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Balancing professional sport and study
Swimming absorbs an exorbitant amount of time, energy and causes immense pressure. I can spend more than 35 hours a week training, including, swimming, gym, stretching and recovery.

The pressure to perform is continuous, and it’s easy for swimming to envelope your life. This is where balance and study has the most positive and influential impact. 


Keep Calm Under Pressure 

Study helps reduce the pressure associated with swimming by giving me something outside to focus on. I thrive on improvement, and feel that regardless of how I am performing in the pool, through study I am able to make progress and gain fulfilment. By combining study and sport, I am able to plan for a career after swimming and remind myself that the results in the pool are one part of my life, rather than everything. I feel this balance has been critical in aiding me to achieve my results in the pool and prepare me for life after sport. However, it has not come easy. I have had to learn and adapt, compromise and become more efficient in order to balance a life in sport and study.

Know how to prioritise 

Swimming has been my number one focus since I was 16 years old, but this has not meant that learning, study and personal development has been ignored. During high-school I knew I didn’t have the same amount of time to study as other students, and therefore made a concerted effort to work harder during class to reduce the amount of homework I would have. Assignments were completed on weekends when I had a larger block of time to work on them. But most poignantly, I had to be selective and become an efficient studier to get the most out of my time. This became even more necessary when I started university. 


Maintain Focus 

Travelling for swimming competitions made for some stressful periods where the demands for uni and swimming were extreme. I once flew in from competing in Europe, and less than 24 hours later had to sit an exam. I completed the course lectures on the plane, and then rather than cramming when I landed, I rested, and went into the exam with a fresh head. I felt that rather than stressing myself out by cramming, the best preparation was to be relaxed and be able to think clearly for the exam. 

With anything in life, balance is of utmost importance. Balance does require compromise and involves effective time management and finding a suitable approach to achieve the right balance. Yet from my experience, I can conclusively say, that balance has not only been a major reason for the success I have achieved in the pool, but more importantly embodies a healthy way of life that delivers sustainability and fulfilment.

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