Now that you have qualified for the State Championships, you are either totally either psyched or scared to death.
And, truly, whichever one you are has very little to do with how experienced a swimmer you are. Even favored, first-seeded swimmers can be swimming scared–
What if I don’t deliver? What if I miss my turn? What if I die?
That little voice of can chip away, and this type of scared thinking will keep you from doing your best. You’ll hold back just a little due to the fear of failure.
Fear of failure isn’t the only reason you might be swimming scared. Many swimmers have never been in a meet of this size – the state meet is huge with a large crowd cheering for you. Adrenaline can swoop in making your nerves shred your confidence.
What if my suit rips? What if I bonk in front of everyone? What if I get last place?
When a person gets scared they tend to do things in a hurry without just letting their training take over. Then mistakes happen: starts will be slow, turns missed, swimming short, or even bad finishes.
Rest assured all swimmers have these types of worries, but the ones who can bury their fears and start swimming positively will prevail. Channel that adrenaline and turn those thoughts into—
What if I hit my start? What if I hit my turns just perfectly? What if I go all out and touch the wall first?
Think of what 2000 Olympic gold medalist Pieter van den Hoogenband said, “I was so surprised. Then again, I was so relaxed in the water, it felt amazing!”
So maybe for you to swim fast at the state meet, you need to concentrate on what got you there in the first place. Believe you can swim and swim fast! Then remember to enjoy the moment, have fun and most importantly, RELAX. The more you relax, the easier the swim, the process, the meet will be. Visualize yourself with all the incredible possibilities that can achieve.
And most of remember, don’t swim scared.