SA breaststroke champion Tatjana Schoenmaker shares lockdown tips
Lockdown has been a tough reality for all athletes worldwide. The challenge of a new pace, test of adaptability and tremendously overhauled training regimes have put the ultimate evaluation on those who will essentially rise to the top of what has become the biggest mental hurdle they may ever face.
Tatjana Schoenmaker, SA’s Breaststroke Champion, Commonwealth Game Gold Medallist and Under Armour SA team member puts focus on mental strength and athlete recovery during this time.
We sat down with Schoenmaker to ask her more about her tips and comments for this journey and period.
How are you holding up during the lockdown?
Staying positive and going well. I love the quality time I get to now spend with my family, which one doesn’t really get when I’m doing the hard and intense training schedules.
Are you still able to do some work outs?
Yes, I do. I’m currently doing land based training exercises. Normally we’d do land based training twice a week, but due to the circumstances I’m training four to five times a week. We can do stretch cord swimming for those who are fortunate enough to have a pool but it’s been cold in PTA so I haven’t been able to get into the pool just yet.
What was your initial reaction to the Olympics postponement?
A huge relief because the wait was taking a huge toll on athletes especially going into lockdown and not knowing how we would be able to train and stay fit. But also, really sad because it’s been a childhood dream to attend the Olympics, but I am still positive that it’s only been postponed not cancelled. Also gives me more time to train before.
Do you feel the delay gives you some more time to prepare for Tokyo?
Yes, this gives us athletes more time to prepare which is a massive positive going into the games and my childhood dream will still come true which makes me really positive also.
How are you able to stay mentally strong and hold it together during this difficult time?
Knowing that everyone is in it together and trying to get through it makes me stay mentally strong. Also just looking at the positives of the lockdown like I mentioned previously, spending more time with my family.
You have just joined the Under Armour Team, you comment on joining the team?
Very happy and extremely privileged with joining the Under Armour Team. It feels like a close-knit family. You aren’t just another number to them they make you feel special. Even more so during this time of uncertainty. #TheOnlyWayIsThrough.”
Top 3 nutritional tips during this lockdown phase where most athletes and people are less active if at all?
- Stay away from stress eating
- Stay in a routine consistency is key
- Also don’t deprive yourself but stay in control