It’s shocking how many swimmers adopt
a completely laissez faire approach when it comes to how
they mentally approach their training.
They prefer to kind of see how it goes, and
base their mental approach on how they are feeling in the moment,
as practice starts.
This means they are constantly
Grumbling when the main set is harder than
what they “feel like” doing…
Rolling their eyes when coach makes them
redo the second half of a set because it was done
They tend to have their minds wandering to
just about everything and anything--school, the girlfriend, friend
drama, where did I leave my keys?—but what’s happening
in the water.
You can choose to have a more focused
approach to your training.
It will help you be more engaged over the
course of your workouts. (i.e. you will be way less
It will help you increase your technique
and efficiency in the water because you are practicing more
deliberately. (Greater efficiency means you get to swim faster with
less effort. Heyo!)
It will help you face up moments of
adversity in training so that you can get more from your time in
And it will help you…wait for
it…become mentally tougher to boot.
Here are two simple and organic things you
can do to be mentally prepared today at
Go in with a goal for the
Most swimmers will react to what coach
writes up on the board, without wanting to work on their swimming
on their own accord.
Things like technique, a better streamline,
kicking more evenly—these are all things you have control
over and can choose to work on.
Each day challenge yourself beyond what
coach is asking you to do.
The number one reason we struggle in
practice isn’t because the set is hard.
Or that we aren’t “fast
It’s because our self-talk
I can’t do this set. It’s
too hard. I can’t do that interval. It’s too
Don’t be surprised if you are
swimming poorly in training when your inner monologue
is actively telling you that you can’t
Each day when you get out of the water make
a little note about how your self-talk went in the pool that
The majority of our self-talk starts with
Try to shift your self-talk to the right
hand side of those three as much as you can.
You’ll be stunned how much harder
And how much faster you’ll
See you in the water,
P.S. Your self-talk is something you can
easily track in your training journal, and something that will have
a massive impact on your swimming for the three seconds per
practice it takes to reflect on.
In the pages of your log book grade
yourself 1-5 on how positive your self-talk was that day in the
YourSwimBook has a ten month log book plus
goal setting section that is designed specifically for competitive
swimmers. And some great info and tools on how to clean up your
Also, we have a set of motivational posters
for swimmers that don’t suck. Five of them. Check ‘em out