Dear Katrina, What do you say to others trying to make the team?
This can be an intense meet – for those who have been to the Olympics before, are on the cusp of potentially making it, or for those whom believe they have a shot even if ranked 50th in the event (yes, anything IS possible – never count yourself out when you have a lane to swim in).
In the past couple of weeks I have been blessed to see many great athletes throughout the country, especially as I did talks on the east and west coasts, many of whom will make the Olympic team. I enjoyed my conversation with my former coaches, Olympic Coach Richard Shoulberg and 2012 Olympic Coach, Teri McKeever, as well as many great athletes (Good luck to all of you :))
This time comes once every four years, BUT it can be viewed as just another pool, another meet, and another opportunity to see what you can do on this given day. If taken too seriously, stress can build. If taken with “what is possible?” attitude, you can have a lot of fun!
Yes, it can be a very nerve racking time where people feel expectations on them…but in the end, who can put these on you? ONLY YOU. You get to decide. So, why not let go, dance a little, stay light and TRUST…you are ready. You just get to KNOW that, stay in that place, and do your process – each little step to be your best (what you want to eat, when you want to put your suit on, the music you listen to/or not, whom you want to be around, what you do when nervous, what you do when too calm, and so on).
In the end, staying excited and yet calm, being motivated and yet detached, keeps you ready and free.
A quick story – when I went to my first Junior Nationals, I swam the 50 yard freestyle. I was seated 4th to last going into the meet. I didn’t know I was not supposed to win, and so I wanted to make it back to swim again at night. Now, some people might think this is crazy, but is it, really? After my morning swim, I was seeded 1st going into finals with a 23.71 which was my best time by about a second or so. At night, I was 3rd (?) with a 23.90 still much faster than my time going into the meet.
At any meet, at any given moment, we all can foster the potential of magic and possibilities as long as we remain open. Let go of all limiting beliefs about why you can’t…do it again, go faster, be the best, drop time, and so on. When you let yourself trust, amazing results occur AND you love the process of having it be just that – amazing.
So, a few simple and quick thoughts:
Enjoy each moment. Yes, it sounds so simple, and yet it can be so hard.
Stay focused on what makes you feel confident, strong, and happy. This can be as simple as watching a race you loved from the past, and then noticing how you feel. Once you are in a confident, good place, you are free to be your best. From here, anything is possible.
Realize you have done amazing training and racing to be where you are. This is not the time to second guess training, taper, what you ate for breakfast and so on. Now, it is time to purely get your mind out of the way and let your body do its thing.
You have a gift – you are already part of the top 0.1% of swimmers by being at this meet – now enjoy using it
My husband, Ross, my two young children and I look forward to watching you all and cheering you on to have your amazing moment(s) in Omaha!!!
To keep in touch with Katrina, please visit:
Katrina Radke website and blog: www.katrinaradke.com
Katrina Radke twitter: www.twitter.com/katrina_radke
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To order Katrina’s new peak potential book, Be Your Best Without the Stress, you can go to www.katrinaradke.com and click on STORE.