Hello guys! I’m back again with issue which I would like to bring up. Basically, it’s about taking every competition – no matter how small it may be, or how fatigue you are that day, and race your heart out every race. When I say race your heart out I mean RACE UNTIL YOUR ARMS AND LEGS FEEL LIKE FALLING OFF, and make sure that you have nothing left in the tank after that race.
It took me about a year to understand this concept of racing hard no matter what the competition may be. I was initially skeptical towards this approach. Like come on – Why do I need to race hard in unimportant competitions when I can win the race with an easier time? I mean I’m not bragging about this, but it is true, I think athletes tend to ease off when they know that they can win the competition with ease. It’s kinda similar to social loafing, where you exert less effort to achieve that same target. But I would like to address this today about why we should all change this loafing mindset and start racing hard no matter what the competition is.
1. Every competition is a chance for you to realize your weaknesses
Going hard every race allows you to solidify your race plan when it comes to big competitions. It’s simple – every race gives you an opportunity to try out new race plans and techniques, so don’t waste those opportunities to just ‘race to win.’ Take it as a chance to try out the different things that you’ve learnt from training, keep the good things that you’ve learnt, and toss away the things that you thought was good but didn’t pan out well during your race.
2. Your weaknesses are AMPLIFIED during competitions
People are tempted to not go all out after a tough week of training when they are at their most fatigue stage. But if you learn to race hard, you’ll be able to pin point where your weaknesses lie during your race, especially when your body is at it’s most fatigue stage. That’s because the pain amplifies when you’re tired, so you know EXACTLY where your weaknesses are. For example, in a race, if your legs start to hurt like mad in the last few meters of your race, you know for sure that your weakness lies in your kick, and you’ll have to work more on it during the next phase of training.
3. It helps in fighting through greater pain barriers
Similar to what I’ve mentioned above, when weaknesses are amplified, pain is amplified as well. Racing hard on bad days allows you to push through greater pain barriers as compared to when you’re well rested and tapered. And if you can push through the pain barrier in a race which you are unrested, you’ll have no fear when it comes to bigger competitions, when you know that you’re more well rested and in shape.
4. Sometimes, your best times come unexpected
At times, you’ll still be able to swim best times even when you’re tired! For me, I’ve swum best times before when I’m unrested throughout my swimming career, and that gives me a huge confidence boost as I know that my times are going to be much better when I’m well rested and tapered. So just race your heart out, and see how the race pans out.
I hope my post inspires you to take every racing opportunity seriously, and race your heart out every race. Always remember that every race is a chance for you to better yourself, and it also trains you up both physically and mentally to prepare you better for the bigger competitions to come, so STOP LOAFING!!!
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