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Swimming: a mental sport

January 28, 2011

On your marks, get set, dive into something not many people could handle as a sport at Monmouth College.  For sophomore Erica McAloon, swimming is part of her life and has taken pride in enjoying this sport.

“The hardest part of swimming would probably be time management because we spend so much time at the pool while we are all still students,” said McAloon.

McAloon has been swimming for 10 years and started because she was convinced by her friends to join a club swimming team during the summer at Norridge Park District and just retired this summer as a Norridge Marlin.

But with everything in life comes fears. McAloon’s fears might be similar to most athletes.

“Like any other athlete I always have fear that I will stop improving and hit my highs and not get any faster,” states McAloon. “If I’m going to continue working this hard I want a good outcome and  to continue to drop times.” 

She swims the 200-yard individual medley (IM), 200-yard  freestyle, 50-yard freestyle, and 100-yard freestyle at most meets but she feels that she is most competitive in the 100-yard freestyle. Between the four events she swims, her favorite stroke is freestyle because she feels that she is the most competitive in this stroke.  Her favorite event however is the 200-yard IM.                                               “This is the most exciting event for me because the 200-yard IM is never boring and is constantly switching up,” said McAloon.

“My proudest moments of the season so far are at the Carthage meet I had two personal records in the 200-yard IM and freestyle. At the Monmouth Invite I was in the 400-yard medley relay with Annie Higdon, Krysta Sparks, Rachel Holm and we beat the record by two seconds,” said McAloon.

With practices in the morning and afternoon it’s important for the swim team to keep bonded. “I enjoy the team bonding events we do outside the pool because it shows our team strength both inside and outside the pool,” said McAloon. 

With conference just around the corner she hopes to get personal records in all events she swims in, including relays which she hopes to receive personal best splits, and to place top two in her relays. She also hopes for the girls team to place third overall.

“Swimming is a mental sport. The key is to while physically working hard,  mentally preparing yourself for a race. To help prepare myself for a race I listen to a pump up song on my iPod, crack my wrists and tighten my goggles on the starting block,” said McAloon.

BY KELSEY BESHEARS
Sports Editor

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