Focus on positives is Olympian Shikha Tandon’s advice to swimmers

Focus on positives is Olympian Shikha Tandon’s advice to swimmers – sports

Updated: May 31, 2020, 07:57 IST | Sundari Iyer | Mumbai

While sports worldwide are steadily trying to resume, swimming seems to be the worst affected as the wait will be longer because of the risk of spreading the virus through saliva is far greater

Shikha Tandon

Shikha Tandon

Olympian Shikha Tandon tried to lift the spirits of Indian swimmers, who are staring at a gloomy future due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While sports worldwide are steadily trying to resume, swimming seems to be the worst affected as the wait will be longer because of the risk of spreading the virus through saliva is far greater.

Although Australia and the UK have allowed their athletes to train, Indian swimmers are still prohibited to take a dip. However, Tandon, who represented India at the 2004 Athens Olympics in both, 50m and the 100m freestyle events, urged swimmers to focus on the positives during the lockdown.

‘It’s just a little break’

“Swimmers the world over are sailing in the same boat. Nobody knows when the pools will open. My advice would be to treat this as a little break. We never get a break. Make the most of the additional year [postponement of Tokyo Olympics to next year] you have,” Tandon, 35, said during a webinar organised by The Sports School on Saturday. It was hosted by India’s top swimmers, SP Likith and Srihari Nataraj.

Tandon, who works as a project manager in San Francisco, felt the break is a perfect time to work on the mental aspect: “It’s a golden opportunity to think about non-pool related training like your mental training. Use this time to reset, recharge and re-evaluate your goals. Mental training is a very big component of good performance. Learn more about your sport.”

Long haul

Likith, who achieved the B qualification for the Tokyo Games last year in the 100m breastsroke, is not expecting things to normalise soon. “We just don’t go in and jump [in the pool]. There is a lot of social interactions that are involved. We are looking at three to four months to come into action,” said Likith.

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