Mental preparation is just as important as physical stamina for Olympic swimmer and Mustang Samantha Roberts.
The two-time Olympian, who will be entering her fourth year at Brescia University College this fall, is in Tokyo representing her home country Antigua and Barbuda in the women’s 50m freestyle event.
She said to compete at the highest level, mental training is key. And that is one thing she learned from her coach in Florida where she trained for the Tokyo Games. “Once your mind is there, it doesn’t matter what was done to prepare. Also, to ensure that you don’t let anything external affect you mentally, otherwise it messes with the swim,” Roberts said.
Although she is competing for Antigua, Roberts acknowledged the training and support she received at Western as a member of the Mustangs varsity swimming team.
“Whilst being at Western, I was able to receive a great specified training program, which contributed to my best times. I was also surrounded by the most motivational and close-knit team, which pushed me to do my best during the swim season,” she said.
Coaches play a large role in building team chemistry and setting a standard. Mustangs swimming team head coach is among those rooting for Roberts. “It’s a great opportunity to expand her skills, that she can then bring back to Western.”
Roberts’ pre-competition routine consisted of ten in-pool training sessions and seven dryland sessions per week. After the Olympics, Roberts looks forward to taking a break before she begins her last swim season with the varsity team at Western.
Olympics Opening ceremony ✅ pic.twitter.com/87b1eA4oRY
— sam sam🇦🇬 (@samanthaaa__r) July 23, 2021
At the opening ceremonies on June 23, Roberts marched out of the tunnel as the flag bearer for Antigua alongside team member and track athlete Cejhae Greene. She then posted some photos from the opening ceremony on Twitter.
What else was Roberts looking forward to at the Olympics? “To compete, eat the food, and see other top athletes,” she said.
Roberts competes on Friday, July 30.
Read more about Roberts and the Mustangs’s Olympic coverage here.
For more on the Games, visit Western at the Tokyo Olympics.