Swimming and diving team focuses on mentality for Missouri meet

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Photo: Tim Reuter/Iowa State Daily

Sophomore Elena Carvell competes in the 100-yard butterfly event during the swim meet on Saturday, Oct. 30. Carvell took first place in the event with a time of 58.16.

Nate Ryan

With winter break and tough physical training behind them, the ISU swimming and diving team is back in action this weekend. The Cyclones head to Columbia, Mo. to take on the No. 25 Missouri Tigers.

Saturday will not be the first time this season Iowa State has competed with a ranked opponent. The team’s first dual meet sent it to Minnesota where the Gophers defeated Iowa State 157-129.

After Minnesota, Cyclone coach Duane Sorenson said the team was not mentally focused.

“If you’re going to compete with the elite teams in the country, you’ve got to be prepared mentally,” Sorenson said.

The team has worked hard to make sure they come into the pool prepared this time around.

“We haven’t competed in an official meet in such a long time,”¬†Sorenson said.¬†“They’re excited to go down there to race and compete.”

Sorenson said in Minnesota, the team got too out of control and nervous and that it affected their performance. 

“Being excited is one thing, but being under control and excited is the other thing we’re trying to work on,” Sorenson said.

Mentality is key for every athlete. Just like every sport, the team can’t be thinking about their fundamentals too much.

“We call that paralysis by analysis,” Sorenson said. “They’re thinking too much rather than just reacting. I think we’ll be much more prepared. What we did at Northwestern and how we swam against Iowa, we really overcame that.”

It is no different at the diving end of the pool.

“I think [mentality] is 90 percent of it,” said diving coach Jeff Warrick.

Warrick said his divers are working on doing their thinking well before they dive. Then, go through their routine on the ground so that when it comes time to dive the aforementioned 90 percent isn’t going against them.

“That’s what I want them working on,” Warrick said. “Stepping on the board and not, no thought, but almost close to that.”

Competing with another school in the Big 12 is a key time for many other sports, but is it the same for swimming and diving? It might just be more mental than anything else.

“When it’s a Big 12 school I think it does mean a little bit more,” Warrick said.