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swimchickee
November 18th, 2006, 08:20 PM
i've been training my hardest in practice, but in meets its just not there.

i dont know what could be wrong, but i have a hunch its my attitude. i have difficulty getting psyched up before events or else i just feel soooo sleepy and emotionally/physically drained.
while i swim i know i can go faster, but i just can't. and after swimming my events i don't even feel tired or dead like i should be feeling, as if i've held a part of me back while swimming.

i give it my all in practice, but fail in swim meets... and i haven't improved in a long time.

can any of you offer tips? suggestions?

The Fortress
November 18th, 2006, 09:29 PM
Swimchickee:

I am assuming that you want to swim in meets and are not just a fitness swimmer. (If you don't want to, don't. Meets require a tremendous mental energy for most of us. Many swimmers avoid them.)

If you do want to swim in meets, it sounds like you've diagnosed yourself. You sound like you a have mental "meet" block and are psyching yourself out. Negative thinking leads to more negative thinking and becomes self-fulfilling. Forgive yourself for those other swims and move on. We all need to train our brains as much as our bodies. This is not always easy to do.

I recommend you go right out and and buy Mind Gym: An Athlete's Guide To Inner Excellence by Gary Mack. My son came home with this book one day and I read it. It was not your standard psychobabble/self-help stuff. It was fairly useful and insightful and surveyed athletes in many sports. It does say, among other things, that competitive toughness is an acquired skill, not an inherited one. Hang in there.

islandsox
November 19th, 2006, 09:46 AM
I agree with a lot of what Fortress said, but you said something else, too. That you are sleepy and drained. Are you tired physically, are you tired mentally? You will never swim well in a meet if you are fatigued. Even if you are somehow psyching yourself to fail in swim meets, if your body is tired, you must rest it; maybe do a small taper before that meet. The last thing you want is to do is go into a swim race tired for you will not perform well, thus, the vicious cycle you are experiencing.

If you are lacking in energy during swim meets, take a look and see if if is something physical even though we all know that races can be won or lost on mental fortitude.

Donna

SolarEnergy
November 19th, 2006, 11:53 AM
i've been training my hardest in practice, but in meets its just not there.

i dont know what could be wrong, but i have a hunch its my attitude. i have difficulty getting psyched up before events or else i just feel soooo sleepy and emotionally/physically drained.
while i swim i know i can go faster, but i just can't. and after swimming my events i don't even feel tired or dead like i should be feeling, as if i've held a part of me back while swimming.

i give it my all in practice, but fail in swim meets... and i haven't improved in a long time.

can any of you offer tips? suggestions? What are the events you're preparing for?

The Fortress
November 19th, 2006, 03:57 PM
if your body is tired, you must rest it; maybe do a small taper before that meet. The last thing you want is to do is go into a swim race tired for you will not perform well, thus, the vicious cycle you are experiencing.Donna

Donna:

I think I can truthfully say I've been tired for every meet I've ever swum. I never get enough sleep. But no doubt more sleep would be better. But it sounds like swimchickee has enough sleep for practices but not for meets?

Swimchickee:

I was thinking, maybe you should do some race simulation/meet rehearsals in practice. Go off the blocks, swim your races with lots of rest in between like an actual meet. I had a bit of a mental block with my goggle troubles. I had one dreadful meet, then only swam back at the next. I went into my zone meet without having done a single succesful racing dive in many months, and I was supposed to swim relays with my new team. I was a bit anxious, needless to say. So I went to a pool with starting blocks that I could use and really practiced. Lots and lots of starts. I also experimented with goggles. It worked. I've been trouble free ever since. I only wear speed sockets.

quicksilver
November 19th, 2006, 05:07 PM
i give it my all in practice, but fail in swim meets... and i haven't improved in a long time.

can any of you offer tips? suggestions?


You need to transorm...from swimchickee in to swimhawk at the meets. When that horn goes off...it's time to get into high gear.

I see this with some of our age group kids....who swim at a nice leisurely pace in meets. They need to get psyched...and spark some adrenaline. [Being nervous, anxious, or shakey means that all systems are go.]

Mentally.... you need to change your frame of mind...and step it up a bit.

islandsox
November 19th, 2006, 05:56 PM
It is interesting that Fortress mentioned race simulation. One of my very first posts here was about this. I was getting ready for the 1995 USMS LCM in Mt. Hood, Oregon. The event I wanted most was the 800m free so I found out it was on a Thursday. So every Thursday, I would swim the 800m free from the blocks, tired or not, and what happened was my mind/body got very accustomed to performing under race conditions on the day I was to swim it.

Well, you guessed it, when the day did arrive, I was way past ready, no butterflies but lots of excitement before hand, I knew I was ready mentally. And physically, of course I was ready because I had been doing doubles several times a week for it. And I took a minute or two off my time (can't remember now). The bottom line was my brain figured out my body was ready and gave the GREEN LIGHT when the gun went off. I negative split the entire thing and was disappointed when I had completed 32 lengths. However, I was so trashed it took me a minute or two to get out of the pool; just like I like it. Something to maybe think about; race simulation.

Donna

aqualech
November 19th, 2006, 06:24 PM
You seem to be getting pretty bummed and stressed out by the fact that you are not doing as well as you would like in meets. Maybe you should just not worry so much about how well you do - it's not like you are trying for a scholarship or anything like that is it? Maybe for a while just be part of a group and try to have fun, whether your times come down or not. STOP TRYING SO HARD. Heck, be glad that you are still heathly enough to even work out, and you didn't say that your are actually getting slower (you will!). Having said all that, you may want to try visualizing your races (visualize completing them well, as well as having fun doing them), and also rest more before the meet. Taper, and also get lots of sleep. Not caring so much might help you sleep.

ande
November 19th, 2006, 09:42 PM
give us more information, tell us more about you,
your meet times and your work out times
tell us about your work outs
do tell details

ande


i've been training my hardest in practice, but in meets its just not there.

i dont know what could be wrong, but i have a hunch its my attitude. i have difficulty getting psyched up before events or else i just feel soooo sleepy and emotionally/physically drained.
while i swim i know i can go faster, but i just can't. and after swimming my events i don't even feel tired or dead like i should be feeling, as if i've held a part of me back while swimming.

i give it my all in practice, but fail in swim meets... and i haven't improved in a long time.

can any of you offer tips? suggestions?

KaizenSwimmer
November 20th, 2006, 09:24 AM
Swimchickee
It sounds like mental/physical staleness. My experience in college was very much like yours. I trained my hardest for sure. harder than anyone else indeed. While others seemed to pick their spots to go fast I tried to race everyone and every set, as a matter of pride.
Those who picked their spots to swim fast, outperformed me significantly in most meets. It seemed terribly unfair. I didn't recognize at the time, the symptoms of overtraining.
35 years later I am far more selective about going hard. I do spend every minute of practice working on skills that win races, but they are far more about figuring out the most economical way to accomplish a given goal, rather than testing my ability to endure pain and fatigue. I swam faster this year at 55 than I did as an 18 y.o. college freshman.

Yesterday at a meet in Ithaca NY I spoke with a woman who's the fastest female distance swimmer in the Niagara LMSC. She described training incredibly hard and in a very dedicated way in college (one of the most prominent of all small college programs at the time) nearly 20 years ago - swimming 14,000 yards a day and testing her physical limits all the time. Now, by being more selective and thoughtful about her training, she's swimming far faster than she did then.