By Coach Hadley, MV2.
After swimming many seasons with the Vikings, I know personally how hard it can be to wake up and jump into a freezing pool at 6 am. However, as gruelling as these morning practices seem, here are 3 reasons they are beneficial for you:
1. They help you build organizational skills.
At the beginning of the summer, many of the older swimmers have morning practices that end around 7:30 am and have to rush to get to school on time. For those of you that go straight from the pool to school, you are building your organizational skills much earlier in life than other kids. Making sure you leave the house at 6 am with a recovery snack, a lunch, a change of clothes, and your school work takes a lot of time and effort. Although this may be a little stressful, this life skill will help you immensely as you get older and need to manage a busier athletic schedule alongside academics.
2. They help your brain!
There has been much research done recently on the effects of physical activity on the brain. Multiple studies from around the world have shown that daily aerobic exercise stimulates new brain cells to grow, and directly stimulates the dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, which are the parts of the brain responsible for focus, concentration, organization, and planning. So, when you go to school after a morning practice, it will be easier to focus and remember the material that is being taught.
3. You now have the rest of the day off!
For those who don’t have double practices on a particular day, having practice at a time you wouldn’t normally do things (e.g. 6 am) is great, because now you have plenty of time in the afternoon for homework and friends.
So, the next time you wake up unmotivated for a morning practice, just think of these three things (or your own personal reasons) and hopefully you’ll be ready to work hard and take on the rest of day!