Sport Psychology for Swimmers, Swim Coaches and Swimming Parents
In this video, former Olympic Swimmer Markus Rogan, who is now a graduate student in Sport Psychology, describes the 6 elements of mental toughness. …
I was given a stark reminder recently that for any competitive swimmer, at any level, setbacks are a reality. Injury, illness and other uncontrollable factors mean that all of a sudden the event that you’ve been preparing for - the goals that you’ve set yourself, perhaps the opportunity to gain international honours or a National title for the first time – can be gone in a flash.
I remember the crushing disappointment myself, of not ‘making it’ to the European Juniors. I use those words …
What is the 10000 Hour Rule?
According to Anders Ericsson, it takes a minimum of 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become a genuine expert or, in the case of swimming, to become a world class swimmer. Can you break this rule?
Performers are made, not born
What the 10000 hour rule is really saying is that great performers are made and not born. There’s still plenty of debate about that, but when it comes down to it, this is the right message for swimmers, coaches and parents to take …
I was recently approached by a male senior swimmer ‘G’ who wanted help preparing for competition, because he was experiencing issues with anxiety and confidence, and losing time from starting the race feeling tense. The senior Nationals were around 6 weeks away and he wanted some help preparing for the event and races beyond.
It became apparent that there were a number of different phases during the run-up to the race that were presenting different challenges, with the effect …
My first attempt at an infographic. It's not a thing of beauty (just as well I'm a psychologist and not a graphic designer!) but hopefully gets the idea across.
Performance mindset is a choice
The performance mindset is a choice. Specifically, it is about choosing to focus on your own performance, valuing effort and determination, enjoying racing and continually learning. It's also about choosing not to let swimming determine your identity.
Performance mindset is built through good …
Swimmers are pretty well-known for being comfortable, perhaps too comfortable for some non-swimmers, with their bodies. Yet the pressure to keep improving performance, and perhaps the extent to which young swimmers’ bodies are on display, contribute to the risk of disordered eating. While the clinical eating disorders Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa gain much needed attention, swimmers can also experience problems due to what is known as Anorexia Athletica.
What is Anorexia …
I recently asked the members of the US Masters Swimming forum, what’s different about being a masters swimmer, and what specific challenges they have to manage compared to younger swimmers. Although it was not really a scientific study, some really interesting themes emerged, from some pretty detailed and thoughtful responses. Broadly speaking, these fell into […]
If you believe the multitude of success gurus that have sprung up on the web you might believe that setting goals is absolutely essential for performance and happiness. Don’t get me wrong. Goal setting is a very useful skill. Used well it helps focus your energy, think more clearly and build confidence. But goal setting […]
If I had to name the single most important psychological factor in swimming performance, it would have to be confidence. Confidence is a motivator, but it is also a protector. It acts like a shield and helps you to overcome setbacks, doubt and anxiety. The good news is that confidence isn’t magical or elusive. It […]
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