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30 October, 2020

Focussed on the future

In a 200 metre butterfly race, perhaps the most important 15 centimetres of the race is actually the space between a swimmers’ ears.

By Peter McCullagh

Cairns swimmer Ike Martinez is a firm believer in the power of the mind and the mental preparation required to take his performances to a national level. 

Ike initially broke the 2002 long standing National record in March this year and then again (rebroke it) at the recent Long Course Swimming meet in October . 

In ‘total’ shaving off 2.5 from the mark .. and almost 5 seconds from his personal best time.. The new record 2:06:71 was recently recognised and approved by Swimming Australia and qualifies Ike for his first National Championships and Olympic Trials in mid-2021. 

Although Ike has been swimming for many years, his entry into competitive swimming is fairly recent. Previously a competitive gymnast and competing at state championships, Ike moved to competitive swimming 3 years ago. “Gymnastics helped me with my upper body strength and flexibility,” said Ike. 

“Swimming excites and challenges me. It’s the battle with yourself to improve mentally and physically. Eighteen months ago Ike changed clubs to join with TAS Swim Club’s Coach Duncan Todd. 

“My coach Duncan, understand me and my swimming, he’s taught me so much more about swimming and the mental preparation required for training as well as competing. “He gets my competitive nature and works to help me develop it and make it a positive thing for me.” 

The next year could serve as a defining one for Ike. In December 2020 he will contest the Queensland Swim Championships, before competing in the Australian Swimming Championships as well as Australian Olympic Trials. “I’m excited about competing against Australia’s best swimmers, but it would be pretty awesome competing for Australia, I’m nervous but it will be really good experience for me.” 

The next record potentially under threat from this developing swimmer is long standing Under 14 200 metre Butter Fly record set in 1997 by Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe. 

Whilst Ike’s current PB is still 4 seconds off the Thorpe’s Australian 14 Year Old record of 2:02:22 this record is seriously under threat as Ike continues to mature and grow as a swimmer as well as refining and developing his race skills. 

Swim training is scheduled around school, family and music, with eight pool session each week. “I focus on school, music and swimming. I try not to focus upon swimming alone,” he said. 

The combination of Duncan Todd as coach and Ike Martinez is developing well. Ike’s professional approach to training as well as racing has marked him as a potential Australia swimmer for the future. In the meantime, Ike will continue to train and dream of what rewards and goals lay in waiting. 

“It’s all in your mind; you just have to believe you can do it”.

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