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5 rules to beat the tricksters of the open water competitions

by ZwemZa on January 6th, 2018


Things don’t always go as planned. Competitions are often full of unpredicted moments, risks and unexpected episodes that disrupt the otherwise perfect competition that we’d planned so perfectly.

Usually one can manage to be tolerant (but not too much) with the variables like the rough water, the wobbly starting block or that pain that keeps bothering us during the swim, but it’s harder to be tolerant towards the rough, unsportsmanlike, “tricksters” of the open waters.

If you want to know how to avoid these irritating athletes you can read these 5 simple but essential tips!

#1 Look around

While in indoor races, where the swimmers are identified before start, in open water races it can happen that some swimmers will cheat and take a short cut, or some that will hide half way along the path before start only to join in on the race later on. So, keep your eyes open and tell the judges if someone is breaking the rules!

#2 Protect yourself from getting hit…

I’ve swum some races where I’ve been punched and kicked by those who didn’t want to let me pass. In these situations you can react by pretending nothing happened, or decide to take revenge and throw a few punches yourself in order to surpass them.  In order to do well, there’s no point in wasting energy by fighting these “Mike Tysons of swimming”. Save your energy and let the fighters tire themselves out!

#3 …and from the lies!

There are those who will try to affect you psychologically by distracting you and making you believe that they’re not well prepared for the race. How to avoid it? By remembering that your opponent is hardly going to reveal their winning strategy to you. Don’t trust anyone who says “I’m tired. I don’t think I’ll do well today” or “I didn’t train enough for this race” because it’s rarely a sincere revelation.

#4 Swim your own race

Sometimes someone will ask you to follow them by starting off slow. Half way through the race you realize that they lied and instead started off really strongly and now suddenly you’re out of energy and unable to keep up. By only swimming your own race, without trying to challenge anyone else is always the best way to go in order to reach the podium!

#5 Save some energy for the finish line

The finish line is where all the “tricksters” will emerge. You know those who have been trailing behind you for the whole race and only to overtake you in the final sprint? Save some energy so that you can stay in the game!

We can’t guarantee that you’ll become a quicker swimmer or that these 5 tips will drastically improve your swimming experience…and most of all, don’t lose your cool when trying to win over the “tricksters” of the open waters.

Tell us the stories and tricks that you’ve acquired in order to win over the “tricksters” that you’ve encountered!

Valeria Molfino

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