Two Lies And A Truth: How Individuals Can View the Sport

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

Two Lies And A Truth: How Individuals Can View the Sport

By Jamie Kolar

Being in the water in swimming can be seen as a blessing because it can block out the rest of the world for a brief two-hour period. However, every blessing has its curse. The water can trap us in solitary confinement with our own thoughts to fly wild in our heads with no one else around to correct them or refocus our attention.

Inevitably, these thoughts have the possibility of being negative in nature. These thoughts could be self-generated or could have been planted in our heads by others. No matter the source, when left alone to fester, these thoughts can manifest in our heads and can eventually lead us to believe them as the truth. It is important to realize that these negative ideas are lies and that there is an underlying truth that we just are not seeing.

Lie: You are plateauing.


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This statement is difficult to hear, no matter if you hear it from an outside source or yourself. It usually means that you are not to the level that you used to be, or are no longer improving. Nothing is worse that standing still when you are trying so desperately to move forward.

The fight against this resistance is hard as it is often long and treacherous. Although it is a difficult battle, it is not impossible. All great swimmers go through these trying times. Matt Grevers is one shining example of the success and triumph that can happen when you do not give up.

So if you are plateauing, or some naysayers believe you are, think of all the athletes who have come before you and have come out on top. Instead of thinking of these times as a plateau, think of it as a divot in the ground, brief and annoying. There is always a rise to the top after reaching the bottom.

Lie: You have peaked.

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.

This statement is another difficult one. It means that you have already done all that you can do in this sport. If this thought ever comes into your head and you feel lost with who you are as a swimmer, take a deep breath and exhale all of the bad thoughts out of your system.

Remind yourself of all the accomplishments that you have achieved in this sport. Don’t ever doubt yourself or where you are going. Just like a great flight of stairs, there is always another level that takes you by surprise.

If someone else is telling you that you have peaked, ignore them. Anyone that doesn’t believe in you is not worth your time or consideration. Leave them in the basement while you are trekking up those stairs to the top.

Truth: The best is yet to come.


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This is something we should remind ourselves of more often. Our careers are never over until we say they are. We have this sense of knowing that there is something hidden inside of us that is just dying to get out. Sometimes that feeling is just more clear than others.

It is important to remind ourselves that this is the statement that we know is true. We may be the underdog in the ring, but so what? That just makes the triumph even greater. Right Rocky Balboa? Don’t let naysayers and negative thoughts keep you from seeing how many stairs you can climb.

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


  1. avatar
    Rocky Balboa

    Great article Jamie!!! Love the Rocky reference :))))))

  2. avatar

    Beautiful!!! And Thank You!!!

  3. Neil Morgan

    Since starting back to Masters swimming, I have had a few people tell me I shouldn’t expect to be the swimmer I was when I was younger. All it does is make me want to fight harder. I may or not end up doing better times, but I am going to do whatever I can to improve.

  4. Steven Jackman

    The older you get it’s important to keep up exercise. It helps you at any age physically, mentally, and emotionally.
    Swimming is one of the very best exercises there is.
    If you want to do competitive swimming that’s great if you enjoy it. If you just want to swim without doing competitive swimming, that’s great too.
    The important thing is to swim and enjoy it.

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