Ok readers, now its your turn to give me advice. My youngest had her first swim meet of the season today and was totally overcome with anxiety after warm ups and got herself so worked up, she got physically ill. As a result, she ended up scratching all three of today's races. By the time her first race would have started, she was feeling better, and by the time her second race rolled around she actually felt like she could have raced.
What strategies have you used to calm those pre-race nerves?
UPDATE: Day 2 of the competition went better. She still threw up before we even entered the building, but her coaches allowed her to warm up when she was ready in the second pool. Just that little gesture was enough to really calm her down. When it came time for her to race, she was a little stressed but once she was on the blocks everything was fine. She had a great first swim of the season and now has a time to use as a benchmark. I don't think this is the last of the nerves, but now she has a few strategies and experience she can draw on next time.