4 Ways to React When Things Are Not Going Your Way

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

4 Ways to React When Things Are Not Going Your Way

Swimming is full of ups and downs. You can go for days at a time with everything seeming to go right, until all of a sudden everything seems to go wrong. You don’t hit your pace, you get hurt, or just anything does not go the way you hoped. How you react to troubled times is defining and can be an excellent teaching moment. Here are a few ways you can react when tough times come calling.

1. Stay Centered

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 10: Swimmers warm up during the finals session on day 1 of the SA National Aquatic Championships and Olympic Trials on April 10 , 2016 at the Kings Park Aquatic Center pool in Durban, South Africa. Photo Credit / Anesh Debiky/Swim SA

Photo Courtesy: Anesh Debiky/Swimming South Africa

Every time I have an off practice or a bad race, this is what my coach tells me– stay centered. Don’t let anything get the best of you. So much more goes into your performance at the end of the season than one practice, one race, one training camp. When one thing goes wrong, there is still so much more that can go right if you can react in the right way. The rule on our team is you have five minutes to be happy or sad about a race, and then it’s time to move on. If you do your best to limit your time spent on the extreme emotions, you can move on and not ruin everything else because of the one bad thing.

2. Stay Positive


Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

Even when everything seems to have gone wrong, there has to be one positive you can look at. If you are having a bad practice, there is always something you can be doing right with your technique, even if you are not necessarily swimming fast. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, think about the things that you can control and that you can still make better.

3. Don’t Overthink

Madi Wilson showing the strain of another hard set of training. University of Auburn Aquatic Centre, Alabama USA. Australian Olympic Swimming Team are in their final training staging Camp before heading over to the Rio2016 Olympic Games. July 29 2016. Photo by Delly Carr. Pic credit mandatory for complimentary exclusive editorial usage. Thank You.

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

Overthinking is one of an athlete’s worst enemies. Overthinking takes a problem or a struggle and makes it a million times worse. You get caught up in yourself and think things are way worse than they actually are. No good comes from beating yourself up when you do not deserve it. Sometimes things are hard, and sometimes you struggle. At that point the best thing to do is accept it and keep pushing rather than making the reality of it much harder on your self by over analyzing.

4. It Will Work Out in the End


Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Life has a habit of working itself out. Sometimes the end result is not always desirable, but eventually you end up in the place you should be. Either you one day get to where you want to be, or you learn lessons that will be invaluable in you the rest of your life. Challenges are what test us and make us stronger. In the end, the struggle is often for the better.

So, the next time you hit a rough patch, keep these four points in mind. Though it can still be tough, these are the thoughts that will help you endure and make you stronger.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.


    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      Another negative comment. Cheer up Lyle, this is a piece written by an intern and focusses on a point of view as a swimmer. Whether you agree or not, whether you see this as ‘negative’ (a very odd interpretation), is less relevant than what you might learn and how that might help you better understand your own swimmers. Just a thought.

    • Matthew Lowe

      Lyle Campbell yeah I agree, a much better article would be reviewing the best polish with which to clean your Olympic gold medals

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