One of the aspects of my swimming which I take a lot of pride in is my technique, my individual medleys are my strongest events. However, I feel like I have some kind of block, most likely mental, holding me back when I swim, which hinders my speed. Any suggestions?
This is kinda a tough one to answer, because there could be a number of things holding you back depending on your specific life/your own situations. Some of the things I’ve seen happen when it comes to plateauing are either just straight up too much training, too much of the same kind of training, performing well in practice but not in competition, or stress outside of the pool transferring over to stress in the pool.
I don’t know you, but I’m sure there are other people out there reading this who are in the same place. (Or experiencing some kind of plateau.) If you’re pretty sure it’s a mental block holding you back, you probably want to work on race visualization and prepared-ness outside of the pool. Organize your mind. Set your goals, and then write out the exact things that you’re going to do to achieve them. If your college training is becoming mentally taxing because it’s too repetitive or boring, talk to your coach or teammates to see what you can do to work around that. (Yoga also helps for decreasing anxiety if that’s a thing for you)
For anyone else feeling the plateau, I’ll share a little personal opinion- I literally plateaued for at least 3 years when I was in high school…and part of it just might’ve been obviously putting academics/social life first and just swimming on the side. But plateaus happen, and if you really love swimming, sometimes you might just need to ease up on the training for a while until you get that burning need to come back to the pool. I’m not an age-grouper anymore, and I’m by no means an Olympian, but I’m still getting faster because of what I’m learning from NCAA swimming. Keep the sport fresh, keep your mind strong, and learn about what makes you physically the way you are.
What do you think are some ways a swimmer can contribute to the positive atmosphere of your team? Basically like what could I do to help make my team strong and successful lol
Interesting question! Here are some good things to do:
-Be friendly and approachable outside of the pool. If you see your teammates during the day, take time to say hi to them and ask them how they’re doing, about their day, etc. If you don’t know someone too well (especially if they’re new or a younger swimmer) simply saying “hey how’s it going?” is a great thing for you to do.
-Stay positive during practice. Tough swimming sets are so mental, so be encouraging even if you think a set is going to be absolutely terrible. Say something quick out loud before you guys leave the wall. Like let’s go, let’s do this, you got this, or keep it up etc. It’s crazy how a few words from the person behind you can motivate you to keep pushing through a hard set. Some people appreciate it more than others, though, but you’ll probably pick up on that if you know your teammates’ personalities.
-Basically, be a good role model in + out of the pool. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but treat everyone with respect and how you’d want to be treated. Stay humble, stay hungry. Celebrate your friends’ fast swims and they’ll do the same for you.
-Organize team bonding out of the pool, like getting a meal together after practice or watching a movie at someone’s house.