huge motivation tremendous amount work world record qualifications world championships

Huge motivation and tremendous amount of work. World Record in qualifications of World Championships!

world record – 232m dynamic without fins (DNF) Matt Malina

Behind the scenes

Hard workouts, tremendous amount of training done within last year. All of it plus huge motivation and big smile on my face was taken to Turku. Oh and 100 kg of additional luggage 🙂

big luggage for competition

100 kg of luggage

DISAPPOINTMENT in static

Day of dynamic without fins (DNF) qualifications has come. Luckily it was not my first start in Turku. Day before not everything went as planned and I have missed static (STA) finale by 6 seconds. I didn’t plan to compete in finale A of static, even if I would qualify. It was only one day before DNF finale and I didn’t want to make myself tired. However I would prefer to choose it myself, not being forced to it. It was a valuable lesson for my ego, that is what everybody try to protect, consciously or sub-consciously 🙂

matt malina does static apnea in world championships qualifications turku

7:33 and finale B fot. Daan Verhoeven

My work with sport psychologist and healthy motivation

For the past 2 years I co-operate with sport psychologist. Practically speaking, since then I have started to get my biggest successes (e.g breaking my first World Record). Main aspects of healthy motivation are being able to forget about expectations and rating Yourself, because it’s connected with our ego. It’s very important to focus on being present “Here and Now“. Focus on how You would like to feel here and now and just “do Your thing“. It’s healthy attitude and motivation, at least in my case. In DNF qualifications I was full of positive emotions and I was just doing my thing, something that I was preparing for the whole last year.

Motivation and visualisation before world record dnf matt malina 232

Visualisation is an important training method

Additional motivation in dynamic without fins (DNF)

Month earlier during CMAS World Championships in Freediving, Arthur Guerin Boeri have swum 221 m DNF. It’s less than my World Record of 226 m. However it was done in an Olympic sized pool (50 m long) which makes it very respectable. Additionally two days later he was the first man in history to swim 300 m in monofin in DYNamic discipline. In the past I would probably respond to it by feeling fear, maybe it would even brake me as in DNF finale in Belgrade 2013.

Matt Malina dnf 244m underwater swimming technique

I have felt power during the swim! fot. Daan Verhoeven

Luckily I’m not the same Matt as I used to be in the past. Nowadays, successes of others motivate me . They even show me that something is possible and if someone did it, why should I not do it myself? Additionally this circumstances made me realize how much I care about my goals or in other words, good dives in Turku. It’s another aspect of healthy motivation, to establish emotional bond with Your goal. Because of whole this situation I was anticipating for confrontation with other competitors, especially with Arthur in DNF. Maybe it didn’t have a decisive role, but it certainly helped me.

Two different dives

In qualifications I allowed two options. If dive will not go well, I will do 200 m, to be sure finale A is secured without any calculations. In second option I didn’t set any limit to myself. In freediving there is a lot of little variables that decide about end result. If it happens that all of them work to my favor, it would be a big waste to end perfect dive prematurely. Especially since that kind of dives doesn’t happen often and it may surely not happen in finale with all that extra stress. Anyway, for me the most important fact is to challenge my own limits. If that would happen in qualifications and in finals I would have a bad day, I would still be happy about this one dive. Important is inner journey and feelings.

Matt Malina surface set new world record dnf 232

Before surfacing, I knew I have done what I was prepared for! fot. Daan Verhoeven

Course of qualifications

Without any expectations, with one thought in my mind – I do my thing – I’ve started my DNF dive. Quickly I have realized that it’s a good day, maybe even perfect one. Each finished length of the pool confirmed me in that feeling. I was able to swim peacefully and in a relaxed shape.

At 200 m mark I was totally lucid in my head and I knew that I can go to magic 232 m, national record of New Zealand set by legendary Dave Mullins. National record (due to official requirements) set 7 years ago, that was greater than any other world record in this discipline. When I was at 225 m wall, I have made a turn, one arm stroke, removed my neck-weight and came up. I have removed my neck-weight because I wanted to be sure I will not immerse my airways, thus disqualify myself and I had enough air reserve to do it. After surfacing I have completed surface protocol very fast (4 seconds) and white card from judge was just a formality.

