My child is 10 and is a great freestyler. What does she have to do to make it to the top?

Zak Andrawos's picture

The first thing to accept is that there is no such thing as a champion ten year old freestyler.
Swimmers who experience success pre-teenage years generally do so because of accelerated growth, i.e. they are bigger and stronger than the other kids!
Another common situation is that as kids grow, change and develop, their ability to swim the competitive swimming strokes also changes – this year’s backstroker could be next year’s freestyler and then the following year they are great at swimming fly.
In the long term, the factors which determine success as a senior swimmer are the 5 Ps:
• Perseverance – the ability to try and try and try and try – and to never give up;
• Patience – it takes time to become a great swimmer – about ten years of consistent hard work;
• Physical training – great swimmers are usually the best prepared. It takes a high level of physical fitness, technical development and skills refinement to make it to the top;
• Personality – world class swimmers demonstrate some common personality traits – none the least being determination, commitment, the ability to overcome adversity and the capacity for accelerated learning;
• Passion – Swimming is like anything else in life: you have to love it to do it well!
Answered by Wayne Goldsmith who is one of the world's leading experts in elite level swimming and high performance sport.