Your mindset plays an important role when you plunge from the starting blocks into the water to race. Many swimmers focus on the performance and forget to mentally prepare. You can be in peak physically condition, but if you are not in the right head space, not even the the best start or technique will see you win.
1) Think positive
Most swimmers will contemplate the worst case scenario. If you imagine yourself losing then it is more likely to happen. This is known as self-fulfilling prophecy.
2) Avoid distractions
Focus on the task at hand and completing your manoeuvres with precision. For example, your breaths, your kicks, how quick and precise your turns are. Don’t worry about your competitors or trying to beat your personal best, simply concentrate on your technique and performance. The end result will be a reflection of your focus.
3) Clear your mind
It is important to go into each race without letting your previous performance effect the way you are feeling. Block your last race from your mind. The only thing that matters is the here and now. If you are coming off a winning streak it is easy to feel over-cocky. A losing streak may see you doubt your skills before you even hit the water.
4) Embrace each challenge
Whether it’s swimming in a lane next to a proven performer with a world breaking personal best or the burning pain that grips your lungs from swimming 1500m, learn to love the challenge. Embrace it and tell yourself the more it hurts the closer you are to achieving your goal,
5) Visualise the start
Imagine yourself clearing the starting blocks with a flawless entry to the water. See yourself making the perfect turn. See yourself making more perfect kicks, rising up out of the water, executing perfect stroke technique, and touching the starting wall.
Visualisation prepares your brain
6) Have fun
If you’re not having fun, something is wrong. It’s easy to become too competitive and become self-critical and negative if you don’t win. Remember the reasons you started swimming in the first place – that is because you enjoyed it.