On this page I plan on updating some of the things I work on with my mental game. Believe it or not this is where most of my time is spent on a daily basis. Every time I think about swimming I work on a “winning mentality” whether I’m at work or in heavy training. I am working closely with a sports psychologist to perfect this side of my swimming. Sports psychology can be very interesting and extremely useful. Huge improvements are being seen in training and in competitions.
Prepare to be your Best on your Worst Days!
Most athletes shine when they “feel” perfect and the conditions are ideal when its time to compete. This is that golden moment where everything seems to be just right. You stand up on the blocks in your favorite lane at the Olympic Games and you feel like you are a million bucks. No one can beat you because you have never felt this good. In that case its easy to perform at the top of your game. But, what if you don’t feel perfect? You are in your least favorite lane. You are shaking from being nervous and feel like your legs are noodles. Are you still going to win like you would in your perfect world?
More often than not athletes fail because they are so accustomed to ONLY performing at their top when they feel perfect and the conditions are exactly what they need and want. The majority don’t feel perfect at race time and don’t have the exact conditions necessary for that perfect swim to just happen with ease. When that’s the case many fail because they didn’t prepare for it! More often than not you will not have ideal conditions for your race or you may not feel perfect. Maybe your plans may need to change on the fly seconds before your swim. Will you be ready for that and still not have it affect your perfect race?
On your worst day when you feel horrible from getting sick and the pool is to hot, will you be able to simulate your perfect mindset and perform at the level needed to be successful at the big meet? This is what you train for! Expect the best, but prepare for the worst! When you are put in not so ideal conditions learn to step up and perform at top levels. This is how you can increase your success rate at the big show. This will help you make sure no matter what happens you WILL succeed!
By: Nick Brunelli
Wear Positive Thoughts & Emotions on Your Sleeve
Swimming isn’t a team sport where we get the benefits of a positive team atmosphere at the toughest times in training. We miss having a team-mate pick us up when our head is buried in the water trying to just finish a set let alone doing it well. The times when we can be good team-mates are limited to before the workout. between the working sets and after the workout. I think the most important time is after your done top carry it to the next big set. After you worked your butt off it feels great to hear someone say “Awesome Set.” But what really feels good is when you have an awesome set and you make an effort to let someone else know they did awesome too!!
Take every moment you have in swimming and bring in positive team atmosphere. It goes a long way in helping others you care about but also yourself too. Spread the positive vibes whenever you can!
By: Nick Brunelli