Get your Children Swimming!
“Children who swim demonstrate more advanced cognitive and physical abilities than other children, according to groundbreaking research led by Griffith University.”
This is great news for swimming fans. I always felt swimming helped my health, confidence and boosted my CV, thus opening a lot of doors beyond the pool.
I took it for granted swimming helped with social skills, work ethic and perseverance but the fact it helps with cognitive skills is a great advert for the sport.
Excerpts from the Griffiths University swimming study press release:
The findings of a four-year project indicate that swimming children have many advantages when starting school.
“While we expected the children to show better physical development and perhaps be more confident through swimming, the results in literacy and numeracy really shocked us,” lead researcher Professor Robyn Jorgensen said.
“The children were anywhere from six to 15 months ahead of the normal population when it came to cognitive skills, problem solving in mathematics, counting, language and following instructions.”
Amazing! Even though I struggle with early mornings, I’ll be signing my kids up as soon as they are out of the womb!
On top of consistent hard work – and the key word there is consistent – here are a few tools to increase the effectiveness of your training. It’s funny how far the little things go.
1) Write down your goals. It might be to finish the race, learn to swim, win your age group or qualify for Nationals. Whatever they are, they will help you get up in the early morning when it’s snowing, and keep you going when the pain seems unbearable, or you just can’t master that piece of technique. Remember why you are doing this, and stay determined to achieve those goals.
2) Learn from others. Train with people who are better athletes than you. Hire a coach or scour youtube for videos. Eat magazines for breakfast and apply the lessons to your training. It does not have to cost you a fortune, but you will learn loads and progress more while training with others. Be it their expertise or experience, or just pushing yourself while training with them. Make it fun by having a team.
3) Write a plan & stick to it. Decide on which days you will swim, bike, run and do core/gym work. Stick to it. Don’t give yourself reasons to skip a session. Don’t wait until tomorrow to do that work out. Make it a part of your routine. Trust me, it makes it all the more rewarding. And don’t forget those days off to enjoy doing nothing, eating junk food and staying up late. Enjoy the process!
4) Get stuck in! Don’tprocrastinate over the hard parts. Hate cycling? Jump on your bike on the weekend and go for long rides. Scared of the water? Dive on in. Get swimming lessons and gradually conquer that fear. Your strengths will take care of themselves (but don’t neglect them!). Turn your weaker events into solid ones and enjoy the process of conquering those challenges.
5) Enjoy rewards along the way. Take a day off. Have a glass of wine after a good workout. Enjoy that dessert and the lie-in. Go for a training camp at a dream location. Get a massage. Instead of a run have a game of soccer with your friends, or make a day at the beach with family after an open water swim. Keep yourself motivated, make training part of your life. I can’t emphasize it enough, enjoy the training as you work hard towards your goal. You’ve earned each and every reward.