Coming off the short course season and starting Long Course is a perfect time to take a deep breath and ask yourself as a swimmer
“OK. How am I doing? What have I done? Where am I going?”
Swimming can be just as mentally taxing as physically, so a healthy conversation and reflection on your achievements or disappointments the previous season is a great way to clear your head.
We can’t do anything about the previous season’s results. What can we do to exceed our accomplishments from the short course season or avoid a repeat of the feelings of disappointment?
The first thing to remember about a disappointing season is that everything in life can be a stepping stone or a cliff. That extends beyond the confines of a swimming pool. Failure or disappointment is not unique to swimming, and there will never be a single moment in your life where failure marks the end if you do not let it.
Taking tangible lessons from the season, August to March, can help shape these tough lessons into a positive outlook moving forward. An untimely injury or illness, a break in focus and consistency in practice due to outside stress, or performance anxiety can all lead to or compound this.
Did we work on our swimming weaknesses, be it technique or training , as much as our strengths? Could we be more open to making changes in our eating or sleeping habits to help our practices? Could we improve our time management so that school stress doesn’t affect us in the pool? Any number of changes can help lead a swimmer to a successful season. Identifying what may have held us back before is a great first step.
Sometimes it can be more difficult to reset the goals after a great season that ended on a high note. It could be a new time standard achieved, a State or Southern Premier title, or any long sought goal in your favorite event.
The question now is how can we sustain this momentum and replicate the success? Again, making note of what improvements we made to our training or habits may help identify not only what made this season so great, but show what other areas may need to be improved to supplement our improvements. Thinking about new stepping stone goals to go along with our new long term goal can help sustain that feeling that we are still succeeding, and that our next goal isn’t so much a mountain as it is a molehill.