How Can I Stay Motivated When Competing at Swimming?

Abbie leaning on the side of a pool in Speedo gear

Do Elite swimmers have bad days? It may be hard to believe, but even athletes at the top of their game have off days and sometimes want to throw in the towel!

We spoke to one of Team Speedo’s newest members, Abbey Weitzeil, about the realities of being a professional swimmer and how she overcomes hard days.

Abbey Weitzel is one of the top US female sprinters, currently holding the American record in the 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle. Abbey is a 2x Olympic Medallist and 2x World Championship Medallist.

We asked Abbey how she stays motivated, keeps training and likes to relax.

Q: Have you ever felt like you can’t go further or faster?

“Questioning whether you can go further or faster is part of being an athlete. I’m always questioning myself, especially if I have a bad practice. It’s important to remember that everyone has days like that, and you’ll get through the low points.”

Q: Do you feel pressure to always be better than your last swim?

“It depends on the meet and the time of year. Of course, swimming well is great, but throughout the season I just try and get better until it’s time for the biggest meet of the year where I hope to go faster.”

Q: Does the pressure of winning or losing get to you?

“As I’ve had more experience it doesn’t get to me as much if I lose. I try to tell myself that I’m going to do the best that I can, and that I can’t control how anyone else swims. If I do the absolute best I can, then that’s all I can control. That said, I do love to win!”

Q: How do you get past challenges?

“I train and do what I can control, and I tell myself that whenever I’m having a tough time… You’re going to have some good days and some bad days, and sometimes you’ll have bad weeks or months too. As long as you enjoy the ride and love what you do then these challenges are easier to face.”

Q: How do you relax and celebrate after a big meet?

“I start with a delicious meal! I really love celebrating with my friends and family, and if I can I like to book a holiday and get away.”

Q: What are your top training tips for aspiring athletes?

  1. Have trust in your training.
  2. Have confidence in what you are doing.
  3. Learn even through the “fails”.
  4. Enjoy the process.
  5. Know your goals.

You can learn more about Abbey here.



Writer and expert