How To Maintain Your Poise & Composure During A Swim Race

by SwimSwam 1

February 04th, 2018 Lifestyle

Courtesy of Eney Jones

When open water gets rough . . . and it is not the water! “Ain’t that a kick in the head?”

How to maintain your poise and composure when you have just been:

  • Ziplined – pulled under and back by the ankle
  • High fived to the face
  • Clipped – every stroke you are hitting hands or arms with another competitor
  • Lockjawed – an elbow to the jaw renders you speechless
  • Roll overed – hugged at the waist while another competitor rolls over your back to get to the other side
  • Groped – worse than a TSA pat down
  • Pawed or Petted – and positive you felt nails

“Between the stimulus and response there is a space. In that space our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.” Viktor E Frankl

Find your power in the response. You have options. Do not react. Respond. You can go around, sprint forward, drop back, go right, go left, go under, go over, or go through. Get away or stay in the mix.


These techniques will help you maintain composure during an open water swim or triathlon race:

  • Grease up – Put grease on your feet, legs and ankles. If they touch you, they get a hand full of jelly.
  • Sprint and speed change accessibility – be able at any moment to get going and get away
  • Patience – relax, stay in your dilemma then save it for the final sprint and get it. See Breathing Rhythm and Composure
  • Have faith that your composure, poise and training will help you overcome the situation
  • Go around – start wide and go wide
  • Go over and go through – tough but doable
  • Sprint forward – capture your power in your catch and your kick. Move. Now.
  • Drop back – probably not your best option; but always a possibility in order to find tranquility
  • Go right or left – look both ways and pick your best option with the most room
  • Go under – this is where breaststroke comes in handy
  • ReBoot – just as your computer does, you should too!

Perhaps the best option is to try to not engage in battle and remember that the best response is to win!

Eney Jones has achieved remarkably diverse success as a leading pool, open water and Ironman triathlon swimmer.

  • Masters National Champion 100-200-400-500-1500-1650 5k freestyle 2009
  • Open Water 5k Champion Perth Australia, May 2008.
  • National Masters Champion 200-400-1500 freestyle Champion, Portland Oregon, August, 2008.
  • Overall Champion Aumakua 2.4k Maui Hawaii, September 2008
  • Waikiki Rough Water Swim 3rd place 2006, second place Overall 2009, 3rd place 2012
  • European Record Holder and Masters Swimming Champion, 2005. Records included 200, 400, 800, 1500 m freestyle
  • Over twenty time finalist in U.S. Swimming Nationals, including Olympic Trials 1980
  • Gold medal NCAA 800 yd freestyle relay 1979, silver Medalist 200 yd freestyle 1979. United States National Team 1979-1980.
  • Professional Triathlete 1983-1991. First woman out of the water in every Hawaiian Ironman participated (6).

More about Eney Jones

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Got punched in the face twice by the same guy during the beginning of an OW race. Second time knocked my goggles loose. Took all of my will power not to engage in battle. Decided the better choice was to sprint ahead and show him my heels for the rest of the race.

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