Splash - March / April 2011 - (Page 6)

MIKe GUSTAFSON COLLEGE SWIMMING FAQs Q: WILL MY COLLEGE COACh BE NICE? A: Approach each practice with a “Terminator” mentality, never miss practice, laugh like it’s nothing and love 800 freestyle sets – then sure. Your coach will seem nice. But chances are, one day you’ll hit that alarm at 5:15 a.m. and groggily think, “I have [insert imaginary disease]. I’ll miss morning practice.” Then your coach stops being nice. Your college coach is a mixture of Santa and the KGB: He knows if you’ve been bad or good, but also your fears, where you sleep, your class schedule, your roommate’s cell number in case you go MIA, and if you do miss practice for anything less than Mad Cow Disease, he will swoop down on you with the ferociousness and efficiency of Jason Borne. Q: shOuLD I tAKE thE suMMER Off BEfORE COLLEGE? A: Ask older teammates. They are wise, seasoned veterans. They won’t lie to you. If they say, “Sure, enjoy the beach,” then chances are you’ll be fine. Grab some sunscreen, and enjoy your summer vacation. But if they say, “Uh, well, we’ll be going 8,000 yards on day three,” then at least there are no surprises. Just ask. Q: Is COLLEGE sWIMMING sCARY? A: No. On the contrary, college swimming gives you an instant brother/sisterhood. It’s much, much scarier going to college in your freshman year knowing no one. Being on a college swim team is like having 20 older brothers who make sure you don’t get beat up on your first day of school. They become your best friends, your brothers, your sisters, your family. Q: WILL I GEt tO tAPER hOW I WANt? A: Throw away your preconceived notions about, well, everything. Taper, training, weights, cross-training, yardage, technique. As someone once told me my freshman year of swimming, “You know nothing.” And you don’t. You’ll get faster. You’ll get smarter. You’ll get stronger. But chances are, it won’t be how you want. So here goes: (Slowly crosses hand in front of your face) “You know nothing, Age-Grouper.” And that’s OK. Q: WhAt DID YOu LEARN fROM COLLEGE sWIMMING? A: From “knowing nothing,” now, I know a little bit. How to enjoy the water, never quit, give 110 percent and live a healthy life. Also, I know how to perfectly execute a foolproof excuse for missing work in the morning. (Thanks, college swimming!) Q: But Is It fuN? A: Sure, college swimming is not for everyone. But if challenging your mind, body and soul – with your best friends and mentors nearby – sounds fun, then you will have fun. College swimming is like journeying into your inner being, uncovering hidden strengths, fears and attitudes you never knew existed, and becoming better for that discovery. It’s a journey fraternity parties or allnight pizza binges could never provide. If college is a place to learn, grow and really, truly, discover who you are, then there is no better platform than college swimming. For me, it was an unforgettable, wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime experience. It wasn’t always fun. It wasn’t always easy. But I wouldn’t change a thing. any age group swimmers wonder: should I swim in college? Here’s some FAQs to help guide you, inspire you, scare you and enlighten you about some truths and urban legends of college swimming. Q: Is COLLEGE sWIMMING hARDER thAN AGE GROuP sWIMMING? A: Imagine an age group swimmer as a guppy, and college swimming as the shark that eats the guppy in front of all other guppies, flossing guppy guts between teeth, chowing down on guppies. It’s hard. But the good news is, it’s also really, really fun. Ask former college swimmers, and watch their eyes light up as they rehash their glory days. Q: hOW MANY tIMEs A DAY DO COLLEGE sWIMMERs PRACtICE? A: Depends. Some teams play games like water polo, have off-seasons and understand the term “student-athlete.” Others will overtake your soul, mind and body until you become a fully-fledged mermaid or mer-man. College swimming is like types of goggles. You just need the right fit. SPLASH • March/April 2011 m iLLUstratiON By Matt LUPtON 6

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Splash - March / April 2011

Splash - March / April 2011
Contents
Mailbag
Mike Gustafson
Swim Briefs/sound Waves
Grand Prix/justin Case
Technique
Nutrition
Strength & Conditioning
Your Photo
Training With
Athletic Foodie
Keys to Success
Why College Swimming?
So You Want to Swim in College?
2011 NCAA Preview
Top Ten Lists - Long Course Meters
Interactive
Getting to Know
Swim Nut Zeke
On the Ipod
Zone Athlete

Splash - March / April 2011

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