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Just BREATHE (or not!): Synchronised Swimming workshop
30 November 2014
Synchronised Swimming WA Foundation Core workshop, 30 November 2014, Department of Sport & Recreation WA
story by Olivia Vivian (WAIS Gymnast: 2008 Olympics, 2014 Commonwealth Games, multiple World Championships)
I believe this past Sunday was the first time ever I've mentored a whole squad of the same gender! I can easily say it made for some very pretty and standout drawings of the concept of Champions (an exercise we do at the beginning of the workshop)! So much so that we couldn't determine a winner! Good job girls.

There was a complete range in the level of stages these girls were at, which was useful in the sense that the younger ones can learn a lot from the older athletes in their sport. And it gives the older members a good opportunity to start practicing their role model positions!

Being a foundations course, it gave these girls a very clear understanding to what it takes to be an elite athlete and the top level in your chosen sport.

I think a key message to all of these girls was the importance of stress within and out of your sport and how to deal and manage with it so it doesn't affect your performance. Taking note that every athlete is different, it's really important for these athletes to have respect for their team-mates and not interrupt or disrupt their pre-performance routine. As a team, they need to help not hurt one another.
As presenters and mentors we always learn lots about the sports we work with. Synchronised swimming is different to a lot of other sports, because they have to carry out intricate, physically challenging routines while UNDERWATER (hence holding their breath). So for them, the physical side of stress control becomes even more important to enable them to do this well.
I hope they learned a few helpful tips. Good luck girls! We look forward to seeing you sparkling in the pool in Rio, Tokyo or beyond :)

 Olivia "VIV" Vivian pumped up in competition!
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