6 Things Swimmers Need to Stop Telling Themselves

Just in time for all our big meets of the fall season - another great article from  In particular - # 3 is a big one around this time.  As coach Pete would say "Swimming has nothing to do with feeling"

Excuses are awful, insidious little things.

They hold us back from unleashing our true potential not only in the pool, but in any area where we strive to excel, whether it is in academics, our places of employment, or even our personal lives.

We dip into our bag of excuses because, well, they are shockingly easy to use. They are there, always ready, whispering to us to wait another day, wait until we feel better, wait until the time is “right.”

Wait, wait, wait.

Here are six excuses and things you should stop telling yourself the next time you strap on those goggles (or any other time for that matter!)–

1. I’m not talented enough.

History is filled with people and swimmers who succeeded despite an abundance of natural born talent. In fact, for many the in-grown talent is often a burden or a curse, as they glide along on their talent alone, never forging the skill of hard work. (How many times can you remember hearing about a particular swimmer, how talented they were, and how good they could have been?)

2. I don’t deserve it.

There are a couple reasons athletes have this pop through their mind. On one hand, making the decision to chase after our dreams makes us feel selfish. More commonly, I believe, is that we are laden with a belief that success only happens for others, and not ourselves.

3. I’m not ready.

Important, breaking news announcement—you’ll never be completely ready. Conditions will never be perfect, and you will never completely and absolutely “feel like it.”

4. I’ll never be as good as so-and-so, so why bother?

Your abilities and physical attributes are completely and utterly yours, so embrace it. You aren’t going to be the next Michael Phelps; you are going to be the first you, which in so many ways is much cooler.

5. It’s too late.

Is it, though? Whatever your swimming goals, I bet ya there is still time. (Now, that isn’t an excuse to procrastinate or wait further.) Dara Torres swam at an elite level well into her mid 40’s. If that isn’t inspiration to get your butt in the pool I am not sure what is.

6. I can’t do it.

It pains me to hear young athletes say this sentence. The solution? Learn the difference between “can’t” and “won’t.” Things you cannot do: Fly like Superman. Be a Transformer. Things you won’t do: Put your best effort in every chance you get. Focus on your strengths while improving your weaknesses. Show up early and stay late.