View Full Version : Group or alone?

September 11th, 2006, 11:29 AM
I'm back with another question. I'm trying to decide whether to swim with our swim club or by myself. Here's the pros and cons:

With the group:
-Social interaction
-I tend to work harder with other people to push me
-Better times (probably), but no flexibility
-Get my own lane 95% of the time
-I'm the slow one in the group
-Workouts are not part of a bigger season plan
-No sprint work (a 'sprint set' means 4x25 on :30)
-No technique work

-I can plan the workouts
-Time is more flexible, but the pool has really weird hours
-I won't be the slow one holding up everyone else's workout
-May have to share a lane sometimes
-No social interaction

Any comments?

September 11th, 2006, 11:46 AM
When with the group and you are alone 95% of the time do your own thing when alone.

September 11th, 2006, 01:21 PM
Swim with the group a few days and alone a day or two.

September 11th, 2006, 02:47 PM
Iíve always swam (practiced) alone. Group swims do not appeal to me at all. Not that thereís anything wrong with that.

You got the right idea, decide what is most important to you and then choose... or do both.

If social interaction, varied workouts, and constant availability of a coach were important to me Iíd definitely go with groups. But what is more important to me is having my own lane and the time flexibility thing. I also prefer to do the same thing for weeks and months at a time (I never get bored Ďcause swimming is my #1 meditation), and I hate using props (boards, buoys, paddles, etc.). Dropping my times, or improving my performance at meets is not a big priority for me, if they were Iíd definitely go with coached sessions. Another big reason I like to swim alone is that I abhor collisions, and I am more easily prone to injury because of a severe arthritic condition. Another factor is simply a matter of cost (at my current facility my costs would double if I swam with the coached masters group). I also fear that the swim harder with a group thing would be to my detriment as I tend to be pretty competitive and Iíd probably blow out my shoulders trying to keep up the normal healthy people.

If your current club coach does no technique work (or sprint work too for that matter), then find another coach/club. It is ALL about technique. With out at least some emphasis on technique you are totally wasting your time IMHO.

Forget where you are in the pecking order. Iím pretty confident the vast majority of your swim mates could care less, and if you apply yourself you will not be the slowest for long. As long as you feel better you are doing the right thing.

Iím a bit confused by ďBetter times (probably), but no flexibilityĒ. Iím guessing you mean better time slots for workouts at the pool, but less flexibility in the time slots... as opposed to better event times and less flexibility in your body. But in regards to the latter Iíve found that great suppleness in your body is a fantastic asset to swimming. This has become even more apparent to me as Iíve dialed up my butterfly practice.

Have fun!

September 11th, 2006, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by collegeclubswimr

With the group:
-Social interaction
-I tend to work harder with other people to push me

These two reasons alone override all of the cons.

Workouts on your own however do allow you to tailor the swims to your liking. Like geek says, a combination of both is a good idea.

September 11th, 2006, 05:53 PM
Thanks for the comments so far. Bud, you're right about it meaning better time slots for practice, but less flexible times. I guess I didn't say when I first posted that the group practices are not like most swim clubs. I am in college and carless, so there is no way for me to practice with a different group. The practices are completely uncoached, and various swimmers plan the workouts (which is why they do not fit into a bigger season plan). The group at practice is typically 2-6 swimmers, so if I'm the slowest, it really does affect the rest of the group, unless I majorly change every set.

September 11th, 2006, 06:01 PM
In that case, I would do it alone. It is worth it to have a coach who can watch and give feedback, but this is essentially being on your own, just a bit more social.

September 12th, 2006, 11:29 AM
Why don't you ask if you can plan the workout a couple of times a week? Talk to your teammates about doing more technique work. Maybe you could get your teammates to pitch in and hire a coach to come in once or twice a week just to make sure your techniques are up to par.

I find I work harder and enjoy my workouts much more when I swim with others. We support, encourage and motivate each other. If you try these things and don't get any response from any of your teammates, then I would try it alone.

September 12th, 2006, 11:49 AM
If only we could have a coach for a day or once a week or once every two weeks. Right now this is what I have been doing with the tri guys - 2 or 3 for a 30 min session at $30 a head. My 15 hour a week job.