Without Club Swim, High School Swimming Isn’t The Same

Club swimmers explain the benefits of training for the High School Swim Season year round on club teams.


Madison McCormick

The CIF Swimming Championship Finals on May 7, 2022, taken by Madison McCormick

The high school swim season is approaching rapidly, so you may be surprised to hear that most varsity-level swimmers have been preparing for the past year. Often their high school swimming performance reflects heavily on their intense club training year-round. However, most of the time the hard work and dedication swimmers put into their training is overlooked.

Swimmers that train on a year-round club team get many opportunities to improve their endurance, stroke technique and racing strategies in practice which heavily benefits their high school swimming performance. Most club swimmers say they practice 15-20 hours a week. Swimmers only swimming during the high school season often don’t get as much or enough of this training for it to benefit them. 

“Year-round training really helps us get better. Whether it’s a swim stroke you’re really good at or just working on endurance, I think the training my team goes through works on just about everything and helps us prepare for swim meets and for the high school swim season,” freshman Eliott Hong said.

Hong mentions his club training and the steps they take to prepare. He brings up working on different swim strokes and doing sets with more yardage in order to up his endurance. Without training longer distance sets often, it could affect swimmers’ high school swim season negatively. The longer sets allow for more endurance training, which almost guarantees better execution and less fatigue in races when the high school swim season starts.

“To prepare for meets I try to have a mixture of sprint and middle-distance workouts to practice my front-end racing speed and endurance. I also mainly practice strokes that I swim in races,” sophomore Cassidy Allison said.

I do believe that swimmers deserve more recognition. Swimming, in my opinion, is one of the hardest sports and having to train year round, at a competitive level, is a lot of work

— Hong

Allison is the San Marcos High School record holder in the Girls’ 100-yard freestyle, she explains how she prepared for this event and others. Along with Hong, she also mentions her stroke and endurance training during club practices. Having a mixture of faster tempo sprint sets and longer distance sets really sets swimmers up greatly for their races later on. Swimmers don’t get this type of training if they’re only practicing during the high school season, they have to be training these sets with their club team all year round to really benefit from them.

“During club swimming we compete year round and do lots of racing at practice so when it’s time for the high school season we’ve already been racing all year…high school swim season could not be complete for me without my club training,“ senior Kate Steinmeier said.

Steinmeier adds that during her club team practices, she partakes in sets where you’re expected to treat it as a real race. Along with the race sets they do, when a part of a club team it is expected that swimmers compete in swim meets monthly. This gets them in the right mindset and helps them practice their race plans year-round. She also expands on how her club training year-round reflects on her high school swimming performance. 

“I owe much of my success to club swimming year round. Swimming is a sport that requires constant training and attention to detail…to be at your highest level of the sport you have to be training almost every day year-round. If I just swam during the high school season I would be nowhere near the level of athlete I am with club swimming.“ Steinmeier said.

Steinmeier explains how swimming is different from any other sport. Swimmers can’t just leave their skills dormant nine months out of the year and expect them to be just as good when the high school season comes around again. Swimming requires dedication and persistent training year-round. Without it, swimmers cannot perform at the same intensity that they would be with club swimming. Often swimmers’ hard work and the differences it has to other sports allows for it to be easily, but unfairly, overlooked.

“I do believe that swimmers deserve more recognition. Swimming, in my opinion, is one of the hardest sports and having to train year-round, at a competitive level, is a lot of work,” said Hong.