Whether you’ve been involved in competitive swimming for some time or you’re just getting started, you’ve likely felt the butterflies in your stomach before a big race or even before your first couple of practices when you don’t know what to expect. The good news is you don’t have to feel that way. While being nervous is completely normal, swim teams find ways to relax so they can perform better.
Focus on the Simple
It’s easy to lose sight of the competitive swimming techniques you’ve worked so hard on. It’s also easy to over complicate things when you’re facing an important race. The good news is this can often be resolved by focusing on what you know so you can tap into your power and swim your best.
Ignore Your Surroundings
Whether you feel intimidated by your competitors or you easily get distracted by their routines, ignoring your surroundings can be the perfect way to calm some of your anxiety and nervousness. A great way to do this is to use an MP3 player and ear buds to distract yourself from the sounds around you and help you focus on the task at hand. Choose music that calms your nerves and helps you concentrate.
Remember Past Performances
While no one likes to think about the races they feel they have failed in, it’s highly likely there are also past races you feel great pride in and felt you swam your absolute best. Focus on those races and what you did before and during them. When you remember the times you have performed well, you can feel more confident in your ability to do so during this race as well.
Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing can greatly relax the body, helping you center your mind and prepare your body for your next race. Closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths when you’re feeling stressed out can do wonders for your anxiety level.
Feeling nervous for your next race is perfectly normal. It’s up to you to learn how to channel that anxiety into a more productive swim. With the help of these tips, you can accomplish those goals.
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