This is a post from YoungTri Contributor Patrick LaBrode.
This past weekend the Lee and Joe-Jamail Texas Swimming Center (where the UT team swims) hosted the 2014 Austin Grand Prix. The Grand Prix is a series of meets that take place throughout the year. The meets are all long course meters, and they pull in a competitive field.
There were many Olympians, American record holders, World record holders, and rising stars that raced in the pool I train in daily! Many athletes think the only way to improve in their events is by practicing more and training harder. But — people are also great visual learners! That is why our coach told my team to stay after practice on Friday to watch these incredible and successful athletes compete. By focusing on their starts, stokes, turns, and race strategies, we took mental notes to hold onto so the next time we are in the water, we can work on perfecting our swims.
I am very lucky to have the opportunity to swim at such an amazing pool that host many national events, and bring in so many star swimmers to watch. Although your pool may not host meets like the Grand Prix, I’m sure there are races not too far away that you can watch and learn from! You can also learn by watching your teammates practice and compete. Almost every day I am watching my other teammate’s strokes and turns to try and see what they are doing different than me, to try and improve myself!
And this doesn’t only apply to swimmers. Triathletes can highly benefit by watching triathlons – whether in person or on television. When I was competing in triathlons, I loved to volunteer at races. I was able to get in some community service hours and watch and learn from some great racing!
Good luck swimmers as the short course season begins to come to a close, we are almost there! Stay tuned for more!