High school sports are one of the best ways that incoming freshmen can make new friends and form a community. The swim team, especially at public schools, is a great way for young teens to make dozens of friends while staying healthy.
Most public high schools welcome any level of swimmer for the freshman team, but some have certain time requirements for all new team members. As you get older, there’s going to be certain benchmarks you have to meet to stay on the roster and without off-season training, it’s going to be nearly impossible.
There’s a variety of different off season options for swimmers, but private lessons are the most cost effective way to get ready for pre-season and tryouts.
The Importance of Knowing Competitive Stroke Techniques
One thing that many people don’t realize is the freestyle stroke, so what most people think of as swimming, is an extremely competitive stroke to compete in. Because it is the most common and easiest stroke to learn, most people have been doing some variation of it their whole life. This means that some people have been able to really, really refine their technique if they’ve been swimming for a long time and are now extremely fast.
So knowing the other swim strokes very well and being competitive in them is going to help you be a competitive member for your swim team. For example, some variation of breaststroke is performed universally by anyone who goes under water, yet there’s a lot less people who practice doing it to get fast. So people who are fast at breaststroke are much more likely to make a team and be an asset to it.
All teams need people to swim these kinds of secondary strokes. Many people will swim 2-3 strokes pretty well, so going into swim tryouts knowing another stroke or two would be great for anyone looking to make a competitive team.
Part of the joy of swimming is getting yourself in a place to race and get faster than the people you’re racing. So give yourself as many ways to do that as you can by mastering other strokes.
The Competitive Edge of Private Lessons
That being said, private lessons focused on one or two strokes can help them taper some things and get some form corrections before tryouts. That way they can be at the top of the game for their next practice and competition.
As for alternatives, such as club swimming, they are usually just practices full of conditioning and off season competitions for people who are members of that club. That’s a year round commitment to week night practices, weekends of only swim meets one to two times a month, and sweet goodbye to your summer because they have national tournaments.
Not to mention, there is very little individual instruction in swimming clubs other than the broad stroke refinements given by coaches to the whole group of swimmers. These broad refinements may be unhelpful to your swimmer and even detrimental in certain contexts. Swim strokes aren’t a one size fits all deal, different body types need to do different things in order to maximize their speed.
So instead of blowing money on club swim team fees, just stay well conditioned for your season and get private lessons before going back to full training.
Getting You Ready For Swim Meets
The last thing that’s gonna be important to their swim team development is being prepped for technique changes. Before going into a meet it’s important to do some low intensity stroke work so you can remember what to tweak at the race.
Investing in a private instructor is way more beneficial to kids wanting to be serious in the sport. Instead of joining a club team or trying to just condition before swim meets, actually get help improving on the things you need.
Also, private instructors will be able to give you emotional confidence going into swim meets. For many new swimmers the first meet is a daunting event that can create anxiety and having an experienced instructor to get them mentally prepared for that is a huge help.
Ultimately, private lessons are a more effective use of your young students’ time and can help them be successful swimmers.