6 Pre & Post Race Intimidation Tactics

A Swimmer's life
Written by: Logan Long at 5 October '16 0
You are reading: 6 Pre & Post Race Intimidation Tactics

It is no doubt that the Rio Olympics of 2016 will go down as one of the most exciting Olympics in the history of the games. With Michael Phelps adding to his total gold medal count and breaking a record that was set by Leonidas of Rhodes over 2,000 years ago, Katie Ledecky establishing herself as the most dominant female freestyler,  to Adam Peaty destroying the 100m breaststroke and Katinka Hosszu confirming her position as one of the most versatile swimmers on the planet! The athletes and fans who were there experiencing the incredible meet take place, and those who were watching from their televisions at home, will all remember the incredible and historic moments that took place. What people will also remember from this Olympic swim meet is all of the talk and intimidation tactics that took place before and after races.

In the midst of the biggest meet any swimmer can dream of going to, the tension at the Olympics is high, and athletes’ nerves are racing. Keeping calm is very important and Olympians will do everything they can to control their nerves. But every Olympian knows that others are feeling the same way as them, so they will do everything in their power to try and distract them.

6 Common Pre & Post Race Intimidation Tactics

Before races you will see swimmers splash water on their face, put some in their mouth and spray it like a mist, almost like a dragon breathing fire. This is simply just to get a feel for the water and get their body adjusted to the temperature of the pool.

Also you will see swimmers before the race gets started slapping their muscles and shaking out their limbs. This is to help get the fast twitch muscles activated in the body, and also helps make very loud noises to try and un-focus competitors’ minds.

Another method of distraction, and a personal favorite, is the stare down. Right behind the blocks or even getting into the warm-up pool, a good stare down can get into anyone’s mind if executed just right.

There are also a couple good post-race intimidation tactics that are used too. A classic, one that you see Olympic champions do all the time, is the giant tidal wave that is made when celebrating a win. Doing a hulk smash and letting out a roar of victory. Nothing intimidates an opponent like a hulk smash.

Another tactic after a race is just a simple handshake. It may seem simple and not intimidating, but it can really get into an opponents’ mind. Knowing the guy that just beat you is incredibly fast and is also a good guy, can just really get under your skin for the whole meet.

Another intimidation tactic is celebrating. When you cannot contain your joy of winning inside you and you let it all out. Celebrating is a way of showing dominance, and a way other swimmers know who to look out for in upcoming races.

Swimming is a sport that does not have a lot of trash talk due to the fact that humans cannot talk underwater, and that is the way it should be. Focus on your own race, and let your swimming do the talking. But it’s also alright to get under another swimmer’s skin and use one of the intimidation tactics listed above.


Written by:

Logan Long

A second year Division 1 swimmer for Eastern Illinois University. Studying pre-business in hopes of becoming apart of a marketing team for a professional sports team later in my life.