How to stop over thinking your race and by getting out of your own head
A lot of athletes get caught up in there head thinking about what your competition is doing or what your coach is do to you if you don’t win this race or what you team will think about you if you don’t do well in a swim meet etc. The list goes on and on. This is natural. Swimming is a nerve racking sport. You do not know what is going to happen until after you have finished the race. By that time it is too late. You have either won or lost the race.
Before I started swimming I took karate lessons. One of the things that stuck with me from that experience is “the battle is won or lost in the mind”. My karate instructor said that all the time. If you think you are going to win the race most likely you are going to win and if you think you are going to lose the race most likely you are going to lose the race. You may not have any control over what the other person is doing in the lane next to you but you have control over what you are thinking before you go into a race. Use this to your advantage.
And most likely the person you are racing is just as intimidated or probably even more intimidated of you that you are of him. Which has been the case in most races that I have been in.
Ultimately, STOP catastrophizing your races. To overcome this faulty thinking you need to recognize that the worst will not necessary happen. It might be the worst possible result but not the most likely. Instead determine the best most likely result and focus on that. This will greatly decrease you anxiety before a race and allow you to enjoy swimming and racing which in itself will make you swim faster. Most athletes miss this as they get caught up in constantly producing results and shaving off time and is sad when they swim slower and slower yet training harder and harder.
The fastest swimmer are the ones who enjoy swimming, have fun racing and get excited for competition not nervous or anxious. Just like when how you enjoyed it when you were a kid.
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Eat. Sleep. Swim. by Caryle