Regan Smith spent years focused on training to swim as fast as she could at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Her coaches designed every set she swam and every dryland session to help her succeed on the sport's largest stage.
The effort paid off. Smith won two silver medals and one bronze last year.
Although she wouldn’t have accomplished that feat without her training, her work on her mental health might have been just as important to her reaching the heights that she did.
“The mental game, I would argue, is more important than swimming itself because, as swimmers, during our races, it’s just us,” Smith said. “You can’t hear anything. You can’t get any advice from anyone. You just have the thoughts that are going on inside your head."
“You want to have a good relationship with yourself. You want to feel confident. You just want to be in a good place with yourself mentally. Otherwise, it’s really easy for things to start to fall apart.”
Smith and fellow 2020 Olympic medalist Erica Sullivan shared their advice on how swimmers can improve their mental health.