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Sports Psychology: Mastering the Mental Game of Swimming

June 13, 2014 0 Comments

Ever heard a trainer or coach tell you that your sport of choice is all mental? That’s because it is. Of course you’ve got be physically good at a sport to succeed, but even the best athlete can have an off day if he or she is too caught up in negative thoughts and anxiety.
 
It’s been said that swimming, like other sports, is 90% mental and 10% physical. Learn to master your mind. It could mean the difference between success and failure. 
 

VISUALIZE WHAT YOU WANT

Do you want to take first place in an upcoming triathlon? Want to break your personal record in swimming laps? Want to be faster than your best friend in the pool?
Whatever it is you want, visualize yourself accomplishing it.
In the 1990s a researcher showed that just five minutes of mental visualization, versus five minutes of basic tasks yielded a significant difference in overall performance for professionals and beginners alike.
Another study showed that people who visualized weight training increased their muscle strength by 13.5%. That’s almost half of the 30% gain seen by the group that actually lifted weights!
 

LEAVE YOUR TROUBLES AT HOME

Everyone has a bad day now and then. It’s a part of life. Maybe you got fired, your girlfriend dumped you, your dog died, you got evicted…
…the list goes on and on.
Life happens and it’s easy to let it weigh you down. But whatever you do, don’t bring your troubles with you to the pool. If you do, it’s likely to slow you down and affect your performance.
Instead, let the pool be your sanctuary where you focus on what you love: swimming.
 

FIND BALANCE

 
While it’s great to take your training seriously, it’s important to remember the big picture.
If you’re not an Olympic athlete, admit it. Life is short and is meant to be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Don’t let training, fitness, and nutrition take over your life.
Make time for the people and things you enjoy outside of training. Find balance in your life. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for burnout and other issues.
 

ACCEPT YOURSELF

 
So you need to lose a few pounds. You gained weight over the winter and your body’s not swimsuit ready. Your form is off. You look ridiculous in a swimming cap.
Whatever it is you’re insecure about, it’s sabotaging your game.
We live in a world that’s obsessed with perfection, yet perfection is impossible to achieve.
Make today the day you start accepting you for you. Resolve to stop letting insecurity get in the way of doing what you love. Self-acceptance just might be the missing link you need to help you become the best swimmer you can be.
 

Let Us know how it goes…

We dare you to try this swimming psychology tips.
Then come back here and let us know how it went in the comment section below:
 

Heidi Kulicke
Heidi Kulicke



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