Sunday December 9 2018
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Offseason Swimming Tips

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The season of summer swimming has ended. Caps, goggles and bathing suits are pushed aside for next season and replaced with book bags. But what if you’re not ready to throw in the towel quite yet and forget what swimming has taught you over the summer?

Things learned during those lazy days of summer can be beneficial during the school year. Below is a list of things you can take from summer swimming and apply to your daily life.

1) Hard Work Ethic- In order to become successful at swimming, you need to practice, practice, and practice some more! Michael Phelps did not become an Olympic gold medalist overnight; he worked hard both in and out of the pool. By developing a good work ethic in the pool, you become accustomed to working hard for other events you find important in life.

2) Dedication- By going to practice and working hard in the water, you are showing dedication to your sport. This is a great tool to have and can be easily adapted to school. You can prove to your teachers, guardians and most importantly yourself that you are dedicated to school by doing well in the classroom and getting all that homework done!

3) Team Work- Being part of a team is not only helpful for getting through tough practices and having fun carpools, it also teaches you how to work together with one another towards a common goal.  Being on a relay team and having every leg of the relay come together to complete the race can be applied in the real world. By working together with friends and family to create a peaceful environment you can be part of a winning team.

4) Getting a Competitive Edge- Swimming in meets and racing one another at practice helps to push you to be the best that you can be. By applying this personal drive in the classroom, you can become the best possible student by trying to get ahead and by getting all those A’s!

5) Friendship- Practicing and competing with teammates in the pool creates a special bond that can be carried outside of the water. Many of my best friends today are those who were on my team years ago. Creating long lasting friendships with teammates allows you to widen your circle of friends who enjoy the same things as you.

Personally, swimming has taught me more about how to live life than I could have ever imagined.  It has opened up many doors to traveling, higher education, meeting Olympians and most importantly, learning about myself.  If I can offer one suggestion, if you decide to continue swimming or not, take what you have learned as a swimmer and apply it within your life. Have a great year!

Caitlyn Harrington was a varsity athlete for the University of Pittsburgh Swimming team from 2007-10.

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