#9 ⇢ On Finding Yourself After Sport

When you do a sport for 10+ years, it becomes a part of your identity. For 17 years of my life, I was a synchronized swimmer. And suddenly, the day after we finished competing in Rio in 2016, I wasn’t.

A lot of people struggle to find themselves after they retire from competitive sports, and I am no exception. I knew that Rio would be my last Olympics and that I would retire afterwards, but I still had a hard time redefining my identity now that I wasn’t an elite athlete anymore. When used to sit next to someone on the plane and they would ask “What do you do?” I would say that I am a synchronized swimmer training full time. As of September 2016, I had no idea what to say!

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#8 ⇢ On Supporting a Teammate Through a Hard Time

When I was on the National Team, and especially during the 2012 Olympic year I went through several difficult situations outside of synchro that really affected my mental state in a negative way. I’m going to do a separate post about 2012 because I want to share the story that not many people know. During that year, and many other times, I felt very alone and unsupported. I had my family and non-synchro friends who I knew were there for me, but often times I felt like my teammates turned a blind eye to what I was going through. In synchro, your team is your family, and I think it’s so important to be able to support your teammates when they are going through something, whether you know the details of what’s going on or not.

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#6 ⇢ On Confidence and How to Cultivate It

#6 ⇢ On Confidence and How to Cultivate It

Confidence is one of the traits that is most commonly associated with great athletes. Top performers like Michael Phelps appear to be so sure of themselves and seemingly don’t care what other people think, but how do they get there? How do you “become” confident? It’s definitely not something you can just turn on and off, but rather a state of being and carrying yourself. I have a few thoughts on this that I’d like to share.

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#5 ⇢ Dealing with the Pre-Competition Jitters

#5 ⇢ Dealing with the Pre-Competition Jitters

As an athlete, you know that pre-competition nerves can make or break your performance. I feel like there are very few athletes who don’t get nervous before they compete, and once you learn how to control your emotions you can use those pre-competition jitters to your advantage instead of psyching yourself to ensure an optimal performance.

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