SwimmingThe Winter Break Of a Swimmer Isn't Always Restful

The Winter Break Of a Swimmer Isn’t Always Restful

The Winter Break Of a Swimmer Isn’t Always Restful; Finding the Right Balance

Winter break means nothing for college swimmers. After midseason invitationals, most college swimmers think Christmas/Winter break is around the corner. But do we ever get a real break? Winter break varies from a month to six weeks for college students. Nonetheless, that is not the case for swimmers.

December represents the middle of the season for swimmers. Some teams go on their annual training trips, which is one of the most brutal weeks for the swimmers. On the outside, training trips might seem like a vacation to the beach or to a new state. As swimmers, we know this is far from reality. Training trips are one of the most mentally and physically challenging weeks. There are two to three daily practices, with dryland work in between.

Every practice session is designed to take your body and mind to the limit and makes you question why you chose swimming. Even so, this is just preparing the teams for their championships.

College swimmers do not get a long Christmas break. Most coaches want their athletes back on campus early. Therefore, they can start practicing again together and not lose their focus on conference meets or nationals.

The break away from school varies between one or two weeks when the athletes go home to spend holidays with their families. However, this does not mean they stop swimming. Swimming is one of those sports where one day out of the water will take up to three days to catch up.

When home as a college swimmer, you may question yourself. Can I take a break? Will it affect my season if I miss a practice or two? Am I going to swim badly at conference? But, I need a break!

The fact is, swimmers who endure early-morning practices experience body pains, and overall fatigue can arise. There are days when swimmers want nothing but to lie in bed, eat Christmas cookies and spend time with their loved ones. However, that is not a swimmer’s reality. You must keep your head in the game and prepare for what is next.

Holidays also mean lots of food. But as swimmers, we might think twice about what we put in our bodies to maintain physical health. Once again, the question comes to our heads: Do we ever get a real break?

Mental health has become a critical topic for athletes, and a break is about giving your mind and body some rest. Spending time with family and friends, eating what you love, and doing something besides swimming can be helpful for your performance. Some swimmers need a break to miss the sport and return sturdier, or can find the right balance to both maintain progress in the pool and earn deserved rest.

Do not feel bad about taking a break if it is necessary. The pool is always waiting.

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