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Getting Motivated to attend Swimming Practice


Hi Gary,
I’m 17 years old and last year I was on a swimming camp and became very fit and the next week I went 57.1 in my 100m freestyle. I haven’t been able to even break the 58 barrier in the last year ! Any advice ?

This is also the same for my 200m freestyle 2.04 and my 400 which is 4.32 ! I have became stronger as my 50 time has gone down tpo 24.8 in 50m free.

I am not training as much as I used to and im not sure why ? Any tips on how to get back training more and more interesting sets ?

Thanks Sean


Hi Sean,

In many ways, you have answered your own question.  If you are not motivated to attend swimming practice, it will be very hard to improve.

While young swimmers can get away with not training often and still improving due to growth and development, swimmers aged 17 years rely on the training effect to help them to improve moreso than natural growth and development.

Setting goals is the easiest way to help improve motivation.  To do this, set a longer term goal and then create short term or stepping stone goals along the way.

My son is an avid swimmer and in the last 18 months he has set himself a number of goals. It is important to write these down and look at them each day.

To motivate himself, he set goals in every practice and goes into each session wanting to do a number of things better than he ever has before.

Getting back into regular training is your first goal and to do this you need to commit to the number of sessions you are going to do each week and then do this for 3 months.

Good luck


The Swimming Expert

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2 Responses to Getting Motivated to attend Swimming Practice

  1. Shun June 18, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    Hi Mr Gary,

    I am 18 this year and just started swimming somewhere around June last year when i joined my school’s swimming club. I have 50m free timing of 34.9s and i hope to go under 30s by the end of this year, is it possible?

    My coach has also pointed out that I am more of a distance swimmer but I feel that it does not matter as i am super slow compared to other members whom are sprinters and have better long distance timings than me. He has also pointed out that I am sorely lacking in power. I am also very skinny as I weigh 58kg and am 1.8m in height which is considered slightly underweight in my health report. (I do eat a lot though). My school club has 3 trainings per week, 2 days for swimming and 1 day allocated for gymming and then followed by a warm down swim. Each training is around 2.5-3 hrs long.

    I am also trying to learn how to breathe by my left side so that i can learn bilateral breathing as i tend to start loping. My coach does not put much time into improving my swimming and I am just following the sets he gives everyone to do. So i am trying to learn from outside sources. I do not mind this though as honestly, he has to coach quite a lot of members and there are a lot of people faster than me that would have higher chances of winning competitions.

    Recently, I had a 40laps (2km) set and my timing for that was 38mins. I do realize at some point that i enter a constant pace feeling after around 16-17 laps. How do I make myself get into that pace earlier? And how do i improve my long distance timings? Also is it possible to hit under 30s by the end of this year for 50m free?

    • Gary January 5, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

      Yes it is possible to swim that time Shun however you will need to do more than two swim sessions each week to improve that much. When you are in the gym you should focus on building some power. It may also be worth looking at the exercises in the Swim Gym Pro program as these will also help your core strength and power in 50 freestyle. Read more at https://theswimmingexpert.com/dryland-training-for-swimmers/.

      In regards to getting into a faster pace earlier, you will need to train to do this on a daily basis. Every time you come off the wall, get into a good strong rhythm and work hard.


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