Be the Inspiration: Bradlee Ashby
Why is strength important to your discipline?
In the medley it’s important to have a balance of strengths across the disciplines. You need to be strong in each stroke. For me, I’m strong in fly and backstroke, so I have to work on my other strokes. Each strokes has a different focus: • Butterfly – You need get your hips up through the water • Backstroke – You need a strong core, and a good stroke rate • Breaststroke – you need to be as efficient as possible • Freestyle – “Bringing it home” keep up the mental strength for the final length
What is different about swimming in the medley?
Medley’s can be more difficult to race because you can’t get into a rhythm as the strokes keep changing. You need to be “on point” and change gear into a new stroke very quickly. You have to be thinking ahead to your next stroke and focus is very important
How do you keep on top of your game?
I do a lot of work in the gym. Generally my gym work will be quite generic - focusing on all areas of the body. I often look at working on my lats as this muscle group gives a lot of power to the areas of my body that catch the water. With gym work I will often vary speed and weights to achieve different outcomes. For example, larger weights and slower reps will result in more raw power.
How is mental strength important?
Mental strength is really important, I do a lot of work with the sport psych and a lot of visualisation work. I also try to take things “one at a time” – so rather than let things overwhelm me - I’ll just focus on those “next ten metres.”
How did you get into swimming?
I got into swimming because I love the water and was naturally talented. At a school competition I got approached to join a club and never looked back, I just love the competitiveness of it and seeing how far I can get. Competing for New Zealand is amazing, I love to show people what I can do.