How to Become a Pro Swimmer

Reese Herrmann

Introduction

Choosing to become an elite swimmer as a kid is a big choice. You have to sacrifice lots of things, focus everything on swimming, and put in lots of hard work. But it is also a good choice. With the right amount of hard work, and dedication, you might just find yourself on the gold medal podium at the Olympics. Someday all of your hard work will pay off and it will be everything you dreamed of as a child. Just keep swimming. Here I will tell you the easiest way to make it all the way to the Olympics.

Early Starts

A typical swimmer might spend $500 a year on equipment, that includes swimsuits, goggles, caps, nose plugs, kickboards and buoys for strengthening exercises. The elite swim teams travel three or four times a year to other states for meets, and parents often accompany the team. Plan on spending $4,000 to $5,000 for each trip three to four times a year when you include airfare, meals, hotels and mileage on a rental vehicle. Some of the most valuable family time they ever have together is at meets. If you are considering training hard enough to make it to the Olympics, being on an elite team is the right path. What some don’t understand is, a swimmer doesn’t get better by competing, they get better by training hard in the gym and pool. Professional swimmers tend to stick to 1 stroke, for example: Michael Phelps is a “flyer” his best stroke is butterfly. To become an Olympian, you must go to the Olympic Trials and make all of the finals. But first, you have a long road ahead of you if you are young. You need to work very hard everyday and be dedicated to this sport. To swim an event at the Olympics, you have to qualify for it at Trials. So Some Olympians only swim one or two events at the Olympics. Having a friend swimming with you on your journey to success is great. You can push each other to be the best you can be. This might also keep you in swimming if you are having a hard time keeping up and want to quit.
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Day to Day Life of a Swimmer

Swimmers should get a healthy breakfast before an early meet or practice. Peanut butter is great protein, and nuts are a grab-and-go snack in between events at a long swim meet. Carbohydrate-based foods give the best energy, and it also repairs muscle tissue. Dairy is a great choice for a boost to your day too. A before in-water practice workout can include planks, push ups, medicine ball workouts like mason twists, and reverse fly. Many swimmers repeat this 2 or 3 times. A typical weekly schedule for a pro might look like this: training four hours a day, six days a week, doing 10 pool sessions in total. On top of that I have physiotherapy, massage and strength training. There are no luxuries in training terms when you reach the top. I'm still up at 5:00 am, training from 6:00am-8:00am and again in the afternoon.

pro swimming

Most professional swimmers can’t live off of what they have made at the Olympics, so some go to college after they retire, or work somewhere where they don’t need a college education. Some even have to work full-time jobs to support their training. Most swim at least 5,000 meters and up to 12 miles. Most have to sacrifice having a family, their own personal time to relax, and getting a good education. And being a “pro” doesn’t mean you have to go to the Olympics, you can just be a highly trained, well-experienced swimmer. A retired pro isn’t going to train as much as when they were training for the Olympics, but they will train quite a lot. If you are looking to be a swimmer again after you retire, you can join a swim program only for retired swimmers. It is called “U.S. Masters”. Or, LMSC (Local Masters Swimming Club). You can go on the website and find places to swim near you and meets to sign up for. This is a great way to be coached by another professional and stay in shape. For example, Michael Phelps retired after the 2012 London Olympics, but his mom and sister begged him to come out of retirement, and he did. He will be a the 2016 Rio Olympics. He was only in retirement for about 3 months. He is a professional and definitely always will be one. Some other professionals are MIssy Franklin, Ryan Lochte, Matt Grevers, and Natalie Coughlin.
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Conclusion

Choosing to become an elite swimmer as a kid is a big choice. You have to sacrifice lots of things, focus everything on swimming, and put in lots of hard work. But it is also a good choice. With the right amount of hard work, and dedication, you might just find yourself on the gold medal podium at the Olympics. Someday all of your hard work will pay off and it will be everything you dreamed of as a child. Just keep swimming.


"With so many people saying it couldn't be done, all it takes is an imagination."

-Michael Phelps

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