7 Ways to Build Your Confidence in the Pool


7 Ways to Build Your Confidence in the Pool

One of the most frequent mental blocks among swimmers is low self-confidence in the pool.

Oddly enough, in my experience, it was the swimmers who showed up to train every day, worked their butt off, and yet, still struggled to have the self-belief that is necessary during championship season.

But there are always things you can do.

The belief we have in ourselves is something that is built over time through deliberate actions of our own.

Which means that it is something we have control over.

Below are seven things or actions that have the power to build your self-confidence in the pool.

1. Sweat the Small Stuff

Get lost in a couple of small details in your swimming. Whether that is your stroke technique, the number of dolphin kicks you do off of each wall, or your breathing pattern, make it a point to pay extra close attention to just a few things and aim to completely nail them. What you will find is that devotion to excellence will naturally spread to the rest of your swimming. Excellence is infectious, and the confidence you feel after mastering those crucial details will eventually translate into unstoppable confidence in the pool.

2. Stop focusing on the end result

How often do we get bogged down in thinking about all of the scary stuff that may happen, but ever rarely do? Avoid thinking about a poor performance in the pool and instead focus on the variables you can control. Oftentimes, this means shifting your focus from that daunting goal to mastering the dirty, grueling parts of the process along the way.

3. Have a positive attitude

Although this might sound corny or cliché, acting like the swimmer you want to be can help build a more positive environment around you. Compliment your teammates after a challenging set. Help a youngster overcome a technique hang-up. Volunteer to help put the tarps on at the end of practice. Being positive isn’t just a way of thinking, its way of life. When you start acting positively, those actions can feed into your energy and mentality in a big way.

4. Remember all the times you were successful

Inevitably, there will be days where you doubt yourself and doubt your abilities in the pool. In those moments, take some time to sit down and write about all the times you – despite the odds– rose to the occasion and achieved something. We are much stronger than we give ourselves credit for, and sometimes we just need to be reminded of it.

5. Take it one step at a Time

We talk a lot about the process here, and for good reason. Thinking about that big, glorious goal at the end of the line helps us to stay motivated when the last thing we want to do is gear up for another monstrous set. But it can also create an intimidating shadow of expectations that can crush our self-confidence. Don’t let those big goals scare you, instead take it one step at a time.

6. Start utilizing your habits for good

Habits can be extremely powerful things. They dictate a great portion of the things we do every day, so why not harness that power to do something good with your swimming? It does not have to be overly complicated or extensive; something like packing a nutritious snack for before practice. Or by reflecting on your training in a logbook.

7. Decide the swimmer you want to be

Having principles in life is important. Surely they dictate the way you move through the world. Among other things, you own your own code for how you treat others and how you carry yourself. You can do the same for your swimming. Write out what type of athlete you want to be and list out the steps that will help you become that person. Will you be the swimmer who shows up early? Or will you be the swimmer who stays late to get in a good warm down? Write down the principles you want to hold as an athlete and stick to them.

At the end of the day, true confidence comes from deliberate action. From progress. From improvement.

So, which of the tactics above will you use to moving forward to be a more confident swimmer?

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