keep in mind your age group and collegiate career was relatively short. A good career may last 15 years, with a few lucky men lasting 20 or 25 years. Your career as a master can last 50, 60 and yes even 70 years. The strokes you did as a kid may cut your swimming for a life time short with shoulder or knee pain. Visit with a coach up on stroke mechanics to discuss changes in the sport that will help keep you from injury. Enjoy this, not to be missed, humorous video that shows how dramatic the changes have been.
- You are changing. You are not a twenty something any more, or won’t be for long. As your body changes you may start making mistakes in your stroke that you never made before.
- More about your changing body: More than one aspect of aging may need to make changes to your stroke to help avoid or manage injury. You become less flexible, you are slower to recover, you lose muscle mass. Not all at once, but over the decades you need to make smart changes.
- The yardage is adding up. You may never do the yardage in a day that you use to do as an age-grouper but your total life time yardage comes more from your post collegiate career than from your age group and college days. I am often heard saying “if you are over thirty, or ever plan on being over thirty you need to protect your shoulders (and knees) now.”
So, reach out and find a coach, preferably one with experience working with the adult swimmer. To help you out for the time between being able to see a coach, you can get a daily workout from our Training Center and stroke mechanics help in our Coaching Center.
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