The fear of coming last gets worst the bigger the winning ceremonies are. Especially when there is medal or point counts, if you are not in the club with the most points or medals, it is very hard not to feel inferior.
Yet when it comes to results, really only the records are the ones that get the most publications. All world records get permanently published and all major competition wins.
But looking at the journey of a swimmer, there are many competitions and they do – at any stage of age, from 10 years upwards – measure success by the most and the best at each age. .
Nobody can stop growing and goes through the ages and goes through all the age-group competitions, yet winning at all stages of age groups is literally impossible.
Some clubs do better with the younger swimmers and some do better with the older swimmers.
But when one comes last or very near the bottom of the meet results it is very hard not to feel crushed and pick up the pieces and get onto the next competition with fresh confidence.
The swimmers belonging to the club with the most points or medals, they always feel best, even if an individual comes last. As long as one belongs to the club with the best overall results the feelings of loss can be easier consolidated.
But then having to come to terms with a loss if one is in a club that is at the bottom of the ratings is very difficult. I think people have to just not feel too bad about it and feel some pride in their club and continue with training there because it is important for the sport that locally there is a club that caters for swimmers.
We can’t just all run off to the biggest, most winning club. It’s just a bit like football, do you support your local club or do you support the always winning Manchester United?
At some meets my club comes on top and that is the best feeling but when it doesn’t I just feel crushed and remember the good times.