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PURSLEY PEP TALKS: PERFORMING UNDER PRESSURE
Published:March 31, 2014
Swimming World will publish a collection of coaching perspectives written by Alabama head swimming coach Dennis Pursley. This is the 12th installment of a series that will be rolled out throughout the coming months.
PERFORMING UNDER PRESSURE
Pressure can come from outside sources or from within ourselves. We must learn to control it, or it will control us. If we manage it properly, pressure can be used to stimulate our adrenaline and lift our performances to a higher level. It can enhance our incentive, motivation and determination. If we allow pressure to control us, however, it will deplete our energy and destroy our confidence.
The difference between athletes who respond well to pressure and those who don’t is often a matter of perspective. Those who thrive on pressure will look at every challenge as an opportunity and will tap into the energy that is prevalent in a high-pressure environment. They will relish the spotlight and embrace the moment.
Those who are unable to handle the pressure will often associate their performance with their self-worth. They believe that their quality of life may be diminished, or that they are somehow less significant or of less value as a person if they fail to achieve their performance goals. Although this mindset has no basis in reality, it can create an intimidating level of pressure that is likely to crush rather than enhance performance.
A balanced perspective that recognizes the significance of the opportunity combined with an “everything-to-gain-and-nothing-to-lose” attitude is the perspective that will enable an athlete to use the pressure to his or her advantage. Learning to handle pressure effectively will be as important as any other aspect of our preparation in our quest for success in major competition.
About Dennis Pursley
Pursley has helmed coaching staffs throughout the world, including stops as the first head coach of the Australian Institute of Sport, the inaugural director of the United States National Team and most recently the head coach of Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic squad. Pursley returned to the deck in 2003 as the head coach of the Brophy East Swim Team in Phoenix Ariz., before becoming the head coach of British Swimming in 2008.
Pursley and his wife Mary Jo have five children, Lisa, Brian, David, Steven and J.J. Lisa and David have joined him on the Alabama staff.
|How a man plays a game shows something of his character, how he loses shows all of it.
Finals Day 3 Silvers
Peyton McNulty kept the fire burning from the morning session after a 2 second drop in time in her 200 Breaststroke. The AM swim put her in 16th place. McNulty took the opportunity to really swim a fantastic race at night after making some great corrections to her stroke prior to the race. Peyton never looked better as she cruised to a new best by over 8 seconds from her morning LTB crashing thru the 2:50 barrier to post a 2:47.63. She beat her old 50 and 100 best. Peyton’s coach ability has really had a tremendous effect on her growing curve and best times at this meet and thru her season. That will be a difference maker in the levels she achieves long range. 17.24
Laura Hartman moved up a couple places and grabbed a best 25 just off her best. 50 by .01.
Peyton broke lose with a nicely done 100 Backstroke splitting her race tight and coming up big with a Senior Cut. Peyton cut another second and then some off her newly crafted morning PR. Kudos on the Cut time.
Peyton (Finals) finished up with her 2nd best 200 IM.
Laura (Finals) went out faster than the AM swim just trailing off at the end.
Peyton McNulty wrapped up her night of finals with Couple swims of the session in her 200 Breaststroke and 100 Backstroke. Defining herself as swimmer of the session, but ending the weekend with Swimmer of the Meet honors. Sister Avery McNulty made her case for runner up in the swimmer of the meet honors. Congrats All swimmers at Silvers and to all our BDA Swimmers for a great Winter season. Look forward to the awesome results over the summer.
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|When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.
– Alexander Graham Bell
Day 3 Silver’s Highlights.
Peyton McNulty swam to another LTB, this time in the 200 Breaststroke where she knocked off 2 seconds posting a 2:55.63. She will get another swim as she snuck into the final spot.
Lauren Lanzendorfer hit her best 50 (36.07) Back going out in her 100 which she was just off her best by .07 for a rock solid swim.
Laura Hartman was just off her best 50 Free but will get another chance in a swim tonight.
Laura Hartman almost swam a triple best just missing her 25 best by .02, but grabbed a best 50 Back of 33.83, and 100 in 1:09.48.
Peyton McNulty put up some more best times this time in her specialty of the 100 Back. Peyton hit a triple of 15.41, 31.67, and 1:05.05 to come back for a finals swim seeded fourth.
Peyton McNulty kept the fire hot with a 3 second drop in her 200 IM where she will be bringing it back for another final swim due to her new best of 2:26.52.
Laura Hartman scored another final swim in her 200 IM and grabbed a best time in her 50 Fly split of 32.42.
Haley Thier swam to a best time in her 100 IM dropping 3 seconds and showing off a 1:14.36 new LTB.
Swim of the session was Peyton’s 200 IM and for hitting all bests she was named swimmer of the session.
|Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
– Mark Twain
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There will be NO practices Monday. We will resume practices with Tuesday morning and night. We will send out a schedule tomorrow.
|Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.
– Winston Churchill
Day 2 highlights Silvers
The 200 medley relay team of Peyton McNulty, Laura Hartman, Lauren Lanzendorfer, and Rachel Lorah posted an 11th place. Peyton led off with a best 50 Back, Lauren Split two bests in her 25 and 50 Fly, and Rachel anchored with 2 bests as well in her. 25 &. 50 Free.
200 Medley Relay
15.75 31.90 Peyton
106.96. 15.75 35.06 Laura
137.74. 14.29 30.78 Lauren
210.36. 15.32 32.62 Rachel
Highlighted swims include Peyton McNulty’s 200 Freestyle Best of 2:10.16 where she just missed a Nightime swim placing 17th.
Rachel Lorah threw down a triple best in her 100 Breaststroke cracking 20 in her 25, dropping almost 3 seconds off both her 50 and 100 previous bests. Congrats Rachel as she scored 5 best times in her 2 swims.
Peyton McNulty shined in the 200 Back where she scored a top 3 placing in the prelims. Although off her best times just achieved last week at Senior Champs, Peyton again showed her stuff in the finals at night where she bettered her morning swim and managed a third place medal for her efforts.
Rachel Lorah was swimmer of the AM session for her 5 bests and had swim of the session in her 100 Breaststroke. Peyton McNulty took a close second, but gained honors for her Final swim and 3rd place in the 200 Backstroke.
A coward gets scared and quits. A hero gets scared, but still goes on.
Swimming splits listed below.
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Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s moving forward by focusing on the desired outcome instead of the fear.
Double L (Lauren Lanzendorfer) shot out of the blocks and led the 500 race most of the way. Fell off a bit at the end and just was off her best. A good strong swim for her first of the day with a. 5:53.53. Up .07.
Peyton McNulty had a smooth swim in her 500 Free coming up 3.24 shy of her best.
Haley Thier came off a poor showing in her 500 Free to redeem herself with a LTB in her 400 IM. Haley was just off the JO cut but had a 5 second drop in time to post a 5:34.00 and a 3rd place finish. Due to her turning the tides after first swim, Haley’s swim grabbed swim of the session and pulled in the swimmer of the session honors. .
“If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?” ~ Dr. Robert Anthony
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Those swimmers competing at silvers this weekend will be done with practice around 630 pm Thursday night.