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Max and Joe Litchfield look to the positives as they prepare to be put on the spot

Max and Joe Litchfield have stressed the importance of a ‘positive mindset’ as they look forward to sharing their experiences with younger athletes.

While in lockdown together, the brothers will be live on the Swim England Instagram and Swim England Facebook pages from 5pm on Wednesday May 13 for a question and answer session.

They revealed how important it was for them to look up elite athletes during the early stages of their career, and hope to provide the same inspiration for the younger athletes of today.

Reminiscing, Max said: “When I was younger I looked up to swimmers in the sport and from other sports as well.

“It’s a subconscious thing, if you watch someone or listen to someone you pick up on it, and it helps.

“If anyone watching on Wednesday can take even one tiny thing from our session, no matter what that is, that’s a positive in my mind.

“If they get something from me and Joe and then more from other athletes along the way, that’s going to be a big difference.”

The pair have done numerous live sessions and video calls with clubs since the start of the coronavirus lockdown.

Joe said: “I’m looking forward to Wednesday’s live Q&A.

“We’ve done some already and they’ve all been really good, the kids have really got involved. It’s nice to pass on what I’ve done and what I’m learning myself.

“I remember being a younger athlete and being part of the Swim England programmes so for me to now be the person giving advice is nice.

“When I was younger I used to be really engaged listening to video calls from the likes of Fran Halsall and Liam Tancock talk about their journey.

“So I like to think everyone is as engaged as I was back then.”

Training at home during lockdown

Max had to withdraw from the 2018 Commonwealth Games squad due to a shoulder injury, while younger brother Joe made his first senior Commonwealth Games appearance on the Gold Coast.

But both have been maintaining their fitness and motivating each other during lockdown.

Max said: “Me and Joe have got a great set up.

“We’ve got a watt bike, squat rack, weighted vests, everything we need really to keep fit and keep strong apart from a pool.

“We’re doing a lot of extra stuff like shoulder work, core work, pilates, anything to keep fit in different ways.

“It all helps to make sure that when we do get back, we’re strong enough and healthy enough to start again as soon as we get the go ahead.”

Joe added: “I think we’ve been lucky with how much gym equipment we’ve managed to get.

“It’s obviously a bit more intense on your body, I’m probably tighter now than I was when I was swimming just because everything is on land and the gym work is no easier.

“It’s probably the same intensity if not a bit harder than what we would normally do, but it’s good.

When asked if they train together, Joe said: “We have a gym session or a circuit every morning and we’ll do them together.

“We’re together most of the time and because we’re in lockdown together, we work together and motivate each other.”


Despite the current lockdown situation, Max and Joe are remaining positive.

Max explained that athletes should try not to worry, saying: “It’s a matter of making the most of every day and staying positive. There’s no point in worrying about what could be when it’s not in our hands.

“I’m in lockdown with my family so I’m just enjoying family time and being at home and staying in contact with my friends.

“I’m keeping myself and my brain active when I’m not able to exercise as well because it’s about being positive and keeping that positive mindset.

“Obviously there will be times when there’s a bit of negativity and that’s totally natural because it’s a strange situation and it’s very different.

“But it’s knowing that when that negativity does creep in it’s not going to last and you’ll pick back up again and things will start looking positive.”

Don’t miss their live question and answer session via the Swim England Facebook and Instagram pages from 5pm on Wednesday 13 May.