WHAT'S YOUR MINDSET GOAL FOR THIS SEASON?

Don Henshaw
Aug 29, 2018

For a lot of you chlorinated gangsters it’s a fresh new season that’s either just starting or is just around the corner.

This time of the season is fun and rejuvenating.

Yes, it’s a five-star bummer that the leaves are starting to fall and that summer is fading in the rearview.

But on the other hand, we are being handed a clean slate with our swimming.

We have a brand new chance to be a force to be reckoned with in the water.

For a lot of us we are thinking ahead to what we want to achieve at the end of the season when that greasy championship meet rolls around.

And while thinking and planning for that big goal is fun, I’d posit that there is more you can do to light the pool on fire this season.

The big championship meet goal is awesome, but there’s a side goal that’s even more important.

And it’s one that very few athletes make, which will give you even more of an advantage.

You’ve probably never thought to make one, or you simply don’t know how to approach a goal that is kind of vague…

It’s a mindset goal.

How to unlock the power of mindset goals

What’s the one thing in the mental side of your swimming that you want to improve on?

That one thing you know if you tackled it with some form of consistency that would yield crazy improvements for you in the water?

Take some time to think about it, and then treat it just like any other goal you have in the pool:

Write it out. A mental goal is harder to wrap our head around because it’s not as clear as a time, or stroke count. But you can articulate it. Write down what kind of magical goodness you want from your attitude and mindset this year. First step in unlocking the mindset of your dreams is figuring out what that looks like on paper.

Go to work on it each day. Most of the swimmers I work with treat their mindset as an afterthought or something to focus on in case of emergency. It should be part of your regular training. Every day you go to the pool you are either improving your technique and getting in better shape…or not. The same goes with your mindset. Each day you are developing the mindset that is going to show up on deck with you in competition. Don’t throw two days of effort at a goal and expect results. Improvement takes time and consistency.

Find a way to measure progress. This is the biggie—mindset goals are by nature vague. To make them more specific and measurable grade yourself on effort towards your goal. For example, if your goal is to improve your self-talk in the pool, rank yourself after each practice how your self-talk went that day. Goals are hard, but what makes them borderline impossible is when we don’t set up some sort of system to measure them.

Note what works. A few weeks ago I talked to you guys about coming up with a “Power Up” list—the things that are proven to help you perform better in practice. A drill that really helps you catch the water, or eating a lighter meal before training, or a performance cue that helps you push through the agony. Use your “Power Up” list for this as well—note when things worked for your mindset goal.

Learn from what doesn’t. On the flip side, there are things that act like ten wool sweaters-worth of drag on your mindset. Being casually aware of them isn’t enough—take the time to write these donkeys out as well.

Simple stuff, right?

Yeah, dude. That’s the idea.

Simple means you are more likely to do it.

Simple means you are more likely to stay focused when things get hard.

(They will.)

Having an even slightly better mindset will do a lot of things for you in the water…

You’ll train more consistently.

You’ll have a better attitude in the water.

You’ll give up less when faced with adversity.

And what kind of swimming are you looking at when you combine those things?

You know.

See you in the water,

Olivier

P.S. Want more help developing a champion mindset this season?

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If you’re tired of not performing the way you want, if you want to get more from your practices, and if you want to unlock an elite mentality in the water than Conquer the Pool is right up your alley.

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