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The Balancing Act: Swimming Workshop by Amber Bradley
11 September 2012

The further along the high performance scale you are, the greater your commitments will be to your sport. Generally, you will also have greater commitments in your life outside of sport as you get older.  Therefore, maintaining a balanced approach to sport and life is crucial for any athlete who wishes to reach the pinnacle of his or her chosen sport.

This is always the main point Kate Bobridge and I try to instil in all participants of the Developing Champions program.

Maintaining a balanced approach to life is especially crucial for the up-and-coming swimmers who attended the Developing Champions workshop at the Burswood on Saturday, 26thMay, 2012.

A balanced lifestyle can help athletes (a) cope better with stressors; (b) lengthen their sporting careers; (c) better adjust to life after sport.

Coping with stress is also a key area which we discussed during the workshop.

Most athletes tend to feel an increase in stress and anxiety leading into a major competition. This is completely normal as it is the body’s way of preparing itself for a fight.

However, it is essential that young athletes learn to recognise stress within the body and develop coping mechanisms so that the stress does not become all consuming.

The best way I have learnt to deal with stress is to CONTROL THE CONTROLLABLES and FORGET ABOUT THE REST. For example, you cannot control the outcome of a race because you cannot control the speed in which your opponents swim. You can only control how fast you swim. If you swim as fast as you possibly can, there is a very good chance you will outswim the opposition.

If athletes can master the art of living a balanced lifestyle and dealing with stress in a positive way, they will improve their performance in and away from the sporting arena.

Good luck to you all!

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