If you’ve ever wished you could hear words of advice from your swim heroes, you’re in the right place. We spoke to one of Team Speedo’s newest members, Jamal Hill, and got his best bits of advice for aspiring athletes.
Jamal Hill is a 5 x National Champion and 3 x Para Pan American games medallist. When he’s not chasing gold medals, Jamal spends his time helping others learn to swim through his foundation, Swim Up Hill. Jamal has an infectious positive attitude and is determined to make the world a better place.
Jamal’s Top Tips for Athletes
- You’re more than an athlete – success in anything requires dedication but enjoy your life. This life has so much more to offer you than just your sport.
- Mastery takes time – first come the 10,000 hours, and then come the 10 dark years. Think of Kung Fu masters and how the best ones are all older. Develop your skills one day at a time, and one day you’ll become a master.
- You’re always at the same place in life, better than some and worse than others – there’s always someone faster and there’s always someone slower. If that’s not true today it will be tomorrow, just be the best you can.
- Gamify your mistakes in practice – when things don’t go to plan and you make mistakes at training, imagine it’s race day and ask yourself how you can still have a great session despite the challenges.
- Let go of expectations – most athletes aren’t able to recognise when they’re experiencing pressure. Your goals can be heavy, especially if you give them so much energy that you’re not in the present moment. Be still, be grateful and appreciate the person that you are.
- Always listen to others – wisdom can come from unlikely sources, often other people’s life experience that you have little insight about. Be open to ideas, there’s always something to be learned from other people.
- Trust the process – have faith in the journey, even the frustrating parts.
- Listen to your body – do what you need to do to reinforce your confidence, don’t worry about what other people think or say,
- Celebrate after a meet regardless of how it went – you are worth celebrating. Treat yourself with some high-quality self-care! After a competition consider sticking around and exploring the city or country that you’re in.
Read more about Jamal here.