With boys swimming championship week beginning, Avicii and Survivor may have just as much of an effect as the weeks and months of practice in determining the next county champions.
OK, maybe not just as much, but they’ll certainly have their voices (or songs) heard.
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Whether it’s throwing around a football or practicing the three-point shot, professional athletes are nearly always seen sporting some type of headphones listening to whatever gets themselves ready to compete. But in swimming, a sport that’s largely an individual competing against his or herself, Long Island swimmers believe a playlist can go a long way to increasing performance even more.
“One of my biggest things is that swimming, for the most part, is a mental sport,” said Half Hollow Hills junior Alex Park, the defending 200 IM state champion, “and if you have the right mentality entering a race, you are going to do well. So music helps to either pump you up or calm you down depending on what you need.”
Park listens to hip-hop and mash-ups — two songs blended together — of popular hits to get him in the right mindset. He likes fast paced and loud music.
“For me, I like to pump myself up,” Park said, “so once I have that right mentality, then I just trust my training, trust my body, trust myself and I just race as fast as I can.”
St. Anthony’s senior Tyler Meyers isn’t as big into listening to music before a race, but he said he does have a playlist that includes songs from the “Rocky” movies and Andy Grammar’s “Good to be alive (Hallelujah).” He likes BPM — beats per minute — songs, or electronic music.
Syosset standout senior Tamir Zitelny said he doesn’t have a specific genre that he listens to but he also likes fast paced music before a big race.
“Just something exciting that will get me ready for my race,” Zitelny said. “Something that will put me mentally where I need to be before my race.”
The Nassau boys swimmers will have the first opportunity to soak up their favorite pre-race songs with a chance at a title with the diving championships Wednesday at 5 p.m. and the swimming final Saturday at 1 p.m. Both contests take place at the Nassau Aquatic Center at Eisenhower Park. The CHSAA diving final is Thursday at 6 p.m. at Fordham University and the swimming final will be Sunday at noon at Nassau Aquatic Center.
The Suffolk boys finals begin with the diving championship Feb. 12 at Hauppauge at 4:30 p.m. and the swimming championship the next day at Suffolk Community College–Brentwood at 10 a.m.