Travel and Swimming Fast
By Dr. Jim Miller, National Team Physician//Sports Medicine Task Force
Many athletes dread the thought of traveling distances, either across the U.S. or abroad, for competition. At home, everything is set up to maximize performance. Meals are easy and familiar. Nothing rivals sleeping in your own bed. Support systems of family, coaches, trainers, medical personnel are all there. Travel can disturb all of this, starting with an exhausting, uncomfortable trip in cramped quarters.
Since maximizing performance requires that you put it all together, it only makes sense that you minimize the variables. In other words, plan for success. Yet, planning for a trip is not easy. The USA Swimming Medical Task Force has created a Global Travel Guide to help you at every step, starting as far as months in advance.
The main topics include:
- Travel Planning
- Safety Tips
- Jet Lag
- Sports Psych
- Staying Healthy
Each main topic will be broken down into multiple sub-topics so you can find what you need. For example, within the Staying Healthy section, you will be able to find pointers on first aid, vaccines, food and water safety, as well as how to assess dangers at the site. In addition, we will highlight a few key points or “quick hitters.”
This week’s quick hitters are below. Check back each week for tips and tricks for smooth travel.
- Check if the country you are visiting has an entry or exit fee. How is this paid?
- Learn a few key phrases in the local language
- Begin adjusting your schedule at least two weeks prior to travel
- Always go “first class” if you lose something or need assistance
- Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it
- Register your team with the USOC, if traveling internationally
One word of caution: if you have travel coming up, plan in advance. Check out our Global Travel Guide in the Member Travel Portal here on usaswimming.org.
Enjoy the series.