Block Diving

Mental prepareness for swim meet?

I am a good, pretty fast swimmer. The only that preventing me from reaching my goals in swimming is the "mental readiness". I always over think my races and go slower and it happens at every meet. I beat myself up after the events and sometimes end up crying.
My 500 freestyle is a 6:05, but I want to break 6 minutes. I know I have the speed and ability to go that fast, but it's the mental block that is not allowing me to do this.

Does anyone have any advice on your mental mind set at swim meets? How can I calm down?

Behind the blocks, block everything around you out. Don't talk to anyone and don't think of anything but your race. Envision yourself on the blocks, diving in, doing subsurface, breaking out, doing your turns, holding pace, beating everyone else, finishing the race strong, and ultimately looking up at that scoreboard to see that sub-6 time. Take deep breaths during all of this and you will be as prepared as possible mentally. If you want, listen to music to get you in the zone. You'll go way faster, believe me. Also, get in the mentality of no matter how hard you are going, you can always go faster. See yourself winning and achieving your goal. Don't be afraid to take it out fast either.

You got it. Go get that time, alright?

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