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Stephanie Rice - Junior Excellence Clinic - Adelaide, April 2013
South Australian JX athletes hear from triple Olympic gold medallist Stephanie Rice on how to prepare to train, race and enjoy club swimming.
1/ When did you start swimming?
Learn to swim at 18 months but I commenced Club swimming at 10yrs age at Ascot State School swimming club. I think I still hold the 11yrs Girls 50m Backstroke record from 1999.
2/ Do you remember your first competitive race - and your first trophy?
Grade 1 – 15 metre kickboard race at St Margaret’s Primary School. I won a blue ribbon and still have it.
3/ Other than in Australia, what has been your favourite place to compete?
Beijing is going to be hard to beat. It was amazing.
4/ You're a medley swimmer; what is your favourite stroke?
5/ Why do swimmers train so early in the morning?
We need to train twice a day and you have to maximise the recovery time in between. Plus the times allow students to train before and after school.
6/ Is it hard to get out of bed to train so early?
Yes and it doesn’t get any easier. I try and stay in bed as late as I can but I'm up by 0455hrs
7/ Who was your swimming hero and non-swimming hero growing up?
Susie O’Neill was my swimming hero and James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) was my non-swimming hero.
8/ What does winning an Olympic gold medal feel like?
Incredible, a mixture of pride, excitement and relief.
9/ What has been your biggest disappointment and how did you rebound from it?
Everyone has disappointments in their life but it is the ones who turn a disappointment into a positive and learn from it, they are the ones who succeed.
10/ Who has been your toughest competitor?
Kirsty Coventry is by far the toughest competitor I have raced against and remains so today.
11/ What is the best advice you received for your swimming career and who did it come from?
Bohly, my coach. Character creates longevity. A big part of character is the self discipline needed to resist temptation and avoid complacency. Understand that past success doesn’t guarantee future success. Athletes that win over and over have more than ability...they have strong character.
12/ What is your pre-race routine like?
It’s always the same. Exactly the same. I stretch, warm-up, get my suit on, talk to Bohly about the race plan. Listen to my music on my Ipod in the marshalling room. Then on pool deck I do 8 arm swings and splash my body 4 times. Then on the block I do 4 goggle presses.
13/ What is the best concert you've been to?
Rihanna and Chris Brown.
14/ What sports and sports teams do you follow?
I don’t follow a team but I like watching the Tennis and I follow Serena Williams.
15/ If you weren't swimming, what would you be doing?
I have no idea because I always knew I was going to be a Swimmer.
16/ What is your favourite music?
I love a bit of everything but especially Timbaland & Rihanna
17/ What is one thing that most people don't know about you?
I was identified through the Queensland Academy of Sport as a talent for Cycling when I was 14yrs. I gave up after a year because I really wanted to swim.
18/ What is your favourite holiday destination?
So far Hawaii but I’ve always wanted to go to Tahiti.
19/ iPhone or Blackberry?
Both, one of each. The best of both worlds!
20/ Favourite T.V. show?
Gosh that’s tough! 90210 (the new one of course) closely followed by Desperate Housewives.
21/ Favourite Colour?
Anything bright... At the moment it is Aqua
People grinding their teeth. Grrrrr...
I know I have not yet got the best out of myself and I'm determined to achieve that. Sure there are times when it is tough and you think of giving up but I think about the process and have goal times that I try and achieve.
I'm good at saying the alphabet backwards and I'm bad at keeping my room tidy.
My main rivals keep changing over the years but at present my biggest rival in the 200IM is Alicia Coutts from Australia and yes I am friends with her and in the 400IM it is Elizabeth Beisel from America and yes I am friends with her too.
Only when I'm fooling around in the pool and I suck!!
No. I love my meat. Especially lamb.
Making the team for London 2012 and swimming the best I can is my goal.
Up just before 5am, drive to the pool, 3-5km run + swim 6km. Quick breakfast then head off to Strength & Conditioning coach for an hour session. Generally home around 11am. Somedays there will be physio session or a massage just before lunch. Lunch, rest for 2-3 hours, then back to the pool for core work + 6 km swim. Home around 7pm, have dinner, watch a bit of television then bed.
I am only allowed to swim once a day and the maximum distance is 1.5km. I am doing more work with the physiotherapist and strengthening my shoulder gently with my strength & conditioning coach. I am doing more sessions on the bike to help me keep fit. I'm up at 6am and head to the pool. I am finished around 7.30am and go home for breakfast. I visit the physio and strength coach mid morning but am finished for the day around 12.30pm. I like to head to Fitness First gym in the afternoon for a killer spin class.
My diet is closely linked to my training schedule. The harder I train the more energy I require. Post shoulder surgery my energy requirements are less and it is important to make sure I am not gaining weight. I do enjoy a healthy diet which comprises of salad, vegetables, fruit, lean meat, eggs, rice. I love sushi.
Not being able to train as well as I know I can. There are always Ups & Downs in training and I know I have to just push through and keep positive.
I was not a fast swimmer when I was young. I focussed on swimming technically well and listening to my coach. I started swimming really well around 14yrs of age.
Catching at the start of the stroke and keeping your elbows high. Having a very strong butterfly kick to help your tempo, but it is all about timing. Kicking as your hands start the catch and kicking again as they end the pull.
I guess I have been blessed genetically with strong, healthy hair and lots of it. I do rinse my hair after every session and I shampoo and condition a couple of times a week.
My Mum & Dad divorced when I was 4yrs old. Both have remarried and I have a sister 7yrs younger than me and a brother 15 yrs younger than me. Both of my families get on really well together and are very supportive of me.
I have two, 4 & 8.
Be the best you can be.
Firstly, love and enjoy swimming. Secondly, technique, technique, technique and Thirdly, train as hard and as well as you possibly can all the time!
No but I would love to meet Serena as she is my sports idol. I love how she always manages to rise to every challenge and get the very best out of herself.
I have always loved the water and I pestered my Mother constantly to let me go swimming training and she finally took me to a small club when I was in Grade 2. I trained for 1 hour twice a week and just loved it. I now train in the water, on average 4 hours a day 6 days a week.
You need to develop good management and organisation skills. Talk to your school and your coach to look at alternative options around exam and competition time. Make sure you devote a lot of your focus towards school as education lasts a lifetime.
If swimming is really your passion then you need to stick with it through the good and bad times. It is important to compare yourself against yourself and against previous results from a similar meet. Listen to your coach as you are a team working towards the same goal.