If you’re competitive, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and want to swim full speed ahead – we know this feeling all too well, the excitement takes over. But here are some things to consider with regards to preparation to ensure your body is at maximum potential before the big race.
You may not know it, but Just Swimming teachers actually start each swimming lesson with a warm-up which might include a couple of laps of a particular stroke. This gets the blood flowing and your body warmed up ready to work. Swimming carnivals are no different and we make sure there is an in-pool warm up. This is also a great time to practice dives, turns, and finishes. It’s good to keep in mind that it’s very important that swimmers don’t swim too far or too fast, as they don’t want to burn themselves out. If you miss out on the warm-up, don’t worry – swimmers can also do a dynamic warm-up out of the pool that can include stretches, push-ups, skipping, flutter kicks, and planks.
The two outside lanes of the pool are used to practice dive starts, so just remember don’t start your warm-up in the outside lanes.
Each event will be called to marshaling during the carnival so it’s really important swimmers make sure they listen out for the announcements so they don’t miss out on their event.
Swimmers will assemble in a designated area before the race where they’re put into heats for each swimming event.
RACE START AND FINISH
At the start of a backstroke race the Official will blow the whistle and that means that all swimmers need to jump into the water. Once in the water the swimmer will hold onto the blocks with their backs facing the other end of the pool. The Official will then say “take your marks” and once the beep sounds the race has started. A good tip for finishing a backstroke race is to count the number of strokes it takes you from the flags to the wall in your swimming lesson or warm up. When you have that number in your head, take away one for your race as you swim faster than you would in a swimming lesson. This will ensure you finish your race with your hand touching the wall whilst still on your back rather than taking unnecessary time to turn and check where the wall is. Butterfly, freestyle and breaststroke require a dive start. The Official will blow the whistle and the swimmers will take their place on the blocks. The Official will say “take your marks” and the beep will sound for the swimmers to dive in.
PREPARATION IS KEY
One of the best ways to prepare for the carnival is to make sure swimmers are confident with all their starts, turns and finishes. If swimmers aren’t too sure on these techniques or strokes, swimmers are encouraged to ask their swimming teacher or Just Swimming staff at the carnival as they’d be more than happy to help.
The swimming carnival is all about having fun, testing your personal limits and revelling in the moment. It’s also a great way to meet other like-minded competitors so be sure to take in the electric atmosphere and enjoy the day! If you’re new to swimming carnivals, don’t fear – Just Swimming teachers and staff are here to help with any tips and advice you might need.