What's your game plan?
The German swimmer sets his mind on something and lets his body do the work. He plans training and competitions with precision and has a loyal body of followers to ensure he practices what he preaches.
This is Dominik Franke’s game plan.
Swim Faster is the name of your YouTube channel. Is it also your motto for every training session and every competition?
Swimming as fast as possible doesn’t have to be the goal of every training session, but it’s important to get stuck in at every training session and to push yourself until it hurts at each stage of your training in order to ultimately reach your goal. It’s a case of your mind and body working together.
Your channel helps other to improve their abilities. What do you do to develop further yourself?
I train as much as possible, and seek to make the best possible use of my training conditions. In tough times, I stay positive and always try new approaches. New training stimuli, involving special land-based exercises, strength training and athletic training, provide the necessary variety. Swimming requires patience and endurance. You need to be on the ball at all times, and can only improve if you work at it steadily and continuously.
Is swimming purely something for lone wolves?
Although swimming is an individual sport, as an athlete you cannot achieve much without a team behind you. You need motivated training partners, good coaches and the right environment.
Alongside swimming you’re expanding your YouTube channel. Is that destined to become a second career?
The basic idea behind the channel was to boost my own motivation. As a result of documenting my experiences from the beginning of the swimming season until its competitive peak, many people started to follow my progress. I therefore had to deliver the goods. At the same time, we came to recognise the added value it provides: there are many people out there who want to get something out of it for themselves personally. With them in mind, I have continued to develop the channel.
Preparation is key. How do you prepare for your most important competitions?
The long-term training plan has to be right. The training plan comprises various training periods involving numerous different types of training. Personally, I very much enjoy putting the tough training sessions into practice in ordinary competitions. I take part in a lot of competitions in order to obtain training stimuli. They give me the opportunity to make my races more automatic under real-life conditions. I become more confident at the start, in the diving phase and in the transition. The nearer you get to the peak of the competitive season, the more the scope of the training is reduced. I plan my last ‘training’ competition about ten days before the peak of the competitive season. In doing so, I check whether everything is fitting together correctly or whether I need to make any minor adjustments before the big event.
What is going through your mind on the day of a competition?
Thanks to the carefully planned training phase, I know deep down that I can do it. This knowledge is enormously important. Of course, there remains a basic feeling of excitement, which enables complete focus. Also, positive training sessions and successful training competitions help to build up the necessary self-confidence.