Chat with Polish team after Matt Malina beats dnf world record 232

Matt why You have beaten WR in qualification heats? fot. Aleksandr Pangev

Memories of the past and my motivation for the future

I was overwhelmingly happy! I couldn’t believe my dream came true. I remember back in the days in 2009, when Dave set that record. I was in Egypt back then and I was just on the beginning of my freediving journey. My current personal best in discipline was 156 m. 232 m felt far, far away, it was abstraction to me. I never thought I would come even close to that. My lifetime goal was 200 m in DNF for me. However I have reached that mark in 2012 and later I start thinking about World Record. After I’ve set World Record in 2013 I’ve start thinking very shyly about 250 m. Now I know it will happen sooner or later and I’ve start to think very, very, very shyly about 260+, or maybe even 275 m 🙂

You can see dear subscriber how important is healthy motivation. If back in 2009 I would think that my goal is to reach 232 m I would probably discourage myself and would have never done it. This goal was too far and probably any other result wouldn’t make me happy, since my goal wasn’t reached. Instead of this I was creating a personal goal that I could reach within 1, maximum 2 years. Freediving is about listening to our own body and it’s important to race only with ourselves.

Matt Malina set new world record in dnf 232m freediving

Why not ? 🙂 fot. Aleksandr Pangev

Limits are only in our heads

This way my motivation was driving me. I was passing my limits very often and I have come to ultimate conclusion that limits are in our heads. Limit is where I set it to be in my head. It’s important to have common sense and plan for realization of such goals. From observation of myself and others in any sport I think that as long as someone is focused, have motivation and plan for training, he can progress. It is not over until You say it’s over.

Short but precise sentence. Especially in Freediving, where Natalia Molchanova had proved that age is just a number. Good example from other sports is Michael Phelps and his successful come back in recent Olympic games. If he wanted I’m sure he would be able to score a medal or two in Tokyo Olympics but now when he has a kid and some chapter in his life is over, he is probably retired for good.

did I have moments of doubt?

Back to the Freediving World Championships topic, after successful DNF attempt, I’ve started to have moments of doubt. I’ve realized that probably no one have ever set a World Record in qualifications heat. No one had done it because why make myself tired in heats? I’ve heard that I would be better off by saving my strength for finals and I should have planned it better. However I had a different opinion about it. For me heats were primarily a mental warmup and as it turned out later, physical too 🙂

Opening ceremony of Freediving World Championships

Opening ceremony, how it’s going to be ? 🙂

Once I’ve read an article about Olympic champions. I’ve tried to find it but I can’t. Anyway, first there were stereotypical issues analyzed and proved to be wrong e.g  champion should train as number 2 (harder, longer etc.). Next it was described that Olympic champions shouldn’t listen to established rules because their work made them what they are, Olympic champions and they should listen to their gut when it comes to tactic or training routine. They should train like champions, not stereotypically, because that’s how they get that far. I must agree with that!

Arnold SCHWARZENEGGER and his words

I have never concealed that motivational speeches of Arnolda Schwarzenegger helped me a lot at some point of my career. One of his thought I come back to often is:

I love it when someone says that no one has ever done this before, because then when I do it that means that I’m the first one that has done it

Was this thinking good in finale A of World Championships? Read in my next post, meanwhile I encourage You to ask questions and comment below!

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3 thoughts on “Huge motivation and tremendous amount of work. World Record in qualifications of World Championships!

  1. laalto says:

    How do you remotivate yourself after reaching your goal?

    F.ex. I reached my target in depth faster than anticipated and motivating myself to go any further proved very difficult.

    • Matt Malina says:

      Hi laalto,
      I always go by the feeling. It means when I reach my target I give myself time to enjoy my life, relax. It’s natural cycle, when You reach Your goal You need to give Yourself a time to celebrate it. Usually during that time another goal start forming in my head and whole process of training starts again.

      If not it’s ok, maybe You don’t have competitive mind and all You wanted to do is reach some goal to prove yourself in this discipline and finish there.
      Other explanation could be, especially with depth discipline, that maybe You have reached Your target, but didn’t enjoy it? Maybe You forced equalizing or something?
      I for instance set my first 100m CWT record back in 2010 and I didn’t enjoy it cause it was my hardest dive ever in term of physical effort (my legs burned like hell and failed). Since then I haven’t really attempt and train for CWT. Motivation for CWT is slowly building up in me but You can see that’s it’s 6 years now since that moment 🙂 That’s why I like to finish my every performance knowing it was not my max. That there was something to improve. This way I’m curious and it’s easy to motivate myself for future.

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