Libby Trickett joins the Swim
We are so pleased to announce Olympic Gold Medalist Libby Trickett will compete in the 2017 Port to Pub and raise awareness for R U OK? She’ll take on the swim in March as part of a team of four.
Libby represented Australia at three Olympic Games (2004 Summer Olympics, the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics.) She once held the world record holder in the short-course 100-metre freestyle.
We spoke with Libby about what it takes to push yourself out of your comfort zone, how to garner support when you’re struggling and why she became an R U OK? Ambassador.
Libby, your background is that of a sprinter not a long-distance swimmer, but how do you prepare for a race mentally, long or short? What kind of focus do you need to complete your best swim?
I think it’s important to know what your goal is. From there, it’s a lot easier to work out what you need to do for your preparation. It’s a lot easier to commit the time you need to your goal and that means you’re able to maintain focus as well.
When you were swimming competitively, what kind of support did you have in place when you were under the pump or struggling?
I was so lucky with the support that I had. This came from squad mates, family, friends and my hubby! Working towards a goal is so much more difficult when you don’t have a support network to cheer you on when things become challenging so make sure you tell people what you’re working towards and create your own little support crew!
Do you have an example of a time in your swimming career when you mentally hit a wall and needed someone to ask if you were ok, and did that help you get back on track?
Without a doubt! This was a regular occurrence for me because training can be hard. Setting goals and trying to achieve that can be incredibly difficult so for me, it was really important to check in with my coach regularly to make sure I was staying motivated and focused. I also checked in with my hubby to help me vent the frustrations that inevitably come with physically pushing yourself to your limits.
What quality do Olympic swimmers have that make them the best?
I think Olympic swimmers have to be incredibly focused and motivated. We don’t get to race that often and train anywhere between 4-6months for one competition and in that competition, I only raced for 53 seconds so we don’t get a lot of opportunities to perform, which is both incredibly exciting and also very intimidating. We can be pretty intense people but for the most part, we are very light-hearted and generally have a pretty good sense of humour too! Though I am a little biased… haha!
What training advice would you give to those swimming in Port to Pub?
I think for any kind of distance event whether it be on land or in the water, consistency is key. Regular training, staying in touch with the water as much as you possibly can and clocking up the k’s will put everyone in a very good position to achieve their goal of swimming the Port to Pub. I would also recommend joining a squad as opposed to doing it solo. If you join a squad, you’re more likely to get to training as you have someone making you accountable plus you get a built-in cheer squad and other people working towards their own swimming goals.
Can you tell us a little about why being an ambassador for R U OK? is something you’re passionate about?
Maintaining good mental health and checking in with mates is so important. Tough times effect everyone at some point and you probably already know someone who has struggled with life and needed support. Checking in with our mates and loved ones is something we should all do regularly. It’s important to encourage people to get comfortable talking and opening up, because life is challenging. Everyone deserves to live a happy life!
As an R U OK? Ambassador, it’s important to me to encourage people to reach out to mates who might be in a bad place and let them know they are not alone. If we are able to talk openly and honestly about our problems, it’s more likely our friends, loved ones, team mates and even neighbours, will seek help and feel more connected to the people in their lives who matter most.