Self-Esteem In Swimming

To understand the term “self-esteem” consider the meaning of each word separately. The definition of “self” is a person (or oneself) and the definition of “esteem” is respect. So the term self-esteem means respect for oneself. The degree of self-esteem varies from person to person and is influenced by many factors, including:

  • Treatment of a person by close family members, friends, teachers, coaches, classmates, and teammates
  • The number of positive and negative events a person experiences in a lifetime
  • The opinion of others
  • How a person responds to hardship
  • Outside influences like television and music
  • A person’s physical appearance
  • A person’s popularity and acceptance by others
  • The amount of success or failure a person experiences in a lifetime

As a general rule, people with high self-esteem achieve far more in life because their thoughts and actions work in their favor and attract success at every turn. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true where the thoughts and actions of people with low self-esteem work against them and sabotage their efforts. The same general rule also applies in swimming. To illustrate my point, I compiled a list of thoughts and actions common to both groups:

High self-esteem swimmers:

  • Are optimistic
  • Embrace challenge
  • Are willing to risk
  • Adapt well
  • Support themselves through challenging times
  • Are highly ambitious
  • Exude confidence
  • Love to compete
  • Possess a can-do-spirit
  • Take pride in themselves
  • Are mindful of their strengths
  • Expect to succeed

Low self-esteem swimmers:

  • Experience greater self-doubt
  • Shy away from challenge
  • Fear failure
  • Downplay their strengths
  • Feel less deserving of success
  • Are reluctant to try new things
  • Experience greater fear and anxiety
  • Lack boldness
  • Shy away from new opportunities
  • Lack self-confidence
  • Are hesitant to seek help from the coach
  • Experience feelings of inadequacy

If you’re a swimmer in need of self-esteem, give these suggestions a try:

  • Focus on your better side
  • Stop trashing yourself
  • Aim for doing better over being perfect
  • Reduce negative thoughts
  • Take the pressure off
  • Celebrate success even small ones
  • Give yourself a second chance
  • Don’t dwell on failure
  • Stop believing that everyone else is better than you
  • Forgive yourself
  • Be hopeful, not hopeless
  • Start your very own fan club and make yourself president