Teamwork and the importance it has is often overlooked by college and open water swimmers. Sometimes, they are trying to maintain a scholarship, or they are seeking Olympic gold. While there is nothing wrong with giving yourself something to work towards, you can’t overlook team work and the importance it has.
So what is team work? It is the process of working together as a group to achieve a common goal. The college swimmer may see this as a group of people in a relay race who are pushing themselves hard in order to complete their section in the shortest amount of time possible. At the same time, they provide positive feedback to their team members, help them to improve their skills, and show respect, regardless of any personality conflicts that are there.
Swim teams that need to build their teamwork can do a few simple things to help strengthen their bond with each team swimmer. This begins with creating a help exchange system. To help gain a deeper understanding of how this works, the entire team needs to understand they are only as strong as their weakest swimmer. The entire team should work together to help build the skills of that individual in the pool and help to give them guidance and support so they know they are a valued team member.
This ties into the second part of teamwork as it affects the swim team. That means making sure that everyone is included in practice and competition. Different people have different strengths. It is important to take that into consideration when you hit the water. When you strategically work together, you can maximize the effectiveness of everyone in the water so you can work together and achieve a win together.
This does require there to be some trust in the pool. That means there should always be open honesty in the group. Be sure to communicate with each other and address any trust concerns as soon as they come up. If you find you’re struggling to trust someone to do their part, you’re focusing more on what they’re doing, as opposed to what you should be doing. The college swimmer needs to trust their other group members and to do their part to put differences aside for the sake of teamwork.
In order for the team to succeed, there must be a degree of commitment in place. This doesn’t mean that everyone spends every free second they have at the pool. But when the swim team agrees they will meet at 4:00 PM for 2 hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday it means the entire group is there. It is giving your best, no matter what else is going on in your life. It is understanding that the group is counting on you and you give your best, because you are committed to the success of the entire group.
Finally, the vision of the group should be on the same page. The college swimmer must have the same goals and vision for the team as the others. That way, everyone is working with each other. Otherwise, when you have one person who is serving their own purpose, the team begins to fall apart and everyone ends up losing. Teamwork is a group effort that will take time. But when you work together with the rest of your swim team, you’ll find that you have everything you need to succeed in the end.
8X100 as repeat: (50 butterfly/50 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke/50 breaststroke, 100 freestyle)
Pull with hand paddles 4X200 freestyle
20X25 alternating breaststroke and freestyle
Cool-down: 200 accurate swim technique
Total: 3600 meters or yards depending on the length of your pool