Zselyke Papp: ’I love competitions better than practices’

They are going to the Nationals in March – 8th part

Some thoughts from a young swimmer on swimming, sport, goals, self-confidence and plans for the Nationals.

‘I love swimming because it makes me feel relaxed. I can focus on myself either in the gym or in the pool. I do not hum, and sometimes I even feel upset when a certain melody gets stuck in my mind, because I cannot get into my thoughts. I like thinking of what I did on the previous day, how it went, what I could improve. And it is interesting that when I am in the water, more things come to my mind, I can remember what I forgot the day before, what the homework is or anything I have to do.’

‘I can recommend swimming for those who are ready to devote their life to sport, since we have trainings in the mornings and in the afternoons, too, there is not much free time. And for those, who love single sports and like solving the problems alone, do not want to rely on their teammates. Certainly, a team is needed in swimming as well, because workout goes easier in company, but in the pool, you must prove alone either in training or in competition.’

‘I love competing! I like competitions better than practices. I do not know why, it might be the atmosphere or something, but I am more focused in a competition, and I can swim better there. I do not say that I don’t like training, but a competition is surely greater experience. Anyway, this year I decided that I tried to do everything I could in practices, too. Now I can see and start to understand that hard work always pays off and with more work I can only be better in competitions.’

‘I was a backstroker up to now, but nowadays I focus more on fly. I could not improve my PB in 100 back for two years and sometimes I did not like swimming backstroke at all. Though this March I broke it, I am still more interested in butterfly and at the Nationals I would like to focus on 50 and 100 fly.’

‘At the Senior Nationals my goal can only be to improve my times. I am still very young. However, in the summer I would like to qualify for the A final at the age group nationals.’

‘I have rather short-term goals. I do not like thinking on long-term, because I don’t have the level of confidence for it. I do not believe that in the future I can achieve something that is untouchable now. Certainly, it would be good to qualify for a major international competition, but at the moment I do have only short-term goals, because that is sure.’

‘I attend ninth class in the school, this term is a language prep-year, we learn English and Spanish. I really like Spanish. I would like to go on to university, because I am interested in sports psychology very much.’

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