The sport of swimming will always have a special place in my heart. I started swimming competitively at the age of six and continued throughout high school. I swam summer league and year-round, and signed up for every swim camp in a 100 mile radius. Suffice to say that some of my fondest childhood memories are chlorine scented.
That being said, I know first hand just how difficult of a sport swimming is. I can remember very clearly the sensation of burning lungs and the kind of muscle ache that only comes from repeating the same motion over and over. There’s also a mental toughness that helps you overcome those things plus the mind-dulling boredom that only staring at a little black line for hours can cause.
So to help keep you motivated and sharpen your skills, here’s a list of books that will help you no matter what level of swimmer you are.
1. No Limits: The Will to Succeed by Michael Phelps
What’s a list of swimming books without the one written by the most decorated Olympic swimmer of all time? In this book, you will learn all of the secrets that helped Phelps rise from working-class Baltimore kit to living legend.
2. The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory by Julie Checkoway
A word of warning, this books can get dense at times but I promise you it’s well worth it. This book follows a group of Japanese-American school children who, in just three years of training, are on the cusp of Olympic greatness. Then World War II breaks out, and everything changes. From learning to swim in dirty irrigation ditches to competing against the best in the world, this book will inspire you to achieve anything you set your mind to.
3. The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills by Daniel Coyle
After reading The Three Year Swim Club, you will probably be brimming with fresh motivation. That is the perfect time to pick up Coyle’s Little Book of Talent. While not necessarily swimming specific, this book is packed with actionable advice to help you maximize your unique talents every day. Every swimmer knows that small changes, in their life or in their stroke, can make a huge difference.
4. Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer by Lynne Cox
This one is specifically for all of the distance and open water swimmers out there. Like me, Lynne Cox learned to swim at a young age, but unlike me, by sixteen she had conquered the English Channel. She is an absolute legend in open water swimming especially in cold water. This is her memoir and it is guaranteed to motivate you for your next early morning training session.
5. Total Immersion: Revolutionary Way to Swim Better and Faster by Terry Laughlin
This is definitely the most technical book on the list, but that doesn’t make it any less worth your time. This book will help you get faster while enjoying the sport of swimming even more. Who doesn’t want that? Written by renowned Master’s coach Terry Laughlin, this book will help you become the most efficient swimmer you can be.
Whether you are looking for technical instruction or motivation, from beginner to expert athlete, there is a book on this list for everyone!
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Featured image via CHSAANow
h/t Swimming World