6 Mental Training Hacks for Swimmers
Swimmers can use their mental routine to bring consistency to their preparation and performance, whether they are swimming in a dual meet or at Olympic Trials . Getting yourself mentally prepared in the final 24 hours before a big swim meet is just as important as the physical preparation you've worked. The meters have been swum. The technique has been honed and perfected. But no matter how well a swimmer trained in practice, inevitably they want to know.
Imaging a successful upcoming race is the dress rehearsal to the real deal. Gain Greater Control of Mental Energy Swimmers need to manage mental energy so that they are neither too flat nor too amped up before racing. The goal is to get into that ideal state. During preparation, athletes may listen to certain songs to increase energy and put them into the proper racing state. Alternatively, they may visualize a relaxing scene to slow their hurrying thoughts.
Such strategies can be a purposeful part of a mental routine to manage mental energy.
Give More Effective Focus A mental preparation routine can help swimmers focus on important aspects of their performance. Technical cues "explode off the blocks" or "hold your streamline" or images "torpedo" can be integrated into preparation to direct attention where it needs to be as opposed to having the focus on unproductive or negative things. Provide Comfort in Structure A mental routine can be a security blanket, something to turn to in the stressful moments leading up to the competition.
Swimmers can use their mental routine to bring consistency to their preparation and performance, whether they are swimming in a dual meet or at Olympic Trials. To some degree, a mental preparation routine can take the environment out of the performance.
Engage the Mind The mind is a valuable commodity.
When purposefully recruited and engaged, the athlete has the additional support of positive emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Athletes should make wise use of all the resources at their disposal as they prepare for competition. Coaches can do certain things to help their swimmers develop and strengthen effective prerace routines.
Coaches should talk to their swimmers about what mental preparation is and why they should have a mental plan. Coaches need to define some of the key components that make up a mental plan, such as imagery, goal setting, self-talk, concentration, and energy management, and explain that there is no right or wrong way to create a mental plan.
7 Tips to Develop Mental Toughness for Swimmers
Each swimmer will have a personal, unique mental plan. Next, the coach should have the swimmers reflect on past performances to begin to understand how they feel when they perform well and what they need to do to ensure good performances.
Additionally, they should examine how they feel when they do not perform well and identify what they need to do to get out of that state. Coaches should have the athletes create a mental plan, write the plan down, and refer to it throughout the season.
Coaches must provide opportunities and encouragement to practice the plans.
How to mentally prepare yourself for a swim race
For example, a coach might set up a swim practice before a big meet and have the swimmers run through their prerace routines, giving them a chance to do their own premeet warm-up.
This approach allows the athletes to take ownership of their prerace readiness routines and make changes if needed. Although these things may seem insignificant when taken individually, consider what it is that distinguishes the gold medal winner from the athlete who won the silver, the third-place finisher from those who did not win a medal.
It often boils down to how the athletes prepared for the competition. When you are relaxed, with slow and deep breaths, relaxed muscles, and a low heart rate you not only help ward off excess anxiety, you give your body a chance to perform in competition what you have been working on in practice.
Swimming fast is great. Super great-awesome, in fact. There are fewer better and more satisfying feelings than looking up at the scoreboard and seeing a brand new best time and a number one beside our name place, not lane.
A straightforward way that I would keep my cool and focus on execution while racing was using a set of very simple cues. There was one that my coach always emphasized, and that I remember most to this day.
Tips For A Successful Swim Meet Performance
The following cues are for a long course m race— For the start and breakout: It kept me from overthinking things, and to focus on doing one thing at a time. Be willing to train in adverse conditions… Focus on the moment… Focus on execution.
Coaches and elite swimmers talk about how the difference is often mental when it comes to performance. When you slip into the water be present with yourself and your swimming. Instead of just going through the motions, focus and consider your technique. Your streamline and turns.
The way your hand enters the water. Practice high pressure situations. Ultimately, the best way to be cool under pressure is to get used to it. Embrace situations that require you to achieve at your highest level, and when that championship meet comes up at the end of the year, it will feel like another day at the office.
Not all who dream of Olympic gold train in a gorgeous 50m pool, and nor do they count Lochte, Phelps or Agnel as lane-mates.
For many swimmers across the nation chasing elite dreams happens in not-so-elite places.