While he might be isolated at home for the time being due to Covid-19, SOPAC’s Matt Wilson is keeping connected to his squad and working out in his home gym as he sets his sights on next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
After a successful 2019 campaign, in which the 21-year-old equaled the Men’s 200m Breaststroke world record in the semi-finals at the World Championships in Gwangju, Wilson is using this time to have a break and refresh, while also remaining focused on the job at hand.
“I’ve been pretty good, the first couple of weeks I just sat back and relaxed as there was nothing we could do – I enjoyed it like a break,” he told the Off the Blocks Swimming Podcast.
“However, coming into this week we’ve set up a home gym in my garage and I’m very lucky that the Institute of Sport have set me up with a couple of pieces.
“I’ve got a squat rack, bikes, a home gym machine – which has about eight different pulleys on it – so I’ve got plenty of options in there to work different muscle groups,” he said.
“I’ve also got the option of going home and using my parent’s backyard pool and using a tether to help me train.”
With a certificate three in fitness and an ability to plan sessions himself, Wilson highlighted that injury prevention is key during this time and is currently doing a “mixed bag” of exercises.
Not only is he keeping up his physical fitness, but by staying connected to his squad, the World Championships silver medallist is also taking care of his mental health too.
“We’ve (squad) had a few Zoom meetings the last couple of weeks to just check in which is a big thing, just because you’re in isolation doesn’t mean you need to be anti-social – I think it’s a big thing to be social and a big thing for your mental health,” he said.
Although technology can provide a point of connection, Wilson admits he is missing training alongside his squad and being competitive in the pool.
“I am missing being around teammates – this is a big one – you train every day with them and then all of a sudden you can’t see them for however long this is going to go on for, and I guess the competitive side of training with them.
“We’re a very competitive group and we always push each other in training and I really do miss that, having races with guys during training.”
With the Tokyo Olympics being postponed until 2021, a determined Wilson is viewing this as a positive opportunity to just keep getting better over the next 12 months.
“It’s always disappointing that it’s been pushed back a year, but I think in the end it’s the right decision.
“You want to be racing against the best in the world at the Olympics and if they were to go ahead with it this year we wouldn’t be doing that because people are in different situations and some people can’t do anything at the moment.
“Pushing it back a year and giving everyone the opportunity to train to their best and perform at their best I think is ideal. For me personally, I see it as just an extra year to get better.”
Matt Wilson on:
Advice for Junior Swimmers:
“Focus on what you can control, I think is a big thing, if you can get some gym equipment into your house do that, you don’t focus on the fact you can’t go swimming or go outside and be with your friends – there’s ways around that and things you can control.”
Shows he loves to binge watch:
- Brooklyn 99
- Family Guy
- How I Met Your Mother
Video games he loves to play:
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
No. 1 Olympic moment to re-watch:
- Australia’s win in the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay at the Sydney 2000 Olympics
I wouldn’t want to be stuck in isolation with:
- Jack Cartwright because he snores like a chainsaw!
To listen to the full chat, click here.
All imagery courtesy of Ryan Pierse, Getty Images.