Open Water Swim Skills
This afternoon I attended an open-water swim skills clinic hosted by a local professional triathlete here in San Diego. I signed up for the clinic at relatively the last minute and went in with relatively low expectations since I wasn’t sure whether or not the clinic was going to go beyond a very basic level of open water swimming.
I’m happy to report that the clinic was well worth my time (two hours) and money ($30). In addition to some great tips on skills for entering and exiting the water (I’m not even going to try to describe them here…it would be pointless), the clinic included some great information about cornering, sighting, drafting, positioning and little tricks of the trade (such as floating in a horizontal position for a water start as opposed to floating with your legs down).
All these skills were great, but I think the most valuable portion of the clinic came from the simulated entries and exits as well as the simulated race conditions we did with the twenty or so attendees. Just having the practice doing this with other people increased my confidence in the water ten-fold.
Additionally, the pointers we received on the state of mind one should have at the starting line were simple, but great. Something as simple as remembering to not worry about things you can’t control (e.g. other people, water conditions, weather, etc.) and focusing on things that you can control (e.g. your entry, positioning, etc.) will help me immensely in my first race.
Most importantly, this clinic gave me the confidence to go to the front of my wave on the swim start. I know I’ll be quick into the water and although I might not be the fastest swimmer on the course, if I can hook onto a pair of fast feet at the front, I can take advantage of the draft and the sighting of the person in front of me.
I’m a week and two days away from the bar exam and about three weeks out from my first event. I’m really excited for the latter and really just want the former to be over with already. I shall have my wishes soon enough.