Iso-link-tion: Mental Training 2 (July 21, 2020 update)

Hello Everyone!

Week two of Mental Training talk. The week could probably be subtitled week of cliches with two or three massive cliches riding shotgun in these articles. But the thing with cliches is, they have truth to them. There is a reason they are said so much to become cliches. Process is king and execute the plan.

Presentation Note: the link is posted first with the preface of the article following the link.

Apprehension around using Mental Training is not unique. Maybe you empathize with some of the myths on this list. I think everyone should read at least numbers 4 and 7.

A cliche if there ever was. Trust The Process should be a motto for swimmers and family members. The better you can be today will make it easier to be better tomorrow. A book is real boring if you only read the first and last chapters. The journey is what makes a good book that... good.

Here you have a suggestion on pre-race routines. Consistency and routine have been widely accepted as positive influences on anxiety and performance. While there aren't any specific steps given there is good advice following the trust the process and controll the controllable ideologies.

I have read about this race several times from different sources, but each time Mark references seeing himself as the victir before he even started the race, before he even got to the pool. Seeing is believing even if you only see it in your head.

While letting go of bad sets or workouts can be difficult trying to make them productive is an easy thing to do. Simplify and executing technical goals in practice can still make a bad practice productive as much as one that feels really really good. The article also gives credibility to the logbook tool from last week.

Stay Safe. Stay Happy.

Matt Pedersen on behalf of
ROW Coaches and Staff


Iso-link-tion: Mental Training 1 (July 14, 2020 update)

Hello Everyone!

After last week's savage heatwave these seasonal temperatures are heavenly! We hope you have taken a chance to enjoy the outdoors while not melting. In the last email it was hinted that a series of mental training links would be presented for athletes and families to read. Each week a selected few articles will be prefaced and submitted. They all come from the same site and the list is posted to the ROW Facebook page so if you want to get a head start you can check it out there.

Presentation Note: the link is posted first with the preface of the article following the link.

What can Mental Training do for you?
An introduction to how mental training can complement the physical training to boost results in practice and in competition.

The most important aspect of mental training is the boost in resiliency. How will you manage your performance in practice or competition when things go unexpectedly?

When should you start?
With proper scaling and implementation mental training can positively influence swimmers of any age or experience.

Mental training can seem like a big and ambiguous aspect of training. It can be difficult to get the proverbial ball rolling. This article offers an entry point to mental training that can begin right now!
Being a strong athlete requires strength of body and mind. Taking the first steps towards a strong mind can only help make us all stronger athletes.
Stay Safe, Stay Happy
Matt Pedersen for the ROW Coaches
ROW Swim Club


Iso-link-tion (July 6, 2020 Update)


Welcome to Hot and Sunny July ROW swimming family! We hope everyone is keeping safe from illness and now the sun. Return to Play and guidelines from various levels of government and organizations can push us to be optimistic as the summer months power on. Below are a few links for some light summer reading to keep your swimming brains properly fed as we move towards returning to the pool.

In the next few weeks there will be some links for mental training and awareness. This will be for swimmers looking to fill their toolboxes to help train and perform to the best of their abilities.

200 Free is a Sprint

One of the greatest swimmers of the last generation Ian Thorpe weighs in on 200 Freestyle tactics and getting more men under 1:45. While we might not all be pushing for that kind of speed the idea of hard out is one that could be embraced by more swimmers in the 200m races.

Seeing is Believing

Visualization is a tool that many athletes could be using more effectively to help prepare for racing and avoid the negative emotions and concerns associated with performance anxiety. Read through this to get a more complete description on how to use visualization.

Muscles are a Good Thing

In this pandemic lifestyle any information that can help us manage illness now and in the future is most welcome. While being bulky is not considered a useful trait in swimmer bodies training and body composition can help you protect yourself from illness and disease.

What's in your heart?

The Olympics has been one of the few venues or events where the world has come together despite political and social strife (most of the time). However, with the Social Justice climate as it is there is a particular rule that stands in the way of athlete demonstration.
Happy Summer!
ROW Staff

Iso-link-tion (June 4, 2020 Update)


Return to play guidelines published by swimming natation Canada

As the province and the country make progress is managing the COVID pandemic and allow different areas of business and culture start to reopen Swimming Natation Canada has released its framework for return to play. If nothing else this should give everyone expectations of a timeline for a return to the pool.


