Hard work is Jasmine Raines’ key to succes

Photo by Sadman Sakib Rahman


Sometimes in life, the smallest of coincidences can have the largest impact.

Jasmine Raines had one such experience, at an age when she could not have fully realized what the impact of her decision might be.

“I started swimming when I was very young,” she said. “I was about six when I started swimming with the Region of Waterloo swim club … I’ll be honest, when I was little I actually didn’t like swimming and I kept asking my mom [to quit].”

“My mom kept saying ‘I’ve paid for the year, just finish up, then you don’t have to go back.’ At the end of the year, my coach took [our] group to a little meet, and I had so much fun racing that I was like ‘I want to go back, I want to keep doing this!’”

At the time there was no way for Jasmine to know where swimming would take her, but in a stellar sophomore season that builds upon what she did in her rookie year, it is safe to say that Jasmine Raines has arrived.

Last year Jasmine exploded onto the Canadian university swimming scene, winning a gold medal for Laurier in the 100m breaststroke in the OUA championships, placing sixth in the U-Sport National Championships – tying the best finish for a Golden Hawk in the national championships since 2011 – and being named Laurier’s female athlete of the week twice, on her way to earning the prestigious President’s award.

With so much success there can be pressure, but when asked about this Jasmine explained that her mindset is business-as-usual.

“In my mind, I’m just doing what I’ve always been doing,” she admitted. “I don’t want to let any of that [last year’s success] affect what I’m doing.”

“[It’s about] just doing everything normally, doing my thing. I very much want to have a great season again, but I have to work for it; it’s not just going to come because it did last year.”

Whatever the recipe, Jasmine seems to have dialed in her training to a point that even in her second year of swimming, no competitor should feel safe lining up next to her before a race.

Success this year was by no means guaranteed, but Jasmine has made good on her rookie potential, already having put together a number of impressive performances.

In the Quad Meet held in November, Jasmine won the 200m breaststroke, came second in the 100m breaststroke and third in the 200m individual medley.

Then at the deBray Divisionals, Jasmine swept the breaststroke events, winning the 50m, 100m and 200m and outpacing her competitors by such a large margin that in the 200m she won by nearly nine seconds.

So how does a young girl go from wanting to quit a sport, to becoming a national university competitor in only her second season? Through competitiveness and hard work.

When asked about what drives her, Jasmine explained as follows: “I just love racing. I love trying to be better than I ever was before, and it’s exciting knowing that there are people around you that you want to beat.”

“Like, what are you going to do to get there? You always have that in your mind at practice. That’s one thing that helps you keep going is, ‘what are the people (I’ll be racing against) doing right now? What can I do to be better than them?’”

The answer most certainly lies in the tireless work ethic that Jasmine applies to her sport.

When interviewed she described her regular week of practice, and the volume and intensity of the workouts are not for the faint of heart.

On average, Jasmine completes eleven workouts from Monday to Saturday, eight of them in the pool  frequently as early as 7 a.m.  and three of them in the weight room, where she trains for the purpose of power and explosiveness in the water.

Whatever the recipe, Jasmine seems to have dialed in her training to a point that even in her second year of swimming, no competitor should feel safe lining up next to her before a race.

And with 38 days to go until the U-Sport National Championships, it’s a good bet that Jasmine will not be resting. She will be in the pool or in the weight room, grinding away, getting better and preparing for what will likely be another exemplary performance.

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