It is important that a drink of water, diluting juice or sports drink is always brought along to every training session or gala. Dehydration can have severe effects on a swimmer’s ability to perform. It can lead to sore heads, cramp and also fatigue. Swimmers should aim for regular sips during rest between repeats and sets to aid performance in training. Hydration is also very important when swimmers are not at training. Carrying a drink at school to have a drink throughout the day and not just at meals could make all the difference. More than one drink may be required if swimmers are attending a longer training session than normal (the water fountain is no longer in use at the Galleon) or a gala where they will be on warm pool side for a long period of time. If a sports drink is brought, the preferred option is an isotonic drink. Please ensure that drinks brought on to pool side do not have a clear top or cap as this could cause injury to swimmers if lost.
What a child eats is very important for their growth. Energy requirements will increase when competing in any sport. The correct food should be eaten at all times (especially before, during and after training sessions and galas) to help with this. Therefore, trying to get them to eat more healthily will make a huge impact. Less sweets (treats are allowed now and again!) and more fruit, vegetables and foods high in carbohydrates are recommended. This is to ensure that they can perform to their maximum at all times. It is a small price to pay (for swimmers and parents) for what could lead to a big improvement in performance. However, treats like Jelly Babies, jelly and Jaffa Cakes etc. are good for a short term burst of energy and are recommended at galas, along with bananas etc.
If possible, it is recommended that swimmers have their dinner approximately 2 hours before a training session to ensure that it is fully digested.
Swimmers are expected to arrive not just on time, but early for training sessions (and galas). It is much better to arrive 5 minutes early rather than 5 minutes late.