In the wake of Michael Phelps' success at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the ever-popular relaxation activity has turned into a passion for many. If you want to become a champion swimmer, a lot of hard work, perseverance and determination is required.

You can begin practicing at local swimming pools, or join swimming clubs in the vicinity, if you have made up your mind to become a competitive swimmer.

The next step towards your swimming goal is to find a good coach. Your swimming coach will not only teach you, correct stroke technique, he/she will guide you on your dietary habits and fitness routines. .

While selecting a swimming coach, do not just settle for someone you like. Find out what experience he has and results they have achieved with those he has trained. This will help you discover if their techniques and methods work. In all probability, the more disciplined the coach the better the more your chances of achieving success as a swimmer.

Your training will not just be limited to hitting the pool. Building up both upper body strength as well as leg strength is vital for swimming, so you will need to find or gym instructor who will put together the right exercise routine for you. Strength training is a good way of building up muscles that will help you swim faster, and for longer. Besides, the importance of sleep and adequate rest during training can not be over emphasized.

Your commitment will go a long way towards deciding how well you perform in the Olympics. You need to be motivated and focused on your goal to complete the targets you set for yourself when training. Be prepared for the fact that your life will revolve around swimming and the gym, when you are training. However, if you are determined to be an Olympic swimmer, then these sacrifices will have to be made.

Conditioning is also necessary to be a swimmer of ability. You will have to carefully regulate sleep, meals, training, while remaining focused on competitions. You must remind yourself constantly of how important it is to achieve the goal you have set.

Sometimes you will have a bad race, or not do as well as you’d hoped for in training, or even suffer from illness or injury. You may find that your pace was not consistent or lagging in some places. Knowing how to deal with these setbacks and take them in your stride them is necessary.

You may come up with a bad cold for weeks before a competition, preventing you from swimming. Being prepared can keep you to stay positive and focus on other areas of your training.