Welson Sim Wee Sheng made headlines in June when he broke the national 400m freestyle record at the Mare Nostrum Tour in Monte Carlo. “It had always been a goal of mine. The triumph also proved that my training is paying off, boosting my confidence for the SEA Games,” Sim says.
Originally from Kuching, the 20-year-old record breaker started swimming when he was 11 years old as a means to control his asthma. Indeed, he credits the sport with strengthening his lungs and helping him to overcome his respiratory condition.
Besides his recent triumph, Sim was also the fastest to touch the pool wall during the 2015 Singapore SEA Games, scoring him a gold medal. With the Kuala Lumpur 2017 SEA Games coming up, we spoke to him to find out his tips on how to be the best in what you do.
1. Open Up
Make no mistake about it, being a national athlete is stressful! The pressure comes from all quarters, Sim says. “I converse with my mentor or a clinician while I’m feeling restless,” he adds.
He also tries to strike a healthy sports-life balance by not thinking about swimming on his days off. When not doing laps in the pool, you can probably find him at the cinema or the Mamak with his friends.
2. Stop Overthinking Things
Although swimming is a solo sport, the training sessions are usually conducted in groups. As a result, competing can be intimidating and cause a lot of anxiety because you’re suddenly on your own, Sim says. When this happens, he focuses on bringing the skills and techniques that he was taught during training to the competition. “I don’t think much, I just swim,” he says. “Focus on yourself and not your competitors.”
Sim also says there’s no such thing as failure as long as you give it 100%. “Keep in mind your capacities as long as you make an honest effort,” he adds.
3. There’s No Secret to Success
As cliché as it sounds, the speedy swimmer insists his success “all boils down to hard work, high spirits and perseverance.” Being humble is also important. “It is only through humility that you’ll be able to improve, as people’s support will shore you up,” he explains.
4. Trust Your Coach/Mentor
Sim often turns to his coach when he encounters physical or mental challenges. There are times when I feel awkward in the water, which makes me fail to meet expectations. When such problems arise, I talk to my coach,” Sim says. “It allows us to determine the root of the problem and find a way to fix it together. I trust him implicitly.”
Catch Welsom Sim in the Kuala Lumpur 2017 SEA Games from 21 August 2017 until 26 August 2017!