3 Methods Swimmers Can Handle Distractions on Race Day


by Olivier Poirier-Leroy. You may be a part of his weekly motivational publication for swimmers by clicking right here.

An enormous a part of success within the water is the flexibility to not get distracted.

On race day, the method of swimming your greatest is comparatively easy:

  1. Present as much as the pool
  2. Heat-up correctly
  3. Step as much as the blocks
  4. Give a 100% effort within the water
  5. Smash PB

The method is straightforward.

However in actuality, there’s an avalanche of distractions, each inside and exterior, which might be flowing your means.

Exterior distractions come from the surroundings round you. Stuff like: rivals smack-talking, crowd noise, the piercing whistles from a swim coach cheering on their swimmer.

After which there are the inside distractions, that are more durable to handle. Issues like fears, worries, and overthinking.

Distractions embody:

  • A swimmer within the warmth earlier than you smashes the state file, shocking you and supplying you with a sudden shot of doubt and uncertainty.
  • You are concerned that your swim at finals will go poorly since you didn’t really feel that nice within the water throughout prelims.
  • The pool is tremendous busy throughout warm-up, making you doubt your race readiness since you didn’t do your ordinary warm-up.
  • A brilliant-fast competitor exhibits up on the final minute and can be swimming within the lane subsequent to you.
  • The announcer utterly butchers your identify because the finalists’ names are being learn out.
  • You are concerned that your mother and father can be mad when you don’t swim a private greatest time.
  • A competitor tells you ways simple they went within the morning warmth to make you assume how a lot sooner they’ll go at finals.

And on and on and on.

The extra we deal with distractions as an alternative of executing that “easy” race plan, the extra anxious we get, the extra drained we really feel, and the much less consideration we’re paying to efficiency cues that may assist us swim our greatest.

Whereas there are plenty of other ways you may hold your self dialed in and handle distractions, listed here are three of my favorites.

1. Construct a plan for achievement on race day.

What routines and habits do you could have on race day?

Typically swimmers will get side-tracked by distractions after they present up on the pool deck with no clear plan for his or her mindset and swimming.

As an alternative of purposefully going by the steps they have to be profitable, they’re reacting to what’s occurring round them, and permitting their mindset and focus to be dictated by the efficiency of others and the surroundings.

Construct a plan for race day.

  • What are you going to do if you get to the pool?
  • How would you like your stroke to really feel on the primary lap of your huge race?
  • What’s your pre-race routine?
  • What sort of self-talk are you going to make use of to maintain you targeted and centered?
  • What’s the self-talk you will use if you catch your self distracted by the efficiency of others?

When you could have a plan for race day, a few highly effective issues occur.

You are feeling the rising tide of confidence from executing every step of your plan to the perfect of your skill.

And it provides you one thing controllable that you could deal with that retains distractions at bay.

2. “Be water, my buddy.”

The excellent news about distractions is that they’re an equal-opportunity power.

Each swimmer on the pool deck is experiencing the identical ideas, worries, lapses in focus and focus.

Adversity, surprises, and distractions occur to us all.

Goggles leak. Opponents shine. Coaches drop us from the relay.

However the swimmer who is ready to push by and succeed within the face of strain and distractions is the one who handles distractions correctly.

Have a disciplined method to your preparation and recreation plan, however don’t be so anchored to them that the slightest deviation causes your focus and confidence to implode.

3. Take note of your senses.

Once you handle your senses, you handle distractions.

Ever discover how some swimmers have a very clean look on their faces behind the blocks?

You may see that they’re amped up by the physique actions—arms swinging, legs pumping, fidgeting—however they’re staring off into the space, doing that thousand-yard stare.

It is a means of preserving their focus the place they need it.

As an alternative of wanting round and getting overwhelmed by what’s occurring round them—the group, different swimmers, your coach pacing nervously up and down the pool deck—they’re locked down into their very own ideas.

The identical impact may be completed with music.

Listening to music earlier than our race, each within the hours main as much as the beginning of the race and standing behind the blocks as our warmth approaches, retains our ideas and focus from working away.

If you end up getting distracted or overwhelmed, take management of your senses.

Decide a visible anchor to have a look at while you’re ready on your occasion. Put collectively a playlist that helps you keep inside your optimistic self-talk and ideas.

The Subsequent Step

Most frequently, it’s not probably the most proficient or the toughest employee who wins on race day.

It’s the swimmer who has mastered the method of racing on the peak of their skills.

The swimmer who correctly frames pre-race nerves, has a routine for achievement and manages distractions, each inside and exterior, releasing them as much as swim quick.

Be that swimmer.


Olivier is a former national-level swimmer who’s obsessive about serving to swimmers develop a high-performance mindset within the pool. He’s the writer of YourSwimBook, a ten-month log ebook for aggressive swimmers.

He’s additionally the creator of the not too long ago printed psychological coaching workbook for aggressive swimmers, Conquer the Pool: The Swimmer’s Final Information to a Excessive-Efficiency Mindset.

It combines sport psychology analysis, worksheets, and anecdotes and examples of Olympians previous and current to present swimmers every little thing they should conquer the psychological aspect of the game.

The ebook was written with the suggestions of 200+ Olympic champions, head coaches, former world file holders and NCAA champions.

Able to take your mindset to the following stage?

Click on right here to be taught extra about Conquer the Pool.

COACHES & CLUBS: Yuppers–we do workforce orders of “Conquer the Pool” which features a workforce low cost in addition to complimentary branding (your membership emblem on the quilt of the ebook) at no further cost.

Need extra particulars? Click on right here for a free estimate on a workforce order of CTP.



Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *