Being mentally tough has been the focus for Pikes swimmers

Penticton Pikes coach wants to see swimmers able to overcome mental challenges in races

The Penticton Pikes are focused on mental toughness with the B.C. Swimming Summer Association regional championships in Kamloops this weekend.

“I want physically strong swimmers; however, above that I want mentally tough swimmers,” said Pikes coach Celina Glabus, who added they recently had two weeks of Hell Week, which was intense training for the senior group. “If there are distractions, or something happens to go wrong, I want them to be resilient enough to let the little things go and focus on what’s ahead of them in a meet, that being the race. We are teaching them proper ways to channel their energy and utilize it to their best ability. Making sure we have a group of confident swimmers is key also; now more than ever is the time to really pump them up.”

Glabus pointed out that when things go sideways, strong swimmers rely on mental training. She wants them to focus on the positive. “Channel your energy the right way. Remain focused on your own performance,” she said. “Don’t stress excessively. Use your nerves to help you do well.”

July training was hard and intense to get the swimmers physically prepared and fit.  At their last two meets in Revelstoke and White Rock, the Pikes performed well. While in Revelstoke most of the team camped, which Glabus said was great for team bonding.

Numbers were smaller in White Rock, but those who traveled saw new competition.

“They have so much to be proud of and are so deserving of what they will all accomplish this weekend,” said Glabus. “Technically, we are fine tuning things like starts, turns and finishes to sharpen things up before this weekend.”

Pikes looking fantastic, as Glabus said, heading into the weekend are Ben Say, Anders Say, Maddie Seeley, Leah Newsted, Ryan McMillan, Jack McLennan, and Maia McCoy.

“They are an extremely hard working group of young athletes. Some of them made provincials last summer, and I’m confident that we’ll have the same (and more) qualifying this year,” she said.