athletes swimming in open water

How Your Swim Team Can Adapt to the Open Water

The official swim season may end long before final exams, but that doesn’t mean the general bonding process should end. In fact, participating in summer activities with teammates will help even senior competitive swimmers to improve their techniques.

Taking your swim team to an isolated lake for a group swimming workout with their custom woven towels is a great way to help continuously fortify this sense of team unity. However, to help pool swimmers transition to an open body of water, there are a few key steps to keep in mind throughout the process. Read on to learn how to help your team members smoothy make this transition, while still benefiting from the workout.

Originally published in July 2017, this post has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.

1. Close Eyes

Of course, in a pool environment, speed is essential. Therefore, it makes sense when swimming to focus on the bottom of the pool. That makes a new, open water swim terrain a change your swimmers must adapt to, and it require some minor shifts in strategy.

Rather than looking down, encourage your swimmers to look off in the distance. Keeping their heads above the water’s surface, and their gaze just beyond an object in the distance, will ensure they swim on a straight path. However, lifting their heads too high may impact their technique. Therefore, you should be sure to help them make a clean and precise transition.

2. Gradually Increase Water Exposure

Chances are, your school’s pools has been fairly warm, and the lake is quite cold. Your swim team may adopt the mindset that they can easily power through the brisk, cold water. While this is a positive way of thinking, they may not be performing well, at least by competitive standards.

athlete half coming out of water

In order to fully enjoy the water (and peak performance), your team will need to acclimate to the water. Going into the lake for short periods of time is the best way to grow accustomed to the colder water. However, be sure that your team does not dry off with custom woven towels. Making the plunge back into the water will be much more difficult!

3. Foster a Positive, Confident Environment

If the swim team’s coach does not have a positive attitude about lake swimming, then why should the team? During this period of change, you should be encouraging. After all, you gave them custom woven towels as a gift at the end of the season!

The benefits of lake swimming might not be obvious to your swim team. Encourage your swimmers to explore nature, and enjoy the fresh air. Challenging them to find rocks at the bottom of the lake might be fun, too!

Beyond that, creating a confident environment is also crucial. Succeeding in this endeavor will instill their confidence for the future.

4. Drafting

While some consider drafting to be unethical, it’s clear that there are advantages. This swimming tactic, in which the swimmer aims to remain close behind the lead swimmer, easily translates to open water swimming.

In essence, drafting helps swimmers to conserve energy. They will reap the benefits of the waves created by the lead swimmer, and travel further as a result. With this approach, swimmers can use more energy at the end of the race, when being at the front matters most. In open water with a natural current, drafting may prove even more beneficial. While not applicable in all training situations, especially with teammates, drafting will boost competitive performance. After improving this skill, swimmers will carry it over into to the pool.

After practice drafting, your swimmers will surely have earned the opportunity to warm up with a custom woven towel and a hot meal!

5. Use the Proper Equipment

Even with team-branded custom woven towels at your disposal, staying warm in the water is important. Wearing the proper performance apparel is also important. There are several critical items every swimmer must keep in their swim bag; and they’re important to their success in or out of the water.

Full body suits help swimmers maintain warmth, which is crucial. Higher end water suits will provide this warmth, without detracting from speed. Compression shorts will aid in increasing blood flow to the limbs, which are largely responsible for swimming.

swimming with water suit


For student athletes, there’s no better feeling than drying off with a prized custom woven towel, among the other essentials for the everyday athlete. Fortunately, ordering custom woven towels is a simple process, especially when you value your team’s contributions! Personalized gifts always make the most touching and appreciated, and custom woven towels are no exception.