If I were to list all of the positive traits common to Olympic swimmers, a superior mental focus would be near the top. All too often I see swimmers struggle with this all-important quality. Perhaps it’s due to a lack of motivation or that the practices are too long and boring. Whatever the reason, swimmers must improve their ability to focus or run the risk of performing far below their potential. On a scale from 1-10, how well do you focus in practice? If you’re like most swimmers, you’re probably pretty good at the start, but fade after a few sets. If this sounds like you, you must strengthen your “focus muscle” away from the pool, so that you can perform better at practice. One straightforward way is to concentrate on something that is near and dear to you, like your parents, a friend, or your favorite pet. Challenge yourself to hold their image in your mind for one minute or longer. If you get distracted, try again. Continue the process on a daily basis while expanding the duration each time. As your focus muscle strengthens, apply your new found skill within the practice setting. If you do, I promise that you’ll swim faster than ever before.
You can learn learn more about focus and other relevant mental skills topics in my latest book, Are You Worth It?, available here and also at our upcoming Summer Swim Camps in Key Largo, FL and Monterey Peninsula, CA.