Feeling nervous is never a comfortable feeling, but this doesn’t mean it isn’t a perfectly normal feeling. Some people feel nervous before practices, while others only feel nervous before a big meet. No one wants to feel nervous, but if you don’t feel nervous, it can actually hinder your performance. Once you learn how to tap into the power of your nerves, you can turn these negative feelings into positive energy in the pool.
Understand It Is Normal
The first thing you need to do is understand that feelings of nervousness are completely normal. Whether you can tell that other competitors are feeling nervous or not doesn’t matter. Chances are every person who is about to dive into the water feels some level of nervousness. As soon as you are able to accept your nerves as completely normal, you can work on transforming them into a positive energy that can help propel you through the pool.
Focus on the Positive
Nervous feelings will drag you down if you continually focus on the negatives. For instance, if you spend your time before a race thinking about how you will feel if you lose and wondering if you will perform well, odds are you will perform poorly. Instead, you need to spend your time before the race visualizing a win for you. This will transform your nervous feelings into positive energy you can then use to swim your best. Nerves are the source of adrenaline so use it!
Use Breathing Exercises
Your coach has likely talked to you about breathing exercises before you enter a race. Breathing deeply and focusing your thoughts are great ways to enhance your performance in the water. If you aren’t feeling nervous, you are less likely to go through these breathing exercises. Without them, your focus won’t be entirely on your swimming, causing you to make mistakes and slowing you down.
While being nervous isn’t something anyone wants to feel, it can be extremely useful in your swimming meets. As long as you learn how to effectively transform your nervous energy into positive energy, you will find you swim much better and are more successful in your races. It’s all in thinking positively and helping you visualize the good so you can perform better than ever.