How To Get Over A Bad Swimming Race

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How To Get Over A Bad Swimming Race

How To Get Over A Bad Swimming Race

How To Get Over A Bad Swim RaceWhen you pour your heart, soul, and sweat into swimming, victories aren’t always sweet, and sometimes, losses are real sour. Looking at the big picture can be especially challenging to youngsters who are already holding themselves accountable for their performances.

Although stress seems to be occurring at younger ages, the joy and love of swimming should be the fuel of success – not the fear of disappointment.

As someone who has struggled (and still struggles) with this, here are a few tips that have helped me get over a bad swim race:

  1. Banish negative self-talk. Remind yourself how many races you’ve done, how many there are to come, and accept that they all won’t be amazing.
  2. Find the good. While going over your race with your coach, try to find a positive. Good turns, a good start, something.
  3. Learn from your mistakes, and improve. Was it your tempo? Did you fall off your stroke count? What do you need to focus on next time to reduce the chances of a repeat disappointment? Learn from your mistakes, and improve.
  4. Drop it. The race is done, you can’t change it. Move on and don’t let one swim affect the rest of your meet.

The truth is, the more you tear yourself down, the harder it is to build yourself back up. Love and fun fall off the side when your self-esteem takes constant hits. Eventually, fear will consume your confidence, and your swimming performance will suffer.

Always remember failures are merely speed bumps. A chance to improve when approached with the right attitude.

What helps you get over a bad race? Let us know in the comments below.

About Emily Milak

Emily Milak is a lifetime competitive swimmer living in Southeastern Wisconsin. Emily is a US National Team champion, NCAA champion, and USMS champion with extensive coaching experience. She is a product development consultant at Kiefer.

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I've been a swimmer my whole life. My parents started me with lessons as a three year old and by five I had joined my first team. I started swimming year round at eight and by thirteen I was qualified for Junior Nationals. By fifteen I was a member of the US National Junior Team (National 'B' Team) and a Senior National Qualifier. I attened my first Olympic Trials in 2000 and finished third in the 200 butterfly. I am a US National Champion, three time NCAA Champion, NCAA record holder, and was a memeber of the US National 'A' Team for five years. I've competed in two World Championships, two Duel in the Pools, a Pan Pacific Championship where I earned a bronze medal in the 200 fly, and competitor in the Goodwill Games. I love to swim and love to coach. I have been working with 12 & Unders for the past ten years including a lengthy stint as the head age group coach in Houston, TX with the toughest bunch of little swimmers I have ever had the privilege of working with. Now I am a mom who swims! I substitute coach and swim master's. I have only competed at one Master's Nationals but walked away a two time champion.


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