College swimming advice

  • swimmer8671

    Posts: 429

    Aug 03, 2011 9:26 PM GMT
    So i'm going to be starting college soon and i would like to get some swimmers advice on college swimming.

    How was it, or is it?
    Do you have enough time to have a life?
    Do you basically feel like you just got the shit kicked out of you all the time?
    How do coaches treat you?

    Ha this topic arises as i am freaking out about swimming in college and i really don't want to suck or be ill prepared for what i have in store. icon_neutral.gif

    Any questions feel free to ask icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Aug 03, 2011 10:29 PM GMT
    I can only speak to what Club Swimming was like at NC State. My freshmen year, it was awful. I had been swimming since 6th grade more for fitness and health instead of purely competition, though I did compete, on a year round club team coached by ex Jamaican Olympian/Olympic Coach Andrew Phillips and when I got to NC State, I was suddenly faced with a club team that practiced for barely 45 minutes a day, 3 days a week. The team was full of overly dramatic queens that were more concerned with doing "social kicks" than actually practicing. At that point, I gave up swimming during my time at college. Apparently things have gotten better with the club team, but my experience with club in college was nothing compared to my time in high school.

    When it comes down to it, I do not know anything about Varsity swimming, but I would say, give it a shot and don't just think that you can always do club instead because you might experience the same nightmare that I did. Tread cautiously.

    Just remember that in college, everyone has time for a life if they manage their time well so I wouldn't worry about that. Also, just be ready to do workouts on land with and without weights, and expect that you will be practicing twice a day. Be smart and learn to manage your time as best as you can and you should be fine (that applies to everything in life and in college).
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    Aug 03, 2011 10:51 PM GMT
    Where are you going to school? Remember, the primary reason for being there is to get an education. Though I never participated in varsity sports, I loved Stanford's take on their athletic program, as stated above. For those who discontinued the sports programs, other types of scholarships were available. I hope your new school puts academics above athletics. Have fun and good luck.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Aug 04, 2011 12:10 AM GMT
    What D are you?
  • awm55

    Posts: 619

    Aug 04, 2011 12:56 AM GMT
    Varsity swimming can be brutal, 4 hours of practice a day and not much social life but if you love it then I would definitely so go for it.

    I have swam my whole life but only did club swimming in college. 5 practices a week, 3x60 min and 2 x90 min. Club swimming is probably the way to go if you don't want to dedicate your life to it and just want to stay in shape.
  • ja89

    Posts: 789

    Aug 04, 2011 1:51 AM GMT
    I swam club my freshman year and it was soo time consuming. 5am practices 3 times a week and 4pm practices evryday. When I finished practice, I would spend most of my time in the dining hall eating for hours recovering. Then add school to the equation and you social life will most likely be with the other swimmers, but they do party hard haha. The next year I ran track and I had even less time for anything but practice, school, eating and sleeping. Those guys were my social life at the time. It was like a huge family of long lost brthers from different parts of the world. D1 sports can suck the life out of you at times, but you will eventually figure out a balance
  • swimmer8671

    Posts: 429

    Aug 04, 2011 2:43 AM GMT
    Haha ok heres to answer some of your questions, I got a scholarship and was recruited to swim for this college so i can't just default and do club because i need money haha.

    Secondly its in the NAIA because it is a private university. The swimmers are pretty great. Its Soka University of America.

    I swim club in my off time now just to stay in shape and club and team practice are completely different specially since when you are doing a team practice you are far more motivated and it is way harder because your coach is trying to make you compete at state and nationals and sectionals and so on.

    Any collegiate swimmers have any advice?
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    Aug 05, 2011 3:19 PM GMT
    buddy, it's the same old grind. First - I'm 42, swam for the University of Washington and graduated in 1994. Things have changed, but some things never change. For instance, yes, you will be doing two a days. You'll be getting in something like 4000-5000 in the morning alone - and a lot of it shit yards.

    You will be tired, and you better eat a shit load. DO NOT schedule any classes before 10:30 if you can. If ur a freshman or a sophmore, you have no choice because core requisites always are early morning classes. Get a car with a hatch back or a SUV - as a team, we shared a van. We literally had timed segments where we went to the Expedition to sleep. We parked it by the pool building.

    You will need five hour energy drinks, and coffee - lots of coffee or some other stimulant. If you live in a dorm, use the hell out of your food card - eat, eat , eat - pizza pizza pizza

    Have a sense of humor and make trouble during workouts - it helps. Coach liked me. Trouble making butterflier - perfect combo of geek and freak

    If you can't sleep at night - take something! Seriously, you will need to sleep. You will feel like shit if you drink. So go easy on the keggers. will u be rushing? Dorming? Living off campus? will ur roommates be swimmers? Coach does't give a damn about your psych 101 final, in most cases, they don't care - that's ur problem. Get ahead of readings and mid term papers early so u can screw around later - either that or get like a 2.8 - not good

    Dude, its the same old thing, just at a higher level. Its just like your USS swimming life now - two a days, tired, big meets to get nervous about, some travel and some cocky competitors who come off the wall in your face. Just kill them and you'll be fine
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    Aug 13, 2011 2:47 AM GMT
    ** I have not done varsity swimming.

    With that said...

    Several friends were varsity swimmers at University of Kentucky (who is a pretty notable program) and their attrition rate was fairly high compared to the other varsity teams I know, but that's because of the volume of training and racing. The ones who quit appear to me to be people who don't particularly enjoy the high-level competition, or the ones who were considerably less successful than their teammates.

    With that said, make no assumptions that club sports are de facto any easier, because that's not necessarily true. I've worked in campus recreation for six years and have also been active in three club teams: UK Cycling, UK Triathlon, and now Triathlon at University of Arizona.

    Club can be exhausting. I was president of the UK Cycling Team and quit racing on the day of our regionals. I just couldn't handle it anymore- 300+ mile weeks, racing every weekend. However, this strain falls on the athlete because we didn't have a bus to drive us around. NCAA Athletes definitely get perks.

    However, as someone in college who trains 15-20 hours a week for triathlon, I don't think that volume is by any means undoable or adverse to a college student. If anything, three workouts a day plus a 20hr-a-week assistantship gives great structure to my life. For instance, I worked seven hours today, went to class, did homework, did a 5,000 yd swim, and a 5 mile run and have the time to be on here...

    Parkinson's Law states, "work expands so as to fill the amount of time available to complete it." Got 20 hours of free time? It'll be consumed. Got five? It'll be consumed just the same.

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    Aug 13, 2011 3:57 AM GMT
    Ok, feel free to chat me up anytime. I'm going into my sophomore year swimming D1 at Saint Louis. It really depends on what you're used to before. Honestly college swimming is easier than my club swimming in high school. That being said, I was in a really demanding club team that has turned out Olympians (defffinitely not me icon_smile.gif) I had to rely a lot more on self discipline to get myself motivated in the pool. I didn't do as well freshman year as I had hoped, but that was on me, not the coaching. It really depends on your coaching staff. Some of my friends say they get their asses handed to, but an NAIA school probably won't be as serious as a school in, say, the SEC. I have a friend down in Georgia that actually won NC's and her experience freshman year was tons different than mine. Just go in with a positive attitude and an open mind and you should be fine. If you have captains practices before season starts attend every one of them.

    Regardless, you will LOVE swimming in college. Just know you are there for an education and not to go on to be a professional swimmer (unless you are faster than I am assuming). Your workload will be much, much heavier on you, but you will adapt.

    One last thing: just make sure to make friends outside the swim team. You will get sick of hanging out, partying, swimming, and riding busses with the same group of people all the time.