The pressure of repeating

Ellie Hohensinner, News Editor

Standing up on the podium. Accepting the trophy. Recognition at school. All of those things are wonderful, until you are expected to do them again.

The Liberty High School Swim and Dive team won the 2A state title last year, but how much pressure is there to perform the same way again? How can you out do a state record of most points won in a state meet?

No matter what is different from year to year, which team members have moved on and graduated, there is still an underlying expectation to outdo what was done last year. The teams are different, the years are different, and the time is different, but the same outcome is expected. How is that fair?

Honestly, it isn’t. There are an outrageous amount of factors that go into a meet, especially a state meet none the less.

The goal of any activity or sport is to improve yourself, improve as a team, and have fun. We are told as long as we try our best, it does not matter if we win.

But when you have the external and internal pressure of repeating, you think winning is all that matters.

You may try to block it out. You may try to focus on your races. But the vision of winning or losing can replay in the back of your mind until it drives you crazy.

In this situation, it is always easier to be the chaser than the one being chased. Last year, we were the ones chasing the leading teams, and now we are the ones being hunted down.

At those 2A meets last year, I had never met anyone so genuinely nasty in the swim world. Coaches would not talk to our coaches and swimmers would not make eye contact. Those teams were upset that we had moved down a division, as if we had a choice. They were upset that we came and did well. Those teams want revenge, and want to see us fail.

When people want to see you struggle, there a few ways to approach it. You can either back down and fail, or do anything and everything in your power to prove them wrong.

But winning is not all that matters. Yes, standing on top of the podium holding the large swim trophy where the years and the school will be engraved is exciting, but there is more to life than winning.

The pressure may be there, and people may talk, but you can only win again if you try your best, and not be focused on the outcome, but by living in the moment.