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Staying Focused During Practice

Here are a few different ways to stay focused and productive while at practice:

Be clear about what you want to achieve that day in the pool.

Nothing sets a mind to wander in the middle of a set or workout faster than unclear objectives. If you don’t have any purpose behind the laps you are doing in the pool it’s no wonder that your mind is going to take a hike.

Remedy this by having clear objectives for the time you are spending in the water.

  • Stroke count: What are the stroke counts you plan on holding during your workout?
  • Technique: What is one thing you will totally nail today at practice in regards to your technique? What is the one thing that if you improve will yield the greatest gain?
  • Effort: Will you give a killer effort no matter what the main set is?

By keeping your attention dialed in on specific areas of your swimming you will force yourself to stay in tune with the practice.

Limit the number of things you are focusing on.

When you try to focus on everything, you focus on nothing. Pick one or two things to work on and do them spectacularly well.

Simple as that.

Leave the outside stuff where it belongs…outside.

Mental baggage comes in all forms.

You are under a crushing load of homework at school. You got into a gnarly blowout with your girlfriend or boyfriend right before practice. And so on.

No matter what kind of garbage is happening outside of the pool, you can still hang your hat on a great workout today. The pool should be refuge from outside stressors, so put aside those things are driving you a little nuts outside of the pool.

Your practice and your swimming is your time. Don’t allow outside factors and situations impede on that.

Forget your goals and focus on building the routine.

If there are things that you want to achieve in the pool—and I imagine there are plenty—the key is creating big goals, and then forgetting about them.

For swimmers it is easy to get lost in the daydreams and fantasies of all the cool stuff we want to accomplish…while simultaneously drifting through our workouts. The solution to this is to focus on developing a powerful and habitual routine in your practice.

When you decide to have a great routine, you turn from a swimmer who dreams of outcomes into one that focuses on the day-to-day, the grind, the process.

After all, if you…

  • Want to drop 5 seconds on your 100m freestyle, you know the key is in showing up every day and hammering out your pace work.
  • Want to  improve your underwater dolphin kick, you know that you will have to be disciplined to do them from warm-up to warm-down.
  • Want to consistently  make those early morning am workouts, you know that you will have to manage your time on a daily basis in order to get to bed on time.

In Summary

We have a limited amount of time each day to spend training and fine tuning our swimming.

Why not make the most of it so that the next time you get up on the blocks you have the greatest possible chance at smashing your goals?