With the realization that mid-spring season is just around the corner, KIS Varsity swimmers from coast to coast are getting their goggles ready, priming up for one of the biggest meets of the year. KAIAC A/B Tournament at Chadwick International School will occur for the span of two days, from March 10th to 11th. As important as the competition is to the swim team as a whole, the swimmers have likewise shaved and tapered off their times to get prepped for the big race. After weeks of investing all of the after school practices and those seemingly impossible routine sets, the opportunity to garner the rewards of the hard work is up to the students themselves. Now, it is the matter of how each and every swimmer is going to pull this off.
All swimmers are aware of the basic prerequisites needed to keep in mind before any race: rest, nutrition, gear, warm-up, and focus. It is clearly a given that double-checking on the essentials in a swim bag, consisting of a racing suit, goggles, cap, and any extraneous items such nutrition bars and dry towels, is crucial to do at least several days in advance. Along with a well-rested body and a positive, determined attitude, the swimmers would be able to get some of that pre-race anxiety off – the psychological and physical well-being in check. However, what other additional series of checklists do swimmers follow besides the very basics? After asking some of the fellow KIS student athletes, a wide array of responses revealed a lot more secrets to a good swim.
1. What do you do few days before a swim meet in preparation for the race?
“To be honest, I am the type to pack up everything the night before a meet, instead of doing it several days early. Few things I do before the race is of course carbo-load, such as whole-wheat pasta and lots of fruits and vegetables. I also learned recently that listening to music helps me get rid of the pre-race jitters as well, something to pump me up with a heavy, fast beat.”
– Matthew Lee, Sophomore
2. What do you do on the day of the swim meet?
“Nothing much. I just try to sleep early the night before, and on the day of the meet, I basically try not to eat anything. Maybe I’ll allow a banana or two, but nothing else because if I feel too full, I can’t swim as fast as I want to. It’s also important to drink some water in between breaks.”
– Sarah Hong, Junior
3. How do you deal with peer pressure and unfamiliar environments during a swim meet?
“Although at times I am caught under unfamiliar environments, especially as the only freshmen girl on the swim team, I often try my best to ‘adapt’ to such conditions by beginning conversations with other swimming team members or speaking to other school swimmers. Referring to peer pressure, I don’t think I am necessarily uncomfortable in new conditions; however, it is true that I attempt to ‘flow with the crowd’ by cheering on other team mates or by preparing for my own strokes.”
– Jennifer Kim, Freshmen
The best swimmers in the world have techniques that help them perform to their utmost ability, and they consider these strategies as they prep for tournaments. Obviously, the central objective of a swim meet is to see who can swim the fastest – to bring swimmers together and have them compete against one other. But the competition is only a part of the swim meet experience. Regardless of the outcome, good sportsmanship and enjoying the sheer participation of events are included in the sport that students work so hard to be part of.
A key point to remember about tournaments is that it is also supposed to be fun, full of cheering each other on and bonding with other school swimmers. Alongside these mental side notes, months of swimming and planning with intent always lead to a successful swim meet.
– Ashley Kim (’18)