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This resource stems from a Case Study found in the “What Do You Do When?” chapter of Jim Thompson’s book, Elevating Your Game.
I work out year-round and lift weights regularly, but I can’t keep up with a couple of my teammates who have added a lot of muscle in a very short time. I suspect they are using steroids. Why shouldn’t I use them since I am at a competitive disadvantage without them?
Performance-enhancing drugs are cheating, and Triple-Impact Competitors® don’t cheat. They live up to their own standards (the S in ROOTS stands for Self) even when others don’t. There will always be cheaters in every aspect of life. Sometimes they get caught; sometimes they get away with it, at least for a while.
But cheaters always pay a price. For example, steroids have severe negative health impacts including hair loss, shrinking testicles, angry mood swings, sleep problems, nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure, greater chance of muscle injuries, aching joints, jaundice, shortening of adult height, and acne.
But the main thing to remember is that as important as it is to do well in your sport, as a Triple-Impact Competitor, cheating is not part of who you are.
Swimmers: The new AAAA Bag Tags are Out!!! Make sure you get yours - Swim a new AAAA time in an event then make sure your coach requests your tag
Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former National level swimmer from the beautiful west coast of BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook.com: a comprehensive tool that designed for swimmers to track and analyze their results.
Supersonic speed in the water is all about relaxation. Alexander Popov knew it, Ian Thorpe knew it, Michael Phelps knew it. Watch any of the ground-breaking swims by these athletes and what generally comes to mind is– They make it look so easy.
Being relaxed and loose in the water starts long before you ever slip into a bathing suit. Your pre-race and mental preparation have a visceral physical effect on your swimming. After all, when you are stressed, or your mind isn’t right, you can feel your muscles tighten up, anxiety starts to creep in, and your performance suffers as a result.
Here are 5 ways to stay relaxed the next time you mount the blocks, whether it’s a local meet or the Olympic final:
1. Ignore your competitors. How many times have you gazed across the pool and seen your main competitor warming up and gotten lost in what they were doing — their strokes seem effortless, they appear to glide through the water with uncanny precision and fluidity.
If you are like most swimmers, that seed of doubt will pop in your head: Holy crap, they are making that look easy… Did I really prepare myself that well? I probably should have slept more between heats and finals, they probably slept tons… And so on.
It’s precisely moments like this where you need to point your attention inwards. How many hours you put in. The hard work you have invested. The time spent honing your fitness and technique. Direct your energy and focus inwards.
2. Key in on the things that keep you loose and focused. For me, it was loud, aggressive music and complete aloneness. My eyes always had a pointed, “Don’t even talk to me” look across them. While some people might have found that intimidating (or rude), for me it was necessary. I didn’t want to chat with teammates, I didn’t want to joke around, and I sure didn’t want to think about anything except for how I was going to execute the best swim I was capable of. For others to relax or get into a mental state that produced optimal results, it’s joking around with teammates, playing cards or video games. Whatever the case is, learn what works best for you.
3. Search your history of awesome swims for what worked. Go back to the times you swam your butt off. What were the common pre-race rituals those races had in common? What was the mental attitude that you approached the race with? Go back and write down 3-4 things that you did before those successful performances and apply them to future races.
4. Focus on the Process. It can be really easy to fall victim to overthinking your race. Whether it’s the competition, the pool temperature, what you had for lunch, the amount of water you drank that day, the fitful nap you had between sessions, or your cap not fitting just right.
Clear your brain of this gibberish by finding a quiet corner, putting a towel over your eyes and visualizing the execution of your race.
The dive. How many dolphin kicks you’re going to execute. What stroke you will take your first breath on. How the water is going to feel. During this process of visualization your brain will sometimes take you places where your race doesn’t go well. Block those negative thoughts and start over. The dive, gripping the block, the temperature of the water. Imagine your race in such depth that when you get up on those blocks your body can simply renact what your brain has already visualized.
Editor’s Noe: Michael Phelps, afterall, had the same pre-race routine for nearly two decades.
5. Controlled Breathing. This is a fantastic way to calm yourself if you are getting anxious or too excited before your race. If done correctly, it not only lowers your blood pressure, promotes a sense of calm, but it also helps us de-stress. Whammy!
How to do it:
a. Place one hand on your chest, the other on your belly.
Your Senior Athlete Rep is... Ben Costello, CAA
USA Swimming Offers Athlete Protection Training to All Swimmers! Click Here!
Test: A method to test whether swim goggles fit well or not is to start by holding the goggles
How can you as a MD Swimmer be heard?
Winner Gets a $15 i-Tunes Gift Card
Swimmers who have answered correctly: Lance Rombro, Ian Corey, Nathaniel Robinson, Jack Keith, Nicole Appiani, Max Klemm, Tommy Hurley
Last Month's Winner: Averey Johnson, MAC
Last Month's Answer: There were actually 2 correct answers: They were made out of wood and they were for his hands. He called them "Fins" but they were actually more like the modern era "hand paddles".
Winner will be determined by a random drawing from all of the correct answers submitted.