Training and Competition Tips by coach Ian Wright (Scotland)
Here are some tips from Chief Coach
Ian Wright to help you give your best
performance in competition:
- Competition Guidelines and Procedures
- Behaviour at
- Those Who Do Not Hope
To Win Have Already Lost!!!
Swimmers and parents are advised to adhere to
the following points in order to ensure competitions run smoothly
- You will normally be informed of meets
well in advance. Please make a note of the venue, date,
time (especially warm-up time) and events due to be swum.
- Swimmers should then set goals and target
times for each of the events entered. Each race is an
opportunity to improve and achieve one of these goals.
Try to set goals which are realistic, achievable,
specific and measurable.
- On the day of the meet, ensure you arrive
at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled warm-up time.
Allow ample driving time.
- On arrival, get changed and report
immediately to the coaching staff present.
- If cards need to be posted, ensure this
takes place. It is the swimmer's responsibility to look
after cards and post them, not the coach's. When cards
are returned, take note of your heat and lane number.
- Warm-up. One of the keys to successful
swimming performance is the warm-up. It cannot be
emphasised enough how important this is. The warm-up
should always start with a land based stretching and
loosening routine of 5-10 minute minimum duration. Follow
this with a comprehensive swimming warm-up. This should
last an absolute minimum of 30 minutes. As there is
sometimes less than 30 minutes available to warm-up,
ensure you maximise the time you do have as much as
possible. If you are in anyway unsure of how to warm-up,
ask the coach.
- When not warming-up or racing, swimmers
should gather in the Warrender 'team area' and
sit together as a group. This promotes team unity and
- Swimmers should wear Warrender apparel on
the poolside (e.g. T-shirt, sweater, shorts etc.) and if
using a cap during the race, this must be a Warrender
cap. Again this promotes team unity and greatly aids
recognition by coaches, spectators and other swimmers.
- Each swimmer is responsible for knowing
which events he/she is swimming and being on time to
- Before marshalling or reporting to the
blocks, swimmers must always report to the coaching staff
to review race strategy and goals.
- When reporting to the blocks swimmers
should always take with them, their race card (if
necessary), spare goggles and spare cap (if used). This
will prevent any last minute panic if goggles break or
- At the conclusion of each race, swimmers
should obtain their official time (either from the
scoreboard or lane timekeepers) and report immediately
back to the coaching staff present at the meet. This
gives the coaches an opportunity to discuss the race with
the swimmer and add positive comments concerning splits,
technique and strategy. If a swim-down facility is
available, swimmers should then immediately swim-down for
a minimum of 15 minutes.
- It is expected that any swimmer making a
final will compete in it.
- In between races, swimmers should rest and
stay warm. All energy should be conserved and used in the
- Swimmers should always make a note of
their official time (to 1/100th second) and split times
for each race they swim and record these in their
swimming log book. Any personal best times should be
highlighted and their personal best time list updated.
This will give you a record of your swimming career and
help make setting future goals easier.
- If a swimmer has been asked to compete in
a relay, it is expected that they will honour this
responsibility and not leave the meet early.
- The composition of relay teams is the sole
responsibility of the coaching staff and, good or bad,
there are always many variables to consider. These
include: the attitude of the swimmer, personal best
times, ability to perform under pressure, relay takeover
ability and the type of meet the swimmer has had for that
particular day and occasion. The fastest four individual
swimmers do not necessarily make up the best relay team.
It is therefore often very difficult to select the best
team and coaches do not always get it correct.
- Any swimmer due for a presentation of any
kind is expected to attend it. It is not acceptable or
respectful to miss a presentation (for whatever reason)
or leave a meet early without attending presentation. It
is also the swimmer's responsibility to know when and
where presentations take place. Further, presentations
must always be attended wearing some item of Warrender
- What to bring to a meet:
- poolside clothing;
- swim suit (if purchased)
- (if used)
- A minimum of 2 pairs of goggles
- Socks and soft soled
- 2 towels (or more)
- At least 1 water bottle filled
with appropriate drink - high energy drinks are
- Quiet games, books/magazines or
- Appropriate nutritious food - not
junk or fizzy drinks
- Loose change for changing room
lockers (if used)
- Whenever and wherever a Warrender swimmer
wears any item of club uniform, he/she should remember
that his/her actions reflect on the image of the club
club to all who see them. Thus, swimmers should behave in
an appropriate manner reflecting the pride they have in
being part of a team. Inappropriate behaviour will be
severely dealt with.
- As a matter of courtesy to the officials
and meet hosts, it is preferable that swimmers and
parents stay off the poolside unless they are competing
or serving in an official capacity.
- Similarly, as a matter of courtesy, all
questions swimmers or parents may have, concerning meet
results, an officiating call or the conduct of a meet,
should be referred to the coaching staff. They, in turn,
will pursue the matter through proper channels.
- As a matter of pride, swimmers should
leave the poolside in a neat and clean condition at the
conclusion of each session of the meet. This again is a
reflection on the image of the club and affects how
others perceive it and you. Ensure it is a positive one.
- Swimmers must always
compete within the rules of the sport and within the
spirit of fair play of competition. Swimmers (or
spectators) must never "bad mouth", or show
disdain for their team mates or competitors from other
clubs, whatever the reason.
- During presentations, swimmers should
always offer congratulations to the other swimmers being
presented. This is generally best accomplished by shaking
hands and saying, "well done".
- Start mental preparation earlier
- Focus on your performance and time, not
others or the result
- Have clearly identified goals which are
specific and achievable
- Mentally visualise your races and time
them with a stopwatch at the same time - can you get
close to the time you actually want to do?
- Go to bed earlier and gain more rest
during the day as well.
- Write down your pre-race strategy -
everything (in detail) you want to do on the day of the
race(s) right up until the start of the race - then stick
- Obtain carbohydrate supplement to add to
drinks and generally eat more carbohydrates.
- Have a large bottle of drink with you at
all times when at any swimming pool.
- Have small healthy snacks available to eat
- Make checks of all things relevant in the
race when at the competition (e.g. walls, blocks etc)
- Write down your exact warm-up for each day
and race (including finals).
- Pack your bag (yourself!) the day before
- Have a positive mental attitude at all
- Take responsibility for your actions.
- Stretch and loosen fully
- Write down your race strategies - how you
want to swim each event - rehearse these before the meet
and when there, especially during warm-up.
- Remember to focus when called to blocks
and in the "Take your marks" position.
- Warm-up completely prior to every race.
- Swim down for a minimum 15 minutes after
- Know what to do to calm down if you start
getting too nervous - have something with you to relax
(e.g., book, walkman, Gameboy etc.).
- Never think about pain. Pain is temporary,
victory is forever!
- Concentrate fully on technique at all
times when competing and training, especially when
- Give 110% in concentration and effort.
- Never quit or fear anything.
- Arrive early for everything!
- Remember, you're tougher and more focussed
than your competitors - believe in yourself!
- Give the best performance you can possibly
||Knowledge of Power
|I Will Try
|I Think I Can
||Faith in Self
|I Don't Think I Can
||Lack of Confidence
|I Wish I Could
||Too Lazy To Try
|I Don't Care
|I Don't Want To
- Where are you?
- DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES!
- EXPECT PAIN
- ENDURE PAIN
- NEVER COMPLAIN!