Pre and Post-Competition Rituals with the Varsity Swim Team

Acadia’s varsity swimmers returned from the Kemp Fry Invitational swim meet hosted by Dalhousie University on November 28th, with the competition running from the 26th to the 28th. The team performed well, narrowly missing a second place finish in the overall combined team standings. While the Dalhousie Tigers scored top points in the team overalls, the Acadia Axewomen and Axemen trailed Memorial University by just three points. The team will be back in action in January competing at the AUS Invitational hosted by Dalhousie in January on the 15th and 16th. Read on to see how the team prepares for competition, and how they celebrate after, in both pre and post-competition style:

Victoria Flowerday, first-year Axewoman and freestyle specialist:

“The week leading up to a meet, I eat lots of pasta! Right before I race, I have to do specific stretches and exercises. After the meet, I usually sleep for about 12 hours!”

Bo Stokesbury-Price, first-year Axeman and freestyle specialist:

“Sometimes during swim meets I’ll have a yam that I eat throughout a meet weekend for good luck. As a post competition ritual, I eat an entire large pizza and drink a litre of chocolate milk to replenish myself.”

Kassidy Hamilton, second-year Axewoman and butterfly/backstroke specialist:

“I always drink a juice box pre-race for some quick energy!”

Ally Bennett, second-year Axewoman and backstroke/breaststroke specialist:

“I don’t really have anything specific I do before meets, but I always end up accidentally injuring myself. This past weekend it was a bruised ankle and scraped knee. Pre-race, I have to slap my legs 6 times and each of my arms 5 times.”

Elisabeth Morrison, third-year Axewoman and freestyle/breastroke specialist:

“My superstition is that I always need to have my water bottle with me when I go up behind the blocks to race. After the meet, I always look forward to celebrating with the team!”

Aaron Day, third-year Axeman and backstroke specialist:

“The way that I prepare for meets is by really focusing on drinking lots of water and eating well the week leading up to the meet. The only ritual I sort of have is my routine behind the blocks. I always jump in for backstroke on the same side of the block and in the same way. For non-backstroke events, I like to tap the wedge with my foot as soon as I step on the block.”

Lucas Perkins, third-year Axeman and butterfly/freestyle specialist:

“Typically, leading up to meets I try to get as much sleep as possible, so I always go to bed early and take naps before meets. Same goes for at the meet, I also always try to drink a ton of water before and during the meet, so I chug a whole water bottle when I wake up on the day of competition. I also listen to music to hype me up right until the last second before I get on the blocks to race.”

Sarah MacDougall, fourth-year Axewoman and breaststroke specialist:

“At meets, I drink lots of coffee!”

Elyott Chang, fourth-year Axeman and Breastroke/Individual Medley Specialist:

“I usually like to carb load before meets and do some visualization, although not a lot as it can potentially throw my race off. I practice different breathing techniques and I always approach the block from the left side, which is weirdly specific but it just feels wrong to do it the other way. I also like watching Olympic swimming to get myself in the right mindset. And I also like getting very sweaty before I jump into the pool to warm up.”