Friday FunDay: Fun Ways To Get Ready For Competition

Jul 18, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Sierra Schmidt of the United States dances on the pool deck before competing in the women's swimming 800m freestyle final during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Meet Preparation: Fun Ways To Get Ready For Competition

It’s that time of year, athletes! The time when we set our clocks back, ringing in the new season with overbearing darkness at 5 p.m., excruciatingly chilly air temperatures, and holidays GALORE. It also signifies an important season for swimmers: Fast swimming season. Championship season. Winning season.

And, oh man, it can be stressful. With endless family reunions to celebrate the holidays, paired with the suffocating feeling of impending doom (otherwise known as exams on the horizon), it can be tricky to even imagine the possibility of swimming at our absolute best in the near future. I know you’re probably panicking with your lack of preparation, but fear no more! I’ve compiled a ridiculously cool list of pre-meet rituals to ease your mind, relax your muscles, and get in the right headspace for the big things ahead. The most important part? Just have fun.

Spa Day

Relaxation is crucial before a big swim meet, and if you’re going to do it, you’ve got to do it right. Go big or go home! Face masks, cucumbers over the eyes, hair treatments, body lotions, manicures, pedicures, whatever your heart desires! While you’re at it, go get a massage: oil, hot towels, the whole thing. Treat yourself! Winners deserve the royal treatment, you know?

Fruits & Veggies

Eating healthy before a competition is always a good thing, but it won’t hurt to get creative with it! Find fun ways to incorporate healthy foods into your diet. Blend a smoothie, make a smoothie bowl (and post it on instagram, for aesthetic purposes of course), create the largest fruit salad you can fathom! Sure, you can go pluck a grape off its stem from your refrigerator, but eating healthy can be more enjoyable than that. Prepare for your meet this winter by whipping out the cookbook, scroll through the Pinterest boards, and eat your fruits and vegetables in a unique way.


meditation-nature meditate

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

Sure, you’ve heard this one before. Authoritative figures in your life are constantly jabbering in your face about the mental health benefits of meditating. Don’t get me wrong, they’re absolutely correct; but where does one begin? How can one put a twist on a breathing exercise? Can meditation even be fun?

Headspace is an app, downloadable on smart devices, that adds flavor to the art of meditation. With silly animations, daily meditation routines designed just for you, general meditation practices, sleep podcasts, and specific courses designed for particular areas of interest, Headspace delivers meditation straight to you on your mobile device in a crisp, fun, modern way. Need help concentrating? Five minute breaks to breathe throughout your day? Assistance getting your mind ready for a big athletic event? (*Cough* *Cough*) Do yourself a favor, and nourish your brain with an app that makes something as simple as breathing an entertaining activity.

Movie Marathon

Log onto your Netflix accounts, athletes! Movie marathons are a great pre-meet activity. They allow your body to rest, and serve as an opportunity to take your mind off of the upcoming stress. Plus, they’re fun! Grab a friend, sit down, and watch a few movies. Rate them 1-5 stars. Write a review. Whatever floats your boat.

Do Something Weird

If you’re anything like my swim team, you have a strange inclination to do something weird to your bodily appearance right before a big swim meet. I can’t explain the appeal, but it’s simply tradition. My personal favorite is taking pink dye to the hair, but to each their own. I’ve seen mohawks, shaved heads in funky patterns, you name it! This is all of the commentary I can provide, young grasshopper. Go. Fly away little bird. Gone with the wind.

Just Dance!

With all of the hustle and bustle, the running around in hurried preparation, make sure to always clear the schedule for a little dancing. Nothing lifts the spirits quite like a quick boogie break. Always remember: the big meet means nothing if you don’t have a smile on your face. Dancing is bound to make you crack a smile, so in the wise words of Lady Gaga, just dance.

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

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