Problem 4: Swim anxiety
It’s entirely possible to get a heel to the face. Enough said.
Solved: “Recognize that this is a contact sport. Know ahead of time that you’ll need to be mentally ready for battle,” Walker says. Long before your race, start to visualize yourself dealing with knocked-off goggles, a jab in the back, an elbow to the ribs—mentally work through your worst swim nightmares, so if they pop up on race day, you’ll know how to cope.
Also, Walker says, pay attention to your body temperature. “Sometimes, when you’re cold, it feels like you’re anxious,” she says, so you’ll start to get anxious, because you think you’re anxious, but really you were just cold. It’s a vicious cycle.