“Take a deep breath. Focus. You’ve got this. You know what you need to do. You are ready. Fast. Fast. Fast,” I tell myself. It’s the start of prelims for the 100 freestyle. I am in heat 6 lane 5. As I start focusing in on my race, the spectators’ cheers disappear…It’s just me, my opponents, the block, and the water. “Heat 6, Take your marks….BEEP.” We are sent off and I am left with one single word repeating in my head…FAST!
After swimming for thirteen years I realize how important it is to be comfortable with the fact that I know what I am doing. I don’t have to think about it; rather I just have to do it. I simply focus on swimming fast! I have honed my skills and trust that my training will pay off in the race.
It’s the third day of the National Championship meet. I have swum for the past two days and find that I am playing a mental game to get myself focused. I know that I have trained hard and tapered well. I tell myself that I am ready and that I feel great. I cannot think about how tired I am, who is in the stands or how I did yesterday because it will distract me and throw me off. I get it in my head that I am ready and I am fast.
I hit the touch pad after swimming 100 freestyle. I look up at the time board and see that I have finished first in heat 6 with a time of 56.32 seconds, a personal best! The once faint cheers of the spectators become loud. I shake my opponents’ hands and climb out of the pool with a feeling of gratitude. I step out of the pool thankful to My Creator for the amazing way He wired me…with the ability to swim, and a love…to swim fast!
Bringing it into Focus: When competing I find I do my best when I can put all external thoughts out of my head and focus on one goal that I have in mind. What are some ways you do this? Do you find it easier to be focused at certain times and under certain circumstances? If so, is how can you bring this attitude into other parts of your life?