SEPTEMBER 2017 - Senior Athletes Learn How Optimism Can Increase Performance
We all know that swimming is as much a mental challenge as it is physical. Pessimism can help young athletes improve in the short term, but in the long term, our athletes need realistic, trained optimism to be resilient in the face of adversity. Getting started is a matter of recognizing what true optimism is.
Last month, we had the privilege of having Chris DeSantis to come in and talk to our high school aged athletes about positive psychology. Chris received his Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania where he also was a member of their Swim and Dive coaching staff. Chris started focusing on mental performance training when he became a coach and saw swimmers struggling just like he did and wanted to help. He reflected back on how he wished it was something he had when he was coming up in the sport. Just like so many athletes, he struggled to deal with the stresses of competition, school, and life. His presentation looked at how optimism is more than pretending things are going well but going beneath the surface to reveal uneasy truths.
The skills our swimmers learned from Chris will help them swim faster, and that's great. They will also help them in school, in relationships and to be strong when they face the hardest challenges of their lives