Your first day swimming with a new team is a bit like your first day at school. You will feel strangely nervous in the locker room and start thinking: “I wonder what my teammates are like?”, “Will I be able to keep up with them?” And even “will I get on with the coach?”
Your fear will take you to the edge of the pool, where you will finally meet your team.” Under the close scrutiny of the other swimmers you will timidly move towards your swim lane and only then will you really get to know your new teammates.
Do you want your first day with your new team to be sensational and not turn into a traumatic experience? Then just follow these simple tips.
Focus on your swimming!
You are bound to be embarrassed, but your coach needs to assess how well trained you are. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by the inquisitive stares of your new teammates, you will have time to socialise right after your first training session.
Do not try and be the best
It will be extremely tempting to try and get yourself noticed in order to make friends with the rest of the team, but moderation is the watchword. Be yourself without overdoing it and without trying to attract attention.
Spot your “allies”
Expecting to make friends with an entire team on your first day of training really is a utopian dream. Lots of your teammates will not be interested in getting to know you or will simply be more focused on their own 100-metre sets. But you can immediately try and see which swimmers it will be easier for you to get to know; do not be shy and if one of them happens to come over to introduce themselves, then be friendly, this person will probably help you make friends with your other teammates.
If your team is on Facebook, then try and get involved in any discussion groups: it is definitely better to make friends in real life, but showing an interest in the general team spirit will help you be accepted more easily and, who knows, you might even receive some “friends requests”.