In art, water has long been used as a symbol of purity and cleansing; but it can also be symbolic of those things that are hostile and forbidding, and even those circumstances that are impossible to control. Feelings many swimmers can understand. We both love the water and hate it. Relish competition but dislike the training. Look forward to practice but dread meets. Are surrounded by teammates and coaches but find the isolation of swimming a challenge. On top of that swimmers have a lot going on. A schedule full of practice times, school commitments and weekend long meets, all while attempting to create a balance between life in and out of the pool.
Countless studies have shown improving your mindset during practice will help you cope with intense training and boost your meet performances.
Here are a few ways to work on mental training and improve mindset.
1) Be Positive. Don't focus on things that aren't going right, whether it is a hard set, or an impossible drill, do the best you can. Keep your mind focused on the good things you are doing.
2) Set do-able, achievable goals- even during practice.
3)Make self-talk work for you. Help stop the voice in your head by refocusing what you tell yourself. As the saying goes, the body will achieve what the mind believes.
4) Be present. Don't let your mind wander. Staying in the moment and engaged will not only improve technique but help you enjoy meets, and even practice more.
5) Mental visualization. Whether you are getting through a tough set or standing behind the blocks at your next meet, visualization techniques cultivate not only a competitive edge, but also create renewed mental awareness, as well as increased confidence.