Faith Knelson at the Frank Jameson Community Centre pool

Faith Knelson’s moving on to a bigger pool

She’s as ready as she can be for the new level of competition.

There’s no up-hill  end to swimming pool, but for newly minted Junior National athlete Faith Knelson the laps to success just got a lot steeper, and she’s as ready as she can be for the new level of competition.

Making the National Team “was definitely a turning point in my swimming career,” she said recently, back at her home pool in Ladysmith, where she’s worked with Orcas Swim Club Coach Dusan Toth-Szabo for six years, after a trip to Bermuda with the Junior National squad.

“It definitely all comes down to mindset,” she said of prepping for meets at the elite Junior level. “There’s three major things: who wants it more, nutrition and who’s working harder, basically.”

‘Natural talent’ might keep you ahead of the pack until your 11 or 12 years old,” Knelson added. But when you get to the Junior National level, you have to add discipline and unflagging determination to the mix.

“There’s some girl across the country or across the world who’s working hard,” she said. “And if I’m not working hard, she’s going to be better than me. So that’s what’s really pushing me.”

It’s all ‘in the noggin’ she said. And the positive thinking that gets you first to the touch pad at the winning end of the pool starts the moment you wake up.

“It’s a whole mindset,” she explained. “I find that if I wake up with a positive attitude, I’m going to have a positive attitude at school, I’m going to have a positive mindset to eat something healthy at lunch, I’m going to have positive motivation going into practice, and I’m going to have a positive mindset coming out of practice, knowing I worked hard.”

Focus is another attribute Knelson knows she needs. “Everything revolves around school and swimming for me now, and I’m more than happy to work my life around that.”

Knelson is thinking ahead to the Junior Pan Pacific championships this summer, where she’s hoping for a best time and to make a final round at the games. A podium showing would be a ‘long shot.’  “I’m competing against some of the best teenage and young swimmers in the world,” Knelson said.

Her best shot at making the finals would be in the hundred metre breast stroke.

Knelson said nobody’s pushing her harder than she’s pushing herself. “My coach is obviously there to help me work hard, and definitely pushes me,” she said. “But nobody’s pushing me beyond the point that I want. I’m pushing myself so I can be a better swimmer.”

Knelson will be moving to Victoria to train next year, which will mean switching from Toth-Szabo, who has got her to where she is. That transition comes with mixed feelings. “My relationship to my coach is as good as it gets,” Knelson said. “He’s like family to me.

“He’s got me this far, and I wouldn’t be the person or the swimmer I am without my coach,” she said.


Just Posted

Competition offers $2,000 to Ladysmith and area playwright

Yellow Point Drama Group continues focus on supporting and nurturing local arts scene in 2019

Editorial: Federal byelection, if it happens, is no reason for voter fatigue

If indeed a byelection is called to choose a Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP, we might as well embrace it

Two of Chemainus photographer Marston’s images picked among National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

Police officer recounts wild car chase through downtown Ladysmith and Duncan

B.C. Supreme Court trial of Armaan Singh Chandi hears of pursuit following Nanaimo drive-by shooting

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read