You want all the work you’ve put in this season to pay off at exactly the right time, the championship meets: sectionals, zones, states, nationals, etc.  There’s no better feeling than realizing a dream you’ve worked so hard for. Many athletes think swimming fast at the big meet is a big mystery, but it doesn’t need to be.

You may be wondering how fast you can actually go, or will your taper take full form and lead you to greatness. Here are a few AthleticFoodieTM tips that will help you perform at your best:

  1. What you put in is what you get out.  Nutrition is truly the key to unlocking your athletic potential. Focus on fueling your body with the highest quality foods you can (particularly carbohydrates, at competitions). On race day, you want to feel light and nimble, don’t overeat.
  2. “Trust your training, trust your coach, and trust your stroke.” You work hard for a reason. Hopefully you’ve been continuously working on your stroke so that you are efficient and powerful. These three key concepts should give you a lot of confidence in the probability of going very fast at your meet.
  3. Help someone else. It’s easy to get caught up in your own swimming when the big meets come around. Try to be a positive influence on your teammates. Tell people they look good in the water when they do. Make sure to congratulate others when they swim fast, and get excited to support those around you. Not only will this positive energy help foster an environment around you for fast swimming, but it will make you feel good…and feeling good means fast swimming.
  4. Think about the game plan you want to execute, before race day. You’ve raced dozens of times before, but once again; talk with your coach about the best way for you to swim your race. Imagine swimming your perfect race when you go to bed at night. Think about how the race is going to feel, at what point you’re going to really have to drop the hammer, and about the sharp execution you will make on all of the finer points during the race. Get confident in your racing ability, before you step on the block, and that comes from understanding exactly what you aim to do.

You might be heading to a meet you’ve never been to before. All of the preparation you’ve done to this point; your positive attitude, focus on nutrition, technique refinement, and physical capability, will all lead towards great swimming. Get excited, happy, and ready to take charge of your championship meet!