Making the U.S. Olympic swimming team is an incredible achievement. Yet this achievement is often accompanied by feelings of intense anxiety. US swimmers may find themselves panicking prior to their events. The sense of panic can stem from increased media attention, the uncertainty of being in a foreign land, or the awareness that years of training have led up to a single race. Whatever the reason, Olympic swimmers must confront their anxiety in order to succeed. So how exactly should they do it?
According to Olympic gold medalist Summer Sanders, the answer is to simplify everything. In an exclusive interview with BuddyTV, Sanders stressed the importance of keeping the competition as simple as possible and staying grounded in reality. She advised swimmers to pretend that the Olympics were an age-group meet, rather than an intense, international competition. In this view, all that will happen after the meet is that a swimmer will go home - as they have always done following competition. Thus, Sanders believes that there is no need to fixate on races and turn the Olympics into something beyond another opportunity to compete.
In addition to offering swimming advice, Sanders also spent the interview describing her own Olympic experiences. She recounted the feeling of winning a gold medal in the two hundred meter butterfly on the final day of competition. This was a race that Sanders went into being physically and mentally exhausted. Yet the Olympian remembers overcoming her exhaustion by looking in the mirror and psyching herself up for one last shot at gold.
For more of Summer Sanders' Olympic insights, along with her thoughts on this year's rising U.S. swimming stars, check out BuddyTV's exclusive interview here
Don't miss a single event! Get the new BuddyTV app!Nick RaithelContributing Writer(Image courtesy of NBC)