You’re about a couple seconds into your last lap and your mind has dropped off from the race. “I’m hungry,” “Did I forget to lock my car?” and other random thoughts start to demand your attention when this is the time to keep your attention fine-tuned to the end of the pool. Don’t just focus on swimming techniques; here are some great mental techniques for combating an overly active mind:
- Create a cue or trigger word – When you catch your mind wandering, use a short, strong and motivational phrase to remove yourself from a busy mind and back into the race. You can even picture your coach saying the words for a little extra motivation.
- Visualization – If trigger phrases don’t do the trick, try visualizing yourself completing a full lap or winning a big race whenever your mind wanders during your swim. This has the power to activate the training mindset while swimming to help power through the last lap and hone your swimming techniques.
- Do not punish yourself for daydreaming – We are all human. Attention span is like a muscle that needs to be exercised and taken care of in order to take full control of it. Try changing up your daily routine not only while swimming but also in your day-to-day life.
- Set smaller goals – Instead of making larger and more intense goals, simplify your goals by dividing your main goal into smaller, more attainable milestones. Think about it: 20 minutes of pure focus sounds a lot harder than four 5-minute focus sessions. These smaller goals can be set by distance or time.
- Count –Keeping your mind busy with a simple task like counting or going through the alphabet can sometimes help you come back to reality and focus on your swimming. Many people who struggle with anger management or attention will often use this technique to calm down or alleviate scattering thoughts in the mind.
Swimming isn’t easy and staying focused on your swimming techniques during a race or practice isn’t easier. Stay updated on the latest swim training resources with our free Lane 1 membership packed with stroke training videos, our exclusive Aqua Notes resources packed with swimming tips and techniques, and so much more.