How To Stop Feeling Nervous Before You Race


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As someone who works with swimmers all over the country on a weekly basis, one of the most common reasons why a client comes to me, by far, is the following:

“Will, I’m able to swim really awesome in training, but as soon as I go to race in my meets, I get so nervous, anxious, and stressed out before my races that it’s affecting my ability to swim my best and I’m a completely different swimmer. What do I do?”

Well, today, I’m going to show you how you can eliminate feelings of nervousness, anxiousness, and stress before your races. But, before we can understand how to eliminate something like nervousness, we have to start by asking an important question: Where does nervousness come from?

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Creating Internal Confidence For Swimming


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People often make the mistake of thinking that talent is what makes people successful. They see someone like Caeleb Dressel smashing records and breaking barriers and automatically leap to his talent being the difference maker. However, that’s not the case. Let me ask you the following question:

If Caeleb Dressel had absolutely zero confidence in himself as a swimmer, would he be as successful as he is?

You can have all the physical talent in the world, but if you don’t feel confident in yourself and your capabilities, then that talent won’t count for anything because it will never get used. Your lack of confidence and self-belief will suppress your talent from ever expressing itself when you go to compete.

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The Five Performance Priorities


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Ultimately, without doubt, the mental side of the sport of swimming is the difference maker. The fact is, you train as much as you want, you can receive world-class training, you can go hard in the gym, you can eat a pristine diet, you can taper perfectly, and you can have the most modern, hi-tech suit in the world. However, when you show up on the day to perform, if your mind is not in the right place, none of that stuff is going to count for anything. You simply won’t be able to be your best.

Your physical performance in the pool is a direct reflection of your mental state when swimming. If you’re feeling fearful, unconfident, stressed, and tense in the water, those feelings will become manifested through your physical actions in the pool. Your stroke will be tight and tense. Your power and pace will be lacking and labored. Your body will feel heavy and slow. This means that, when you climb onto the block and jump in to compete, you need to be in the right frame of mind.

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