By Megan Fanning//National Team High Performance Assistant. | Tuesday, May 3, 2016
A few weeks ago USA Swimming hosted the National Junior Team Camp here at the Olympic Training Center. Sixty-five National Junior Team members attended the three-day event, making it one of the largest camps we hosted. Keeping in mind the Olympic Games are now less than 100 days away, the theme of the camp was “Embracing the Journey.” The focus was not only on the personal journey athletes go through during a season, but also the journey the team experiences during a trip to an international competition. There were three major takeaways from the camp this year.
Embrace Failure: Failure at times can seem like an overwhelming and scary word, but if you look at it with the right mindset, failure is something that can propel you to greatness. During the camp, National Team member Jessica Hardy spoke to the team about her journey. She has overcome many obstacles including finishing third at the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 100 breaststroke. Jessica could have given up after that event, yet she decided to take that frustration and channel it into making the team in the 50 and 100 freestyle. Embracing failure simply means that you don’t let a failure at define you and you learn from both failures and success.
Embrace Your Routine: Everyone has a routine for day-to-day life, but when traveling to a domestic or international meet, that routine can get interrupted. It is important that you stick to your routine as much as possible. This routine can include what you do in pre-meet warm-up, what you do before your race, and what you do to hydrate and fuel yourself. No two meets will be alike, so you want to be adaptable in all situations. If you stick to your routine, you will feel more confident in your performance.
Embrace Support: The final theme of the National Junior Team camp was having a strong support system around you. Your support system should include those you feel comfortable with and who support you. This may include your parents, your friends, your coaches, your teammates, and those you meet in the swimming community. Everyone will have a different support system, but it is important to remember it has to work for you specifically. Embrace the people around you who want to see you succeed. It will make your journey more enjoyable and enhance your chances of succeeding.