A Day in the Life of a Swimmer

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Katie Stanek

Reid Kobler (11) comes up for air during a meet earlier this season. Kobler’s schedule allows him to get in the necessary practice, rest and recovery for him to find success at meets.

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To many, the thought of swimming might conjure up a relaxing summer day at the pool or maybe a family trip to the beach. But to Reid Kobler (11) and the rest of the swim team, swimming is synonymous with PRs, practice five times a week and a sport that requires both time and energy in order to find success.

Swimmers compete in meets, which can occur on both weekdays and weekends. For weekend meets, which can start anytime from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Kobler likes to be up by 9 a.m. so he can eat a carb-filled breakfast.

“You gotta get some good carbohydrates [before a meet],” Kobler said. “You can eat bread with any of your meals, so I try to eat bread for breakfast.” 

Kobler,  who swims the 100-meter freestyle, tries to get to meets early, so he has time to get comfortable. It also allows him to warm-up before his race, which is usually a 400-meter freestyle or a 100-meter butterfly.

“[Warmups] are in the span of 10-15 minutes, so we have to do them really quick,” Kobler said.

However, no one can just show up to a meet and expect to perform well. This is why the swim team practices five days a week, which can be demanding at times, and requires swimmers to manage both academics and athletics.

“It’s a hard balancing game, you know,” Kobler said. “I try to either do [homework] during my study hall or right when I get home, so then I have plenty of time to chill out before practice.” 

While competing is something Kobler enjoys, it is not the only thing that makes him look forward to swim meets. To Kobler, it’s the camaraderie that makes swimming special.

“You’ll do your race, and then you have time to hang out with your friends or get ready for your next race. And you’ll know a lot of people from other schools, and you get to walk around and talk to everybody,” Kobler said. “It’s like a big party.”