Competitive swimming is a great way to build strong muscles, increase endurance, and improve cardiovascular health. Although daily practice and sticking to a healthy lifestyle will boost your abilities in the water, it’s natural to feel nervous before a race begins. Below are a few techniques some swimmers find helpful to loosen up before a competition.
How to Stay Relaxed & Focused When Competitive Swimming
Keep Your Mind Distracted
From practicing swim techniques in your head to thinking about competitors’ stats, it’s natural for your mind to be flooded with several thoughts before getting into position to dive into the pool. Overthinking before a competitive swimming race can create stress, which could compromise your ability to perform well in the water. To prevent this from happening, occupy your mind with non-swimming-related thoughts, like a movie you want to see or dinner plans after the meet, to help you relax.
Take Deep Breaths
If you feel your heart racing before it’s your turn to swim, try taking deep breaths to calm your nerves. Breathing deeply helps evoke a relaxation response in your body by slowing heart, lowering blood pressure, and helping loosen tight muscles. Taking a few full breaths every few minutes 20 to 30 minutes before the race will keep you focused and reduce stress.
Recall What Was Done Before Previous Winning Races
To remain positive and tranquil leading up to the competition, think about times when you performed at your best. If there are commonalities between each race, consider performing the same exercises, listening to the same music, or talking to the same coaches or teammates you have in the past to help relax. You can incorporate these rituals into other events if they help.
If you want to be a stronger competitive swimmer, the coaches at Technique Swim Academy in Boston, MA, will provide swimming tips and instruction to help you master difficult swim techniques to become faster and build stamina while gliding through the water. They will also listen to your concerns to help customize strategies to keep you calm before races. To learn more about competitive swimming instruction available in the Boston area, call (617) 484-0550. Visit the academy online for a list of upcoming swim clinics, and like them on Facebook to see class photos.