February 5, 2018
3 Things to Think About Before the Big Meet
By Grace Hoffmann, Swimming World College Intern
After winter training, a swimmer’s mind can start to become consumed with thoughts surrounding their end of season meet. Whether it be an age group state, high school state, or the conference meet, the championship meet for the season can bring feelings of fear and excitement to all ages. The mountain of training is behind most and we’re on the downhill journey to taper. As exciting as it is to be nearing the big meet, it also can bring anxiety and the preemptive fear of failure. The end of the season should inspire you to keep working hard, keep the excitement level high and the nerves low.
Consider the following before you start worrying about your end of season championship meet:
The people that surround you daily know how you’re feeling. They too, are feeling the pressures of the end of the season. Lean on them and let them lean on you. As a member of a team, it’s important to put the team first and make sure that the attitude of the team stays positive. Keep the team goals in the back of your head always. Remember that succeeding as a team can be just as rewarding or even more rewarding than as an individual. And finally, know that your teammates are your family and will love you no matter how much time you drop at the upcoming meet.
2. The Training Behind You
Trust your coach and trust yourself. Remember that your coach has been preparing you the whole season to excel. He or she cares about you and wants to see you do your best. Also keep in mind how hard you have been working. The hours you have put in and the strides you have made in your training are very important to recall. Be confident in yourself. Also, try not to overthink. It can be easy to question training or yourself as the championship meet nears. Relax and remember to keep having fun. Remember: swimming is FUN!
3. Past Experience
For most, the upcoming meet probably isn’t your first big meet. Visualize your favorite or fastest race, even if it may not have been at the last meet. Use your meet warm up routines to your advantage. If you’ve swum at the pool before, you know the layout. If not, ask a coach or teammate about it if you’re concerned. No matter what: swimming is swimming. When the beep goes off you will get to race and follow the black line all the way to the touch pad. Don’t let the idea of a new and maybe bigger meet cloud your confidence and excitement to compete.
My favorite thing to do before championship is to think about how far I’ve come. Remember that although the meet may seem like “the biggest thing in the world” sometimes, there’s much more to it than that. Enjoy the opportunities you have been given through swimming. Compete with your heart always and show your love of the sport through your attitude and sportsmanship.