Swim Meet Results and Post-Championship Blues

Swim meet results are in. Championship season has come to a close. Maybe you accomplished all of your goals. Maybe you didn’t. Either way, it’s completely normal to feel a sort of “post-championship blues” after your last meet of the season. With the official ending of a season of life that represented hard work, teamwork, structure, and more, the end of season blues is a natural end to the cycle that is a swimming season. But while a lot of people know how to fine tune the beginning and middle of their season for success, most people DON’T fine tune the end of season process in order to set themselves up for success in the next season.

You just swam your heart out for a season and got your final swim meet results. What now?
We’ll teach you in this blog post!

Let’s Get Started

Today, we’ll be talking about what to do at the end of a season in order to set yourself up for success in the next 3 Easy Steps. And, we’ll be teaching a few techniques to help a swimmer get through the post-championship swim meet blues. This process requires teamwork from all of the support systems in a swimmer’s life. So whether you’re a coach, a parent, or a swimmer yourself, this blog post is for you!

First: Talk Through What You Did This Season

The first step to fine-tuning your swimming at the end of a season is to reflect. We recommend sitting down and physically writing down or talking about what you did throughout the past season. This doesn’t mean what you did at the END of the season, but instead THROUGHOUT the season’s entirety.

Sit down and reflect on both the highs and the lows this season. Ask yourself, what are 3 things that I did really well? Maybe you got better at your start! Maybe you moved teams and made new friends! Or maybe, you had a personal setback that you overcame.

I’ve seen swimmers do this really well a number of ways. You can go chronologically, and go month by month. For example, “In December, I pushed through a really hard winter training season and got better. While in January I got injured for a few weeks, and had to kick through practices which made me feel separated from the team.”

Or, you can go by important categories in your life. For example, “In Freestyle, I improved my six beat kick. In my personal life, I got better at keeping up with both my swim practice schedule and my homework schedule.”

Here’s an example of a reflection I did on Twitter during this past season. But don’t forget, you can use them after all of your final swim meet results!

The reason this is crucial is because the swim season demands we take stock of how we did at the end of the season. There could be one or two meets or races that we’re grading our overall performance on! But, the reality is that as humans we are multi-faceted; we have many many layers to us. And it’s impossible to get better at all of the layers at once. So that’s why it’s incredibly beneficial to lay it all out there.

Marvel at how far you really did come this season, and how much you really did overcome. If you need, we have a blog post all about The Types of Adversity in Sports – review it if that will help you think through what you overcame! I promise you that when you look at it all, it may surprise you.

Recommendations for Parents, Coaches and Teammates:

This first step is incredibly beneficial to do together in a one-on-one setting! Help your swimmer remember what they did (the season can be long after all). Help them give themselves credit. Use this time to build them up. Getting through an entire swim season is an accomplishment in itself. Make sure that you place some value on that.

Next: Rest, Rest, Rest

Again, you just went through an entire swim season! And, getting your swim meet results at the end is incredibly intensive! Your body, your mind, your emotions, and everything else about you likely needs a healthy dose of rest. So whatever that looks like for you, make sure to place a huge emphasis on this. This could mean switching to yoga or some easy walks or Rowing when you’re not at the pool. It could mean sleeping (swimmers could always use more sleep!). It could also mean spending more time with your family. Make healthy meals, prioritize sleep and water, and thank your body for all that it did this past season.

I remember in high school and college watching my teammates struggle with this step. As swimmers, it’s drilled into us to work hard. And, it’s scary to think about what could happen when you come back from a week or two off. Feeling out of shape is so difficult. But I promise you, burning out feels even worse. You have the entire season that’s ahead of you to get back into shape. Don’t fall for the temptation of “getting a jump on next season.” This could be especially difficult if you had a disappointing season, so keep that in mind. Think of it like farming: there is a period for everything during the seasons. The planting, the growing, the harvesting and the resting. If you skip the resting and try to jump to the planting, you’ll likely not plant as much or as good of seeds.

Recommendations for Parents, Coaches and Teammates:

The number one way you can help with this is by SETTING THE EXAMPLE and SETTING THE EXPECTATION. I had a coach in college who actively fostered a culture of rest. He would oftentimes remark, “Make sure you aren’t grinding too hard,” or “Go do all the life things!” Because he took his rest and he reminded us to as well, it was much easier to let ourselves take what we needed. Without a support system here encouraging the rest step, it’s almost impossible for a swimmer to get what they need.

Finally: Fill Up The Passion Tank (With Something Other Than Swimming)

Y’all know that I’m obsessed with swimming – truly. But the reason I’m able to keep such a healthy, sustained passion for the sport is BECAUSE I have and keep up with other interests, not in spite of them. For me, I dance, I spend time with my cat, I Facetime with my niece, and I travel. For you, it could be all of the same things or none of the same things. Either way, a crucial part of making yourself ready and focused for the next season is by processing the last one and stepping away for a bit.

Dancing does so much for my soul!

I know that a lot of times there is only a week or two break in between seasons. That’s why it’s crucial to use it to the best of your advantage. See your friends without going to the pool, read at home with family, or hang out and enjoy your own company. No matter what’s best for you, just do something else, and watch how your passion for swimming bounces back come the beginning of next season.

Please note, if you are having mental health problems, seek professional health. If you want to train your brain pre-emptively to swim faster, we have resources with expert Samantha Livingstone to help you HERE.

Recommendations for Parents, Coaches and Teammates:

Doing something outside of swimming doesn’t necessarily mean you have to cut off contact with other swimmers! In fact, I see a lot of my younger swimmers upset because the end of swim season means the end of consistent friend time. Don’t let this be the case! But instead of meeting at the pool, meet for ice cream or a play date.

Get Your Swim Meet Results THEN Fine Tune

Just like in the farming example, we need to remember that there are distinct phases in a swim season. After swim meet results come back, it’s important to follow these 3 steps to calibrate yourself for the next season. The season of rest (oftentimes in between swim seasons) is just as important as the planting or the harvesting seasons.

When you’re beginning to start your planting phase again (after you’ve rested!), start with some swimming education! We have so much content to help with that. Read about what we have HERE.

Until Next Time,

Abbie Fish and the Swim Like A. Fish Team

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