Thursday, 27 February 2014

The mental Game

A few weekends a go I had the opportunity to represent the university of Guelph at the OUA swimming Championships. This is always a big meet for me where I get to show everyone what I've got and it's where I get the chance to make the CIS championships.

 The first day of the meet was the 400m free and I was hoping to qualify for CIS that morning and not worry about qualifying the rest of the meet. In the end I swam a 4:01 (added 3 seconds) and missed the cut by a couple seconds. After the race I was told by some people that I "wasn't ready for the meet". These were not the words of encouragement I was looking for and it starting taking a toll on my mentality (which is not good considering I still had two days of swimming). I looked to my triathlon coach, Craig Taylor for some words of motivation and he told me something that helped me immensely. Along with others words of encouragement he said whenever you are doubting yourself just take one deep breath and focus on what you can control. 

The following day was the 1500m and I was in the fastest heat racing at finals. That morning I was feeling rather defeated from the previous day but I took my coaches words to heart and stayed calm. By the time the race came around I was fired up and ready to go. I finished the race in a time of 16:05.97 missing the CIS time standard by just 0.3 of a second. As soon as I realized what had happened my mind started racing with what ifs. What if I didn't mess up a wall, what if I slept more last night, what if my reaction time off the blocks was just a little faster. At the end of the day none of that mattered. The the race was over and there was nothing more I could do. I still have some big races the next day and I needed to perform. 

The final day I had the 200m free and the 4x100m free relay. Once again I was feeling defeated in the morning and my 200m time reflected it. It however was still fast enough to get me into finals that night where I would race it again along with the 4x100m relay. Once again I thought of my coaches encouraging words and got fired up for finals one last time. I went a 1:52.1 in the 200m freestyle and although I didn't make the CIS standard I went a best time (the first of the meet). My fellow teammate however did not have the race he was looking for and was down on himself. We still had the relay that night and I needed him to perform so we could make it to the CIS championships. I told him what Craig told me to try and get him back to the mentality that he needed to be at. Our relay ended up doing incredibly well and we made the time standard by over 2 seconds, qualifying for the CIS championships! 

Although OUA championships was not my best meet in terms of performance I feel that I overcame the most mental obstacles I have ever had to deal with in my racing career. The swim meet was a whirlwind of emotion but in the end I came out on top. 

I would like to give a huge thanks to my coach, Craig Taylor for helping me out along the way and I would also like to thank my teammates for crushing that relay.

Now it's time for me to gear up for an exciting triathlon season. I have a lot of workout hours to put in still but I am looking forward to the challenge. I am also looking forward to having continued support from Multisport Zone, 2XU, Cervelo, and Multisport Canada. I couldn't do it without you guys.

reaction after finishing the relay and making CIS

1 comment:

  1. Hey Buddy! Those are some amazing times! Congrats on a great season and can't wait to race you out on tri circuit!

    Mike Murray