View Full Version : Nerves and how to deal with them

January 7th, 2003, 01:43 PM

I have been swimming for many years now and still encounter a big issue before the meets. I am so nervous, that it makes me sick. After the 1st event it goes away, but the whole morning I can barely eat or drink.
I have always had this problem, even when I played soccer. Does anybody else experience this and have you found a solution?

Bert Petersen
January 7th, 2003, 04:09 PM
It's called "Adrenalin" and it is the most vicious drug on the planet. Your body produces it to enable you to perform at your best, (or worst, if you let it get to you).
One thing that helps me at meets is to recognize the symptoms, dry mouth-upset stomache-gottagopee again, accept them and use the adrenalin for what it is intended, swimming fast.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that there isn't any money in this, so why worry ??
Try my "mantra".... ie: 1. Don't sweat the small stuff.
2. Everything is small stuff, especially this !!!

And smile, you are not alone............

Bert Petersen

January 7th, 2003, 05:05 PM
I have yet to meet a swimmer who's not pumped with adrenaline right before their heat is up.:eek:

I came across this article not too long ago. Thought it might be of interest. Just click on the link below.


January 7th, 2003, 08:40 PM
it's probably the most common feeling in all athletes!

Well, during the day, it helps to keep yourself busy! I try not to think about it, it only makes it worst. I mean, thinking about won't help you in any way, unless you are visualizing your race (which is a good thing). But try not to think about the meet. I've gotten so good at it..maybe too good at it, that I sometimes I forget that I have a meet:D .

Anyhow, what works best for me during the meet is keeping busy too. You have stretching and warm-ups. It's hard to think about the meet when you are warming up, well for me at least, cause my mind goes blank when I'm swimming. When you're not warming up, cheer for your teammates. I sometimes get so caught up in other people's races, the feeling almost goes away.

Right before your race...hmm. That's when I really start to feel it. No matter how hard I try not to think about it, I just do. It's really frustrating, but it happens. What I usually do is I have my "pump-up" music. Burn a CD specifically for Swimming. Put fast songs in it like, "The Jackie Chan Song" ( I'm not sure if it's called that) or "Shark" by Ash, "Nobody's Fault" by Phantom Planet, "Understand the dream is Over" by Juliana Theory....and the list goes on. Do not I REPEAT....DO NOT listen to slow music. It will only mess you up. To me, it seems that the pump-up songs leave little or no room for thinking. There's so much going on in the music that it's hard to think about anything else.
Slow songs leave so much room for thinking, so leave the Norah Jones and Sarah Mclachlan home. If you're not into the alternative music and such, Jazz works real well too, Coltrane's "26-2", "Cousin Mary" "Giant Steps" works good for me or for the Miles Davis fans....you can't beat "Straigh No Chaser" unless you're tired of the most popular jazz standard ever...it'll work fine...i'm kind of sick of that song though, "Milestones" by Davis is good too. All of these songs I just listed are songs that are very "busy", so it works for me really well.

I'll listen to music until one-two races before my race, that's when I start to get ready. The butterflies will come again, but "eh" you're only human.

But this is coming from an 18 year old college student:p , but you just have to find what works best for you.