Mastering Discouragement and Disappointment
If you are a serious athlete and have big dreams to go far in this sport, then there's one thing that I can promise you will always be in your future: FAILURE.
Staying tough during the mid-season doldrums
What can you do to make the most out of these “dog days” of winter training when you are so tired and far-removed from the excitement of the taper meet?
Go for Your Big, Scary Dreams
When a BIG dream first shows up on your doorstep, knocking and begging to be “let in,” your rational, thinking brain says, “Don’t be so silly and unrealistic! There’s no way that you could ever accomplish that! NEWSFLASH: Your initial self-doubts, fears and negative thoughts about reaching your big goal are normal and let you know that you’re actually headed in the right direction.
Avoid the Biggest Mental Mistake Swimmers Make
What's the biggest cause of out-of-control, pre-race nervousness? Focusing on things that you can't directly control! Swimmers who go into their events thinking about and/or focusing on these “UCs” or uncontrollables will always lose their confidence and get derailed by runaway nerves.
The Secret to Achieving that All-Important Cut
ow often do you find yourself going faster when it doesn't count than when it does? The key question here is, “WHY, when you desperately want a certain time, does it remain maddeningly just out of your reach, but then, when you no longer need it, it comes loudly knocking on your front door?” Within the answer to this important question lies the secret to you consistently swimming fast when it counts the most!
Mental Toughness Toolbox: Responding to Problems
There are a lot of things that can happen to you as a swimmer, both in practice and at meets that can potentially knock you off balance. How you approach these kinds of “problems” both in and out of the pool can determine the level of success that you ultimately achieve.
Swimming Fast Under Pressure: Controlling Your Race Focus
The secret to swimming fast when it counts the most is to maintain control of your concentration during your entire race. In training, these athletes focus on the FEEL of what they are doing, one stroke at a time and have little to no thinking going on! Consistently swimming fast under pressure is all about learning to keep your race focus on this kind of FEEL!
Staying Loose and Calm Pre-Race
If you want to consistently swim to your potential under big meet pressure and avoid the devastating physical effects of excessive nerves, then you have to learn how to keep yourself physically and mentally composed at race time. One important way that you do this is by controlling your eyes and ears behind the blocks.
Handling Failures and Disappointments
One of the more important mental skills that you will need in your mental toughness toolbox if you want to go far as possible in this sport is a most unlikely one. The secret to your ultimate success in the pool lies in how you manage your failures and disappointments.
Handling Last-Minute Negative Thinking and Self-Doubts
You're behind the blocks feeling pretty good about your BIG meet. Your best race starts in just a few minutes and everything has gone OK for you leading up to this meet. Your practices have been good and your taper felt right. But when you get behind the blocks, the “noise upstairs” starts.
Concentration: The Master Skill of Mental Toughness
Your training and health being equal, what you concentrate on at meets is the main cause of your best and worst swims. When you struggle with going faster in practice than races, faster in your off-events than your best ones or being unable to break through and get a certain time, faulty concentration is usually the main cause.