Some people have the misguided belief that synchronized swimming is just an easy sport performed in beautiful swim team suits. That it’s merely dancing in the water that you can tune in to watch during the Olympic Games. But that is far from true; there is much more to the sport.
Synchro is a dominant display of swimming skills and partnerships. Furthermore, it’s one of the most physically challenging sports at the collegiate and professional levels. The physical and mental requests of synchro put it at the top of the pack, second only to long-distance running, for aerobic potential.
Synchronized swimmers need top-notch body energy to spin, flip, raise in and lift out of the water. The sport also requires excellent cardio power, and of course, the swimmers have to do it all while keeping a smile on their faces. If you run in place for five minutes and do a few whirls while keeping your breath and smiling, you might have what it takes to prepare with a newbie synchro team.
First-class physical and mental preparation provide the team with self-assurance. As a result, swimmers bring it all when they compete, including a swim team suit that fits the body perfectly.
Not every swimmer has inherent mental toughness. But studies show that if you have mental resilience – you’ll swim faster, harder, and stronger than you ever thought possible.
Here is the good news – mental toughness can be acquired or developed. Check below for a few things you can do to build your mental toughness as a swimmer.
Commit to Starting
People who have significant levels of mental toughness tend to need less motivation. They are committed to showing up and putting in the work. Before you get to that level though, you need to be committed to getting things started. So set your deadlines and stick to them.
Develop Beneficial Routines
Having consistency in your training is essential because it helps to build muscle memory. But you should be careful not to do the exact exercises and sets each time. Keeping your routine exactly the same may make you into a one dimensional athlete and promote a complacent mindset. However, if you are consistently pushing your limits further during practice, it can help you to develop into a stronger and mentally tougher swimmer.
Use Cues in Your Practice
You can use simple vocal cues to prime your brain and your body for optimal performance. For example, you can practice repeating motivational phrases such as “Focus!” or “I will not be defeated” right before giving your best effort. Eventually, your brain and your body will associate the vocal cue with doing your best. At that time, you will have an effective tool for exerting maximum effort at a moment’s notice.
Get Physically Prepared
Whether a person is a solo swimmer, member of a duo, or one of a trio or combo team, muscle preparation for synchronized swimmers is essential for:
- flexibility in the water
Proper practice and strength training for synchronized swimmers are the two most reliable ways to avoid synchro injuries. The proper swimsuit will also prevent some kinds of trauma. Strength training for synchronized swimmers helps to improve performance and muscle capacity. However, participating in the right type of strength training is essential. It is not recommended to go to the gym and lift random weights. Additionally, running mile after mile may have little or no impact on performance if you are not following a specific training regimen.
It is often best to have an individual program for strength exercises when working with synchronized swimmers. Exercises should be performed in the pool as well as out of the pool for the best results. Preparation for synchronized swimming is an every day activity, but you should not practice strength training daily. Some aspects of preparation involve speed exercises, resistance training, pool practice, etc. Synchronized swimmers also need to increase their strength and conditioning in certain areas such as the ankles, hips, and lower back, This helps to increase their range of motion, a vital requirement for synchronized swimming.
Make Everyone in the Team Feel Confident and Motivated
All members of the team need to be mentally prepared for competition. When all your teammates understand what is at stake and what they are capable of, it helps them to remain confident and focused on the task at hand.
One of the most critical elements of synchronized swimming is swimsuit selection. Top quality swim team suits fit snugly on the figure, boost self-confidence and improve performance. With the right gear, your team will definitely be motivated to rise to new heights and win.