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hmlee
July 28th, 2005, 12:52 AM
So I'm getting back into swimming, hoping to join my university's team in the fall.

Which means competing again. Yikes.

Even as an agegrouper I always had an issue with nerves during and before competition (not so much when I was actually in the water, I was relatively able to focus WHILE swimming, but sometimes getting there was torture.)

So for those of you who still compete, or have competed, how do you deal with nerves during a meet, and especially right before your event? Do you have certain things you do to relax, or ways to calm yourself down? I can't keep letting myself get so paralyzed by fear.

battle
July 28th, 2005, 08:55 AM
I get very anxious before I compete also. I always thought it helped me give my best effort. Anxiety can feel like torture at the time however.

aquageek
July 28th, 2005, 10:10 AM
I find the more meets I attend the more the nerves seem to go away. What I'm left with are the "good nerves" that seem to help at meets.

salgut
July 28th, 2005, 02:03 PM
Hi, Hmlee

I swam from the time I was 10 until I was about 13 or 14 (too long ago....can't remember, exactly). I didn't get into Masters' until I was 50 and I think I sort of thought that I would have "outgrown" my pre-race nerves. Funny thing is...when I got up on the starting block I had this sense of deja vu; I felt like I was 13 again! The nerves are still there but I just tell myself I'm going to do the best I can...and that will just have to be good enough.... Don't worry about your nerves; they'll still be there but just keep reminding yourself that your doing it because it's fun...and you want to... no one's pushing you now....except yourself.. Also, aquageek is right, the more meets, the better.
:)

F'ueco
July 28th, 2005, 02:47 PM
I've never really had a problem with nerves, but when I competed I would try to focus on something else between races. I'd always have my walkman plugged in (I suppose now I would use an iPod), letting myself relax. In the race, I always found that I would swim better if I didn't think too much about what I was doing. Since I mostly swam distance (400 IM, 500 and 1650); I'd get a good song stuck in my head...

pmbchill
July 28th, 2005, 05:39 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by battle
I get very anxious before I compete also. I always thought it helped me give my best effort. Anxiety can feel like torture at the time however.


Good point about anxiety. I also swim better when my nerves kick up. If I find I'm really experiencing "fear", like before the 200 fly (wondering if I'll live through it!), I always watch the men and women in the 70+ age groups and I find calming inspiration from them. If they can do it, I'd better not wimp out! I say, think about what you know you'll do well. Concentrate on small strides in improving your time. Easier said than done to try to relax though. Good luck.