Frequently Asked Questions: This page contains answers to common questions of students and parents. In reference to competitive swimming as well as other aspects of swimming.
- How can I motivate myself to have a better practice?
- Why are my times better at age 10 than at age 14?
- How can I prevent getting muscle cramps when wearing fins?
- My child has a fear of diving off the starting block. What can I do?
- How can my child master the flip turn?
- What foods should my child be eating pre race?
- What is the under water rule off the turns in a 50-meter race?
- What is the rule regarding, body piercing, tattoos, and jewelry?
- What is USS swiming?
- What should I know if I want to swim in college?
- Can plyometric training be beneficial as part of a training program?
- Is there any way to prevent ear infections after swimming?
How can I motivate myself to have a better practice?
Bring a positive attitude with you to every practice. Many swimmers set
to win the race but forget to set goals to win the practice. Set goals for
practice as well. Things like taking fewer strokes in a free style set,
setting your head on back, fly and breast. Ask your coach for additional
Why are my times better at age 10 than at age 14?
I am a fourteen-year-old male. My times as a ten and under were better than
they are now. Why?
There are several reasons this might be happening. Mostly it is do to
physical changes occurring in your body during puberty. This also has an
effect on your mental outlook as well. So stay positive! Continue to work
hard and be patient your times will improve again.
How can I prevent getting muscle cramps when wearing fins?
Make sure you are kicking properly. Ask your coach to observe you. Be sure
you have enough potassium (you can get this from certain fruits and
vegetables in your diet) and that you are drinking water before, during and
after practice. Some sports drinks are good too but you may want to cut the
drink with water. Stretch properly before and after practice. If you have
enough time between repeats in a set you can stretch your legs in the water
My child has a fear of diving off the starting block. What can I do?
Establish a good dive from the edge of the pool. Have the swimmer jump
off the starting block until comfortable with this skill. Then progress to a
dive from the starting block, with practice the fear will eventually go away.
How can my child master the flip turn?
Have your child talk to the coach about this concern. Coaches appreciate the
child�s interest in wanting to improve. It takes a lot of practice
to �master� a skill, be patient.
What foods should my child be eating pre race?
Pasta should be reserved as a treat about 3 days prior to the meet. Your
child can get the fuel needed for race energy from other sources of
carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables. Eat light snacks prior to the
meet. Raisins, energy bars, dried fruit, fresh fruit, drink water or sports
drinks. Swimmers should eat lightly throughout the meet to maintain energy.
Wait until post meet for the large meal.
What is the under water rule off the turns in a 50-meter race?
The rule states that the swimmer must surface prior to the 15 meter mark off
the start and the turn, regardless of the length of the race. Be sure to
check with the official prior to the start of the meet where the mark is
located in the pool. Some are already marked on the lane line others on the
side of the pool.
What is the rule regarding, body piercing, tattoos, and jewelry?
Rules concerning this vary. Check with the officials prior to the meet, or
you can check with the following organizations PIAA, NCAA, USS, YMCA, each
organization may have their own interpretation regarding this rule.
What is USS swiming?
http://usaswimming.org This is the web site for United States Swimming. You
will find answers to many of your questions on this site.
What should I know if I want to swim in college?
I am a sophomore in high school. I have been swimming since I was six. I
would like to swim in college. How can I find out if there is scholarship
money available for swimming?
At the end of you sophomore year you and your parents should begin to visit
those schools that you are interested in attending. Depending if the school
is Division I, II, or III will determine what is available. Also there are
recruiting guidelines that must be followed by the coaches. Coaches are
interested in swimmers with good academic standing not just ability.
Can plyometric training be beneficial as part of a training program?
Perform plyometric exercises that are specific to swimming. There is a lot
information on this aspect of training. Using a search engine on the
type in swimming and plyometrics and tap into the many resources available
Consult your athletic trainer or physician before beginning plyometric
Is there any way to prevent ear infections after swimming?
Swimming in a pool, lake, or ocean and letting the water stay in the ear can
change the acidity in the ear canal, making it more prone to infection from
whatever bacteria are lurking in the water.
One way to prevent "swimmer's ear," an infection of the external ear canal
from the eardrum to the outside world, is to use earplugs to keep water out.
You can also rinse your ears after swimming with white vinegar, alcohol, or
a half-and-half solution you can make at home. And you can also buy over-the-
counter products such as Swim Ear (mostly alcohol) or prescription acetic
acid drops for use after swimming.
You can also learn to leave your ear wax alone. One of the biggest reasons
people get swimmer's ear is overzealous attempts to remove ear wax. "Earwax
waterproofs the ear canal. It should not be cleaned out," said Dr. Jennifer
Smullen, an otolaryngologist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Attempting to remove ear wax with Q-tips, bobby pins, safety pins, or even
fingernails can also traumatize the canal enough to allow bacteria to
penetrate the skin of the canal, causing infection, said Dr. Eli Grunstein,
an associate professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at
Columbia University Medical Center and an attending physician at Morgan
Stanley Children's Hospital in New York.
If you do get swimmer's ear, which can become quite painful, see your
doctor, who will likely prescribe antibiotic drops. If your ear canal is
very swollen, making it impossible for drops to get in, the doctor may
insert a small "wick" that acts like a sponge to help get the drops into the
canal. If the pain is severe, the doctor may also prescribe pain medication.