1) KEEP HEALTHY
Having a healthy lifestyle and nutritious eating habits is vital for performing at your very best in every training or competition.
Without a healthy body, it is extremely difficult to continuously and constantly achieve exceptional results and be the best you can be.
2) SELF DISCIPLINE
A good swimmer needs self-discipline and good time management, as we always find ourselves having to juggle between their studies/work and practice.
Especially for students, the way you approach training and work will have to be extra efficient as you have less time to work with compared to your peers.
3) SET GOALS AND TRAIN CORRECTLY
A goal without a plan is just a wish.
Competitive swimming takes away a huge majority of your day, so it is crucial to take away something from every practice.
During every training, you need to work hard and train properly and it is important to understand your coaches, the program and the key aim of every practice.
I find that a good training session consists of a mix of different drills which breaks down swimming techniques into different parts, focusing on improving one aspect at a time.
4) DYNAMIC STRETCHING
Body flexibility is important to swimmers, so we do a lot of dynamic stretching before going into the water.
In terms of equipment, foam rollers definitely come in handy when it comes to alleviating muscle soreness in various parts of the body.
5) REVIEW AND IMPROVE
You should always look for areas to improve stroke techniques, kicks and how streamlined your form is.
Swimming is not just a test of your physical prowess, but also of your mind and mental fortitude. During races, focus and emotional control are just as important as how many hours you put into technique and physical training.
Another key thing to cultivate is a habit of reviewing your practices and races. Every race is a reflection of your practice and gives you what you need to continually improve.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Born and raised in Hong Kong, Peony has dabbled in a variety of sports in the past, but eventually found her true calling in competitive swimming.
A swimmer with Harry Wright International, she describes herself as "all-rounded" with no preference among all four strokes and has amassed an incredible 21 gold medals across the Hong Kong Age Group Championships and HKASA Division One races.
Lee's idols are Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and Missy Franklin, with Franklin's book "Relentless Spirit" in particular a constant source of motivation for her.