Swimming World Presents “Mental Prep: Before The Beep With Ashley Twichell”

SW May 2020 - Mental Prep - Before The Beep With Ashley Twichell - Photo At 2018 US Nationals By PHB

Mental Prep: Before The Beep With Ashley Twichell

By Shoshanna Rutemiller

USA Swimming’s Ashley Twichell has been chasing the Olympic dream for over a decade. Last summer at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, she finally earned her place on the Olympic team by finishing sixth overall in the 10-kilometer open water event. Twichell was over the moon about qualifying! Her family flew in to witness the big race and cheer her on, even though it was halfway across the world.

In the wake of her accomplishment, Twichell started ramping up her preparation—both mentally and physically—for competition on the world stage. And then the COVID-19 global pandemic struck, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed more than a year to July 2021. Twichell and several of her teammates were at the Olympic Training Center when the news hit and were told that they all had to head home  and cut their training short.

“Things started to evolve pretty quickly at the Olympic Training Center,” she shared. “The situation was changing day to day. When we learned the Olympics would be postponed, I was disappointed. I was looking forward to retiring at the end of the Olympics.”

Disappointment is a good word to describe the world’s feelings right now. However, Twichell chose not to wallow in her emotions, but instead to look at the extra year as a gift. She now has the opportunity to spend another year competing in the sport that she loves.

“It’s easy now to say, ‘Oh, there’s 16 months between now and the Olympics—I don’t have to sleep as much, and I can eat what I want,” says Twichell. “But sleep really helps to regulate your mood, and maintaining a daily structure is so important.”

Currently, many Olympic qualifiers and hopefuls have lost access to the pools in which they train daily. Twichell admits that it’s easy to feel lost as an athlete and wonder about your purpose if you can’t train. Instead, many athletes are relying heavily on dryland training to keep active. Twichell herself has started using her Peloton bike’s virtual classes—really pushing herself because she doesn’t have to worry about being sore in the pool afterward!

To find out what else Ashley Twichell is doing to keep beep-ready during lockdown,
Swimming World May 2020 is now available for download in the Vault!

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SW May 2020 Cover - Dave Durdan - Leader of Men

[PHOTO CREDIT: SPEEDO USA]

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Swimming World Magazine May 2020 Issue

FEATURES

016 TOSSED INTO TURMOIL
by Dan D’Addona
The spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had a far-reaching impact not only on everyday life, but also on the sport of swimming across the globe.

018 TIMING IS EVERYTHING
by David Rieder
Everyone knows how important timing is—races can be won or lost by hundredths of a second. For swimmers competing at the NAIA and NJCAA Championships, the most important timing was measured in days. Both associations were able to complete their championship meets just before other major sports championships were being canceled due to the threat of coronavirus.

022 SILVER LINING COULD TURN TO GOLD
by Michael Randazzo
The Olympic postponement was hardly perceived as a positive, but it could lead to hope and opportunity for any men’s or women’s water polo team that aspires to Olympic competition—including the United States’ national teams.

024 MENTAL PREP: BEFORE THE BEEP WITH ASHLEY TWICHELL
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

026 IMPACTING LIVES THROUGH COACHING
by David Rieder
Dave Durden, University of California and U.S. national team coach, simply refers to himself as a swim coach. But he’s also a leader, an expert at maximizing performance, removing doubt, instilling confidence and navigating young men through demanding situations.

030 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO:  T ‘N’ T—A FRIENDLY RIVALRY FOR A DYNAMITE DUO
by John Lohn
During the Olympic campaign of 2000, Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres—complete opposites out of the pool, but with few differences as competitors—were engaged in a friendly, but not-so-easy rivalry—one that brought out the best in both swimmers.

034 ISHOF: A DUKE, A MERMAID, A WAR AND THE FLU
by Bruce Wigo
COVID-19 isn’t the first pandemic disease to have brought the world of competitive swimming to a halt, and the 2020 Olympic Games are not the first to be postponed or canceled. This is the story of the years between 1914 and 1918, when the world was suddenly and unexpectedly turned upside down by events not so different from what our sport is experiencing today.

COACHING

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: THE VALUE OF HAND FORCE ANALYSIS: PART II—BACKSTROKE
by Rod Havriluk
Synchronized video and hand force data is an essential tool for optimizing technique. A coach can use the force data to pinpoint limitations, refer to the corresponding video images to explain changes and monitor a swimmer’s progress in improving technique.

038 MOTIVATING SWIMMERS TO NEW HEIGHTS
by Michael J. Stott
Memorable are the sporting events where an athlete or team is “on fire.” Swimming World checks in with two high school and two age group coaches for insight into how that happens. Spoiler alert: the common denominator is “buy-in” from athletes who connect with a coach.

042 SPECIAL SETS:  CHANGE-OF-PACE FUN
by Michael J. Stott
USA Swimming master coach consultant Bob Steele provides some favorite change-of-pace exercises that are designed to insert spice and fun into in-season training.

046 Q&A WITH COACH DOUG FONDER
by Michael J. Stott

047 HOW THEY TRAIN OLIVIA BRAY
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

012 DRYSIDE TRAINING: STROKE STRENGTH SERIES—FREESTYLE
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

049 UP & COMERS: FINN CONLEY
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

010 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

011 BEYOND THE YARDS

036 DID YOU KNOW? 1920 U.S. WOMEN’S OLYMPIC TEAM

044 THE OFFICIAL WORD

050 GUTTERTALK

051 PARTING SHOT

NOTE: READ LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER ABOUT THIS DIGITAL ISSUE DURING THE CONVID-19 PANDEMIC

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