Sunday, March 15, 2015

Conquering The Mental Battle

Every mind is complex. In swimming, the tough and the weak are defined through a series of brain games. When your body and your mind send you mixed signals, it can be difficult to know what is right. Swimming is a sport where hundredths of a second determine a winner and a loser. Swimming is a sport where waking up before dawn is the summer norm. But most importantly, swimming is a sport where dedication is a necessity.
One of my fav quotes
Photo Courtesy of: HD Wallpapers
On my team, we become mentally tough through our language. We are not allowed to say the word can’t, which is also known as the c-word. If we do say it, then we must do twenty five pushups and twenty five lunges. And boy, after dryland and a long practice, every pushup and lunge burns more than the last.

Right now, we are on taper for the age group state meet. Along with any taper comes the good ol’ pace set. By the end of pace, you are out of breath and all that lactic acid is building up in your muscles. Basically, your body feels horrible with a “capital h”. Yet, you know that if you give up, you won’t achieve your desired results. And later, you will know that you will regret it. In those last couple of one hundreds, you need to believe that you can. It all comes down to your attitude.

There are highs and lows in every sport, but the mid-season of swimming is notorious for being an ultimate. In the beginning, your body is fueled and you are excited to get back training. But after a couple of months, without any major meets, most people say practice is just a drag. How do you fix this problem? Think about the future. The final hoorah meet will come, and all of that hard work that you put in mid-season will pay off. 

Guess what, life isn’t perfect. Once in a while, you will have a disappointing swim. I can personally vouch for this, as basically every time I swim the two hundred butterfly, I drown the last fifty. But, you have to put those races in the past and learn from those mistakes.

Doesn’t everyone just love nerves? To a certain extent, pressure can be beneficial because it helps get the adrenaline running. I still remember how stressed I was for my first race at Zones. It was my first travel meet without my parents, and I didn’t trust my training. It was definitely reassuring knowing that my team was there cheering me on, but I still didn’t know how to focus. Sometimes all it takes is a couple deep breaths and a I can do it. And guess what, I ended that race with a personal best.

I am honestly not the most competitive person around, but it is important to focus on your race and not your competition. The only person that you are in control of is yourself, so you gotta make the most of it. Finally, the most important part is to have fun. You will never have dedication in the first place if you don’t enjoy what you are doing.

Preparing to warmup.
I hope you guys enjoyed these inspirational (and deep) words from me. As Ms. Alp (my Spanish teacher) would say, “It is okay to cry and go fart around in the field!” I recently gave a Ted Talk about how your attitude directly affects your performance in my leadership class, and it was the inspiration for this post. Be sure to comment below on how you stay calm before diving in, and I will see y’all soon!

XOXO

Siena

2 comments:

  1. What are your favorite no heat hair styles?

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    Replies
    1. Hey Alyssa! Check out the post I did earlier this week all about my fav heatless hairstyles. Thanks for the great idea!
      XOXO
      Siena

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