The Psychology of Swimming
How many of you have watched an elite Olympic level athlete on television and heard mention of their mental preparation for an upcoming competition? Now hands up how many of you who thought this type of training was only useful to the best of the best?
So often we spend an entire season/build up preparing our bodies that we overlook the mind. Make no mistake the body and the mind are inextricably linked. The mind more often than not acts as a safety link for the body, tripping off well before the body has reached its physical limits. Preparing both body and mind is how you will truly set yourself up for swimming success.
Don’t fall into the trap of believing mental preparation is only for those preparing for an Ironman or 10km swim or the Olympic Games, any swim event that you are training for competitive or non-competitive involves a physical and mental component.
Here are some simple methods to start setting yourself up for swimming success;
– Find a picture of your planned open water swim location, imagine yourself completing the swim. How ecstatic will you be? How good will it feel?
– When you are training try and visualise yourself achieving your goal, this builds confidence and belief. The more you do this the more this scenario will become ‘real’ to you.
– Positive words lead to positive outcomes. You don’t need to say them out loud, just get used to using positive expressions in your head. They are really help when the going gets tough. Practice these when training. Simple, concise statements work; ‘I feel strong and smooth’ ‘I can and I will’ ‘I love challenge’ ‘I feel alive, I feel great’
I have seen many swimmers who have been unable to do all the physical training they wanted due to sickness, injury or work commitments but they have visualised success, practiced positive and have a complete belief in their ability to succeed, As a result they have completed their swim goal.
If you believe you can, you can and you will.