The purpose of this study was to elucidate whether a specific approach regarding active swimming recovery could better promote psycho-physiological recovery right after competing in a high-level swimming race. To achieve this, we recruited 50 national level youth swimmers, randomly and equally assigning them to two groups, named “experimental” and “coach prescribed”. Each group performed a specific post-competition recovery protocol, consisting of different swimming paces, rest times, self-management of the exercises. We gathered data about blood lactate (BL), heart rate (HR), and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) at two different moments, the first moment right after the swimming competition (named post-competition phase), the second moment right after swimming the respective recovery protocol assigned (named post-recovery phase). A mixed MANOVA with Tukey HSD post-hoc analysis revealed no significant differences between the experimental and coach-prescribed groups in BL, HR, and RPE at the post-competition phase. At the post-recovery phase, however, the experimental group presented lower BL levels than the coach-prescribed group (2.40 ± 1.18 vs. 4.29 ± 2.07 mmol/L, p < 0.05). Finally, we found no interaction of swimming race ranking on recovery capacities. We conclude that for immediate improvement of BL in a wide range of high-level swimmers, an efficient recovery protocol should consist of several paces, high volumes, fixed and short rest times, whereas the widely popular self-managed, lower intensity approach does not seem as equally effective. Our study advances the development of novel recommendations for optimizing immediate fatigue management in competitive swimming.