What you can learn from a young swimmer

Sometimes kids know best when it comes to swimming.

Sometimes kids know best when it comes to swimming.

When you've been swimming competitively for a long time, it can be easy to forget the basics when it comes to participating in meets. If you want to improve your performance during an event, sometimes it's best to look to younger swimmers. 

In an article on the swimming blog SwimSwam.com, former collegiate swimmer Claire Forrest wrote that adult athletes can learn quite a bit from the youngest swimmers in the pool, including: 

Reliance on self, not suits - As adults, we sometimes get a bit too obsessed with our competitive swimwear. Fast suits are great products, but they aren't the only factor in determining whether or not you'll win. The youngest swimmers aren't yet wearing technical gear, and they're only focused on the race, not what they're wearing. 

The importance of listening to a coach – Granted, an 8-year-old will probably listen to any adult in an authority position, but they almost always follow a coach's advice. If you are swimming with a Masters group, listen to the coach or trainer and really think about the advice that they are offering. 

Time management skills – It may  seem cute when kids write their heat and lane information on their arms, but you also don't see them rushing to the pool at the last minute. 

"As you grow older, you think you're too good to miss your heat," Forrest wrote. "But we have all seen one too many a grown swimmer run to the starting block and fumble with their goggles before the official blows long whistle. No, you don't have to write on your arm anymore, but don't ever think you'll never have a close call or miss your heat."

Most importantly, youth swimmers know have to have fun! Try not to get too serious about competitive swimming.