Even the best deal with the worst

Mental health has become a growing aspect of everyone’s health profile as it becomes better understood and the taboos around it are broken down. More and more we see stories from those we idolize opening up and being comfortable relating times and events that were a struggle for them.


Social Distancing should really be labelled physical distancing because our social connections are a major driver for promoting positive mental health and physical health. Here is an excerpt from a study on how we can effectively use and improve our social wellbeing.  


Things are starting to look up?

This is an older story but I thought it was the kind of positive and encouraging news we could all use as swimming families.

Please visit the ROW Facebook page regularly as there are interesting stories posted there as well that fit a wide range of topics from nutrition to mental health, and other swimmer specific interest stories.

Also, please pay attention to the events in the US. Stay informed and as knowledgeable as you can. In a sport with a smaller but growing POC community it is paramount that we all make it as welcoming and safe a sport as we can for any athlete or family that is willing to take the plunge.

On behalf of ROW's coaches,
Matt Pedersen OCT

Iso-link-tion (May 4, 2020 Update)


The backyard Hockey rink is a staple of Canadiana, but as the seasons have changed and the closure of public facilities and pools many athletes are looking to the backyard for swim training. Whether its World Champion Maggie MacNeil swimming in the snow, (If you have twitter)

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I can now cross swimming outside in the snow off my bucket list DD <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Maggie Mac Neil (@mags_swims26) <a href="">April 15, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Or Paralympic hopeful Danielle Kisser Building a temporary pool out of old loading skids,

swimmers are getting creative to get the work done.


Some More nutrition information for fueling while exercising. This brief study outline focusing specifically on swimming, but the information can be transpose to exercise in general.

How much protein to consume during swim practice?

Everyone loves a taper, but how long is too long? And maybe after reading this the coaches might get a few less, “aren’t we tapering?” comments a month out from a big meet hmm? Points 1-6 are pretty science-y so if you really into mmols and peak lactate then read up. Key information for everyone in points 7-9

Swimming Detraining: 9 things you didn’t know -

It sucks that we can’t get back in the pool. However, the world moves on and some things are more important than going up and down the black line. Like loving and accepting yourself and finding success because of it.

20 years on Tewksbury’s experience paves way for athletes like Thormeyer -


Mental Health Resources
    * Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
    * Canadian Mental Health Association: 1-866-531-2600    

    * The Canadian Sports Helpline: 1-888-83-SPORT (77678)    
    * The Canadian Sport Helpline: 1-888-83SPORT (1-888-837-7678)
    * Strongest Families Institute:1-866-470-7111

We hope everyone continues to stay safe and healthy!
On behalf of ROW coaches,
Matt Pedersen

Iso-link-tion (April 27, 2020 Update)


Hello Region of Waterloo Swim Club Members!
I hope everyone is staying safe and staying healthy. In hopes of staying connected, as well as keeping everyone informed, I have some places you can visit to help compliment your new daily routines.
I am sure by now we have all heard about 'Flattening the Curve.' I am also fairly certain we have a good understanding of what that means but for those that are still a little unsure LiveScience has a easy to understand  explanation  here. I will let you debate the seeming effectiveness on your own and when this curve might be flattened, but general consensus is that we won't know until it is over. The key argument for flattening the curve is to keep infection numbers manageable for our Health care system.
Our day-to-day lifestyles and routines have changed quite a bit in the last month. But imagine you left home and everything was normal, and returned to the way things are now. Well get your empathy gowns on and read about just that as  Astronauts returned from the ISS this month after 6-9 months in space.
We are all dealing with stress. That is not a COVID-19 revelation, but now that we are spending more time with members of our families nearby how we manage that stress has come to the fore.  Here are some signs of stress and a couple suggestions on ways to manage it.
One way that many deal with stress is by eating (guilty as charged). However, as active people we should keep nutrition in mind cause, "abs start in the kitchen!" as they say. Eat Right has  3 Easy Tips for Fueling Your Workouts. Timing plays a larger role then I think many of us would think and this article barely scratches the surface.
Finally, please take advantage of your downtime. Interacting with friends and peers has never been more difficult, but also never been so easy. Video calls and conferences have made face to face conversations easier and there are a plethora of online voice chat platforms. combine those with some simple online web-based games to get the party started. For fans of Settlers of Catan, I found a simple and easy to play facsimile  here. Up to four players can play free and easy.
I will check in again next week with more news and information. 
ROW Coaches