October 2, 2018
Fall is the perfect time for college swimmers to get to know their new teammates and start bonding as a team. Connecting doesn’t have to be outside of training, though. Your team can use downtime—before the intensity of actual swim season—to get in a few group activities and fun workouts.
Here are five ideas to sneak in some cross training while your team bonds pre-season.
Running might not be the most exciting activity, and many swimmers wouldn’t consider it “fun” by any means. It’s still a necessity for building stamina—mentally and physically. The exercise can also help build leg muscles and reduce body-fat. So how do you make it fun for your team?
Join a themed 5k. Many cities throughout the U.S. have races that encourage wacky costumes—especially around Halloween.
Something as simple as changing the scenery of your team’s running route could make the activity more fun.
Similar to running, a nice long hike can increase leg and core strength as well as stamina. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and get outside. You can even kick it up a notch by planning a weekend away with the team. Camping can be a relatively cheap activity that will provide the perfect atmosphere for team bonding. Pitching tents, splitting wood, cooking meals by campfire, and hiking all require physical exertion teamwork.
Swimmers can greatly benefit from the balance yoga can bring to their workout routines and training. It’s a chance for them to slow down and connect with their bodies—something that’ll be welcomed during high-intensity swim season. On top of that, there are some yoga poses that work well for swimmers in particular; with routine practice, swimmers can increase flexibility in the ankles and shoulders, for example.
A large part of yoga also focuses on breathing, which is essential in the pool. The practice encourages deep, rhythmic breathing through stretching and body contortions—all while building strength.
Think about taking your swimmers from the pool into the ring. Using boxing as a form of cross training will help them build up the muscles in their shoulders. It also forces swimmers to engage their core. You can adjust the intensity of the drills based on the workouts you have planned for the week, so your swimmers won’t have to worry about getting too fatigued before jumping into the pool for laps. Plus, throwing a few slugs (safely) with their teammates, might help ease any tension or stress before it builds and causes rifts within the team.
Ropes and team challenge courses are a unique way for your team to learn to cooperate, build leadership skills, and demonstrate acceptance, encouragement, support, and connection. The course is actually designed to build group trust, so there’s no better way to kick off a new training season. What’s more, many of the “challenges” involve balance (or core strength) or upper-body strength.
Fun for the team doesn’t have to stop at bonding activities. College swim teams from around the country schedule their training camps at BBMAC for a variety of reasons, namely its state-of-the-art facilities and prime location make for an awesome experience. With two pools, a weight room, and access to a running track, your team can continue its cross training at BBMAC, or take a break and check out the many activities in Coronado and nearby San Diego to bond outside of the water.
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