1. Sight the course in advance. where are the turn buoys? How many buoys are there? what would you see on-shore? What are the fixed landmarks that you can see from the turns? What's the angle of the finish line chute?
2. Slow Deep Breaths at the start, while trying to get on someone's feet and find the buoys, remember to breath. While breathing look up at the sky for a moment and relax.
3. During recovery, relax and wriggle your fingers - send the relaxation to your shoulders.
4. As you finish, avoid calf cramps by stretching your toes up (opposite of pointing - dorsiflex).