3 Things to Remember Before Your First Virtual Meet


3 Things to Remember Before Your First Virtual Meet

By Mauro Pacsi, Swimming World College Intern

As sports slowly return to competition while the COVID-19 pandemic is still at large, many people in the swimming world have wondered, what lies ahead for the future of meets? The answer is here with USA Swimming introducing a distinct virtual competition format this past July to be used by teams around the country.

While virtual meets will benefit the safety of athletes and give them the opportunity to still compete, the transition may be difficult for some. The idea of racing in your own pool with your teammates all the time can become repetitive after an extended period of time. Where some athletes may thrive in this comfortable atmosphere, others may have depended on the high stakes and thrill of a regular meet. There are other factors to consider as well such as a lack of motivation, loss of a sense of excitement and more.

Still, there are plenty of reasons to look forward to finally being able to race. There are also plenty of ways to deal with any challenges you may face over the course of 2020 into 2021. Here are some things to remember to help prepare yourself and stay fresh when approaching a world of virtual meets.

Remember, Your Competition is Always Out There

It’s important to remember that you aren’t the only person stuck in this situation. The rest of the teams around you are, too, but that doesn’t mean they’ve taken their foot off of the gas. Everyone is still training hard to race fast just like they always do, whether it’s a regular season or virtual one. When you find yourself thinking, “Well it’s not like there’s an actual season, I can’t race anyone anyway so why even try,” keep this in mind: Just because your rivals from other teams aren’t stepping up on the blocks next to you right now, doesn’t mean that they aren’t out there. You all will be sending in your times collectively in place of the (physical) meets you would usually attend, so the results will be merged anyway. So, keep your head down and keep working because you still want to beat them, right?

Be Comfortable at Your Own Pace

Just like it’s important to be mindful of the competition, it’s even more important to be mindful of yourself. You may have just started swimming again, or perhaps you’re a couple of weeks into training. No matter where you are in your training cycle, be comfortable with taking things day by day. Yes, it is frustrating when you aren’t swimming as fast as you want or if you feel like you’re falling behind. However, you have more time now to yourself and your training than ever. Don’t beat yourself up too much because whether you realize it or not, you are making progress every day. Virtual meets are still trying to be understood and figured out before more teams start to use them. So, be kind to yourself and take advantage of the window of extra time!

Home Pool Advantage… Every Time

If there’s one thing that’s likely to stay constant in this virtual meet world, it’s being in your own pool. Sure, the lack of traveling and seeing different pools may be unfortunate but racing where you are most comfortable is one heck of advantage. You know the pool inside-out. Everything from the smallest details like how the temperature of the water will be, how it feels to turn at the walls, and which blocks just might be secured tighter than others. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to suspect when you’re racing from your “home.” You practice here all the time and are a regular at the facility. You’ll also be surrounded by your teammates who push you to succeed every single day. With that in mind, take on any race your thrown in and just have fun!

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

1 comment

  1. Dick Beaver

    Virtual meets? Nothing new. It’s Old hat.
    We had telephone (pre-computer) dual meets, with far away, friendly teams. Swam at home, then called to compare.

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