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This “Shouts from the Stands” submission comes from Megan Groseclose, a club swimmer in Cincinnati, Ohio.
At times, you may feel like you are the worst swimmer on your team. You think that there must be something wrong with you. You are putting in the work just like they are, but you aren’t seeing the results.
Let me get something straight. There is nothing wrong with you. I’ll bet that even swimmers at the Olympic level feel this way sometimes.
These negative feelings can unintentionally hold you back. Working against yourself in this way will not help you at all. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are feeling inadequate.
SUCCESS COMES IN MANY DIFFERENT FORMS
Success doesn’t always have to be achieving a difficult time standard or a personal best.
Succeeding can simply be getting out of a race and feeling like you could not have tried any harder. Or finishing a challenging set in practice that you never could have imagined yourself doing before.
Swimming can become much more enjoyable once you start to look at it this way.
COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS IS BOUND TO MAKE YOU FEEL WORSE
Comparing yourself to others is a self-defeating practice.
You may not realize it, but often times you are comparing your weaknesses to their strengths. That doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Focusing on yourself can help you to see your own improvements more clearly.
YOUR IMPROVEMENT ISN’T ALWAYS GOING TO BE LINEAR
Sometimes you may feel like you have already peaked and that you will never improve again.
That is likely not the case.
All of us experience periods of slow or seemingly non-existent improvement from time to time. It is a normal part of getting better.
It can be hard to stay motivated during these times. Keeping attainable goals and an open mind can help you to get through it.
YOUR TIME WILL COME
I know, I know. Waiting is hard!
It’s hard to watch your teammates achieve things that you want to achieve. It’s hard to feel like everyone else is better than you.
Just remember: the struggle will make the victory that much sweeter.
Keep your chin up. You will get there. Your time will come. And when it does, it will be very gratifying.
About Megan Groseclose
Megan Groseclose is a club swimmer who currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. She started swimming competitively when she was eight years old and has been with the sport ever since. She doesn’t really have free time (thanks to the intensity of her sport), but she enjoys writing whenever she can.