Swim better, faster and with more confidence

Team GB swimmer Ellie Faulkner shares her top eight tips with us.

Photo: Swimovate

Focus on your general technique so you can swim your best at Swimathon.

  • Your body position is key in all the strokes you do. Remember to keep your core stomach muscles working at all times to help you move through the water more easily. Burying or lifting your head too much while you’re swimming can cause extra drag in the water, so try keeping your head central to the water level.
  • On all strokes, how much power you’ll have to move through the water will come mainly from your arms, so use them wisely. You can also prevent yourself from tiring too quickly by keeping a constant leg kick if you’re doing freestyle and backstroke, and by keeping your arm strokes long throughout.

Feeling nervous about your big swim on the day? Here’s my step-by-step guide to help you overcome your nerves.

  • Take a deep breath. If you have a tendency to take shallow breaths or breathe in and out too quickly, try using deep breathing to help you to breathe more efficiently.
  • Assess the situation. Think about what you need to do and how you’re going to do it.
  • Visualise yourself meeting your goals, with success and confidence. While it’s ok to be nervous, try turning your nerves into a positive energy. Think about all the things you’ve done in the past to help you achieve what you’re about to do. And don’t worry – nervousness rapidly diminishes with experience.
  • Turn nervous thoughts into self-affirmations. If you can’t stop the negative thoughts, try replacing them with positive statements of what you’re capable of, all in the first person. Tell yourself: ‘I can do this’, ‘I’ve trained well for this, so I can do this’, ‘I’m ready to take on this challenge’, ‘I’ve nothing to be worried about’ and ‘I’ll give my all and do the best I can possibly do’.
  • Accept yourself as you are – nobody’s perfect! Accept the level of where you’re at before the challenge you’re planning to take on. Set yourself a goal that isn’t too far away but that’s challenging enough for you to get the best out of yourself.
  • Confidence is key! Stand tall and embrace the situation. There’ll be days when you feel like you’re starting from day one. Take a deep breath, banish any negative thoughts and have total confidence in yourself. You can do it!

Check out Swimathon.org for training plans and more tips to help you prepare for your Swimathon challenge.  

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