How to Handle Anxiety Heading Into a Big Race Or Stretch Of the Season

hunter-armstrong- swimming

How to Handle Anxiety Heading Into a Big Race Or Stretch Of the Season

Am I good enough? Are all the hours that I have practiced going to pay off? What if I do not drop any time? These are some of the questions that might go through a swimmer’s head before a race.

With conference championships and nationals around the corner for collegiate swimmers, I can only think about one thing: stop overthinking your races. Most swimmers encounter anxiety and nervousness before a race, which is completely normal due to the adrenaline that pumps through our bodies. Nevertheless, the key is to learn how to control that anxiety and use it in your favor. This article will give you advice on how to handle pre-meet pressure.

Building confidence before a big meet is essential for every swimmer. Swimming is also a mental sport. Winning or losing is often defined by a hundredth of a second. Think about it. A hundredth a second is the blink of an eye. This is why swimmers learn throughout their careers how to control anxiety and stress.

Love Swimming

There is no doubt that swimmers’ workouts are insane, most enduring double practices and work outside the pool. Swimming can stop being enjoyable at certain points, especially when we close in on championships. Some of us start being negative about every small thing. Instead, enjoy the process. Three weeks before any championship, remind yourself how much you love swimming, appreciate the work you have logged and how enjoyable the sport can be.

Talk to Yourself Positively

Believing in yourself can be one of the most challenging tasks. However, tell yourself how hard you have worked to achieve your goals. All the morning practices, soreness, tears, pain, and everything you have been through will pay off. Change the mindset from “I’m too nervous” to “I’m too excited.” Be positive, focus on your strengths, and remind yourself how good you are.

Reminding yourself about what you do well can go a long way in generating a positive outlook.

Racing Is a Gift

Meets are by far the most exciting part of swimming. I like to visualize every race as a gift. When I’m about to open a gift or receive one, I do not get nervous or stressed out about it. Instead, I get excited to open it. That is how I approach a race.

Have Fun Before and After

You have worked hard enough during your preparation. You deserve to have fun! Share moments with your teammates, coaches, and rivals. Enjoy the meet. This is not a time to be stressed out. The work has been done in practice. Now, it is time to prove to yourself what you can do. Cheer on your teammates. Cheer for yourself. Enjoy your accomplishments. This mentality will help you live in the moment and calm your anxiety and nervousness.

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