Swim team prepares mentally for upcoming season

By KyraMcFadden

As winter begins to draw near, so does the Marian swim season. Whether it is weight training or getting in extra practices, swimmers have their own ways of physically preparing during pre-season. But, how do members of the Marian swim team mentally prepare for the season?

The mental aspect of preparation is just as important as the physical aspect of preparation. “It is something which has to be done routinely, just like working out. You can’t save it for the night before the competition,”  swim team head coach Mr. BJ Christiansen said. Keeping a positive attitude before and throughout the season can help determine one’s success. 

To calm tryout and pre-season nerves, junior Sydney Kelly said, “I visualize my races and give myself motivation. I say positive things to myself.” 

Kelly is able to confide in her mom. “I talk to my mom a lot about swim. She really supports me, and I can talk to her,” Kelly said. Kelly has been a key member of the Marian swim team since her sophomore year. Kelly swims in the 100 freestyle. 

Senior Brynn Ullerich has also been a member of the Marian swim team since her sophomore year. “I was prepared a lot because I really wanted to make the team,” Ullerich said “I got prepared by getting enough sleep and having a positive attitude.” 

Now, Ullerich has created her own routine before tryouts and races. In the morning, “My dad asks ‘Are you ready today?’ I say ‘yes,’ but I’m not ready. I lie to myself,” and before races to help with nervousness, “I press my goggles and shake out twice,” Ullerich said. Ullerich mainly competes in the 100 breaststroke and in her favorite, the 200 IM (individual medley). 

Maintaining a positive attitude throughout the season is a key ingredient to success. Sophomore Maggie Lampert is effectively able to stay motivated because of her teammates. “My teammates help me out. They keep me motivated and have a positive mindset,” Lampert said. Lampert’s favorite stroke is the 100 free.

As a team, swimmers collectively discuss the mental aspects of their sport at team meetings and guest speakers. They also practice deep breathing, visualization and mental relaxation.

At the Nov. 29 Winter Sports Pep Rally, Coach Christiansen encouraged students to support the Marian swim team at their “home” swim meet on Jan. 20 at the University of Nebraska-Omaha 

(Back to front) Alaira Hadford ’25, Lauren Mendlick ’23 and Meredith Peyton ’26 set up on diving blocks before the girls’ 100 yard butterfly. Peyton placed 1st, Mendlick placed 2nd and Hadford placed 5th. Photo by ElsaJurrens.

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