Posted on 01 04 2018
Zealous athlete Mikki Sheridan had the meet of her life at the Australian Swimming Championships and qualified for her very first Open Australian Swim Team. We caught up with Mikki ahead of the Commonwealth Games to hear about her journey to making her first team.
Q: Mikki, congratulations on qualifying for your very first Open Australian Swim Team. Talk us through what it meant to you when you realized you had made it?
A:Thank you so much! It was actually pretty funny because it took me so long to see where I actually placed, when I first touched the wall I had this gut feeling that I had finished 5th or 6th and had prepared myself for that, so when I saw 4th next to my name I just burst into tears, it was many, many years of effort finally showing, I was quite overwhelmed. I had never been so happy to get 4th in my life!
Q: What was your mindset like coming into these trials?
A: I had an interesting mindset it was such a different lead up of me because it was the first time I truly believed I had a shot at making the team and also was the first time I felt like I was expected to make it to, which adds extra pressure. In saying that I was pretty relaxed in the lead up, I'm at a point in my swimming where I am in a program that seems to be working, I'm swimming fast, happy and relaxed and that's all anyone wants, but I was quietly confident.
Q: When did you first decide you wanted to represent Australia in swimming?
A: In 2008 I represented Australia at a junior level on the Trans Tasman tour, you get separated into green and gold teams and race against New Zealand. Being apart of that team and swimming in relays, winning points and medals for your team, it made me realise that I want to do that at the highest level I can because it is a pretty amazing feeling.
Q: You have come so close to getting on that Open Australian Swim Team so many times, did you ever lose motivation?
A: I would love to say no, but I definitely did, it's pretty hard not to after not achieving something you think you are capable of. I had 6 years where I didn't do a single personal best in any event, and I was still pretty young too, when you train so much and put in so much effort you expect to see results, and when you don't it is super disheartening. But I had this burning feeling telling me that I was better than what I was producing, that I was good enough to make the senior team, and that is what kept me going, just trying to better myself and reach my potential.
Q: What advice would you give to athletes who experience setbacks?
A: Setbacks shouldn't be looked at as a negative, as you are going through them it is definitely hard to see them as a positive but setbacks help you evaluate what you are doing to reach your goals. Setbacks make achieving success so much sweeter because you know you went through hard times and came out the other side. Everyone has a different journey, just because you don't reach your goals as quick as others, or as quick as what you wanted, doesn't mean you never will.
Q: What does a week of training look like for you?
A: My week is generally pretty busy, I do 9 swim sessions a week, which generally go for around 2hours, and they involve a mixture of aerobic, anaerobic, speed and power sessions. I also do 3 gym sessions and 2 cardio sessions each week too. Napping is very important to me and a crucial part of my week! I also study part time too.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about competing at the Commonwealth Games?
A: Representing Australia, in Australia. I am so excited that my first team is a Commonwealth Games and it's at home. I just can't wait to be of history and create history with my team mates. I know I have the ability to improve on my swims from trials, so I'm looking forward to swimming fast and doing myself, my family, my coach and my country proud.