Busy At Home With a Giant

Everyone has an inner voice.  It is the continual commentary that we have ongoing in the back of our minds.  When swimmers learn that their ‘self talk’ can be their friend, then they have gained a very powerful asset.  But it can also be unfriendly.

In sports psychology, the term ‘ideal performance state’ means the perfect state of mind that will allow you to swim your fastest.  To get into that state of mind a swimmer must be aware of their ‘self talk’.  If your inner voice is saying; ‘you will die on the last length’, ‘you are not fit’, ‘you are going to lose’ or ‘you can’t swim that fast’,  then you have to learn to control your self talk.

Once a swimmer starts to be aware that self talk can be mean or discouraging, then it is very important to turn that around.  Every time you hear yourself saying something negative, then it is your task to say three positive things immediately.

For example; if you hear your self talk say ‘you are fat’, then you should immediately say to yourself; ‘I am fit’, ‘I am getting fitter all the time’ and ‘I am proud of my improvements in fitness’.  You will need to come up with your own postitive affirmations.  After doing this 3 positives for 1 negative task, you will begin to hear discouraging self talk quickly and control it.  Then it will become your friend.  Say positive things about yourself all of the time.  Even little things.  You like your hair style, you like your helpfulness, you like your new shoes, you like your kind remarks and anything you notice. Your mind is a powerful ally, you want it on your side.

Poster by Gary_Befriend a giant

Your self talk is a friendly giant!


About Coach Gary

I competed in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul representing Canada and coached in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics for Great Britain. I have a degree in History and a minor degree in Psychology from University of Calgary. I have travelled extensively and have been very lucky to see so much of the world while representing Canada and Great Britain at swimming competitions. I am very proud of the fact that I coached a swimmer to become number one in the world in the fastest swimming race in 2002. I pride myself in my ability to find new and interesting ways to teach swimming. I am an accomplished artist specialising in sculpture, I have another blog called 'swimmingart' where I publish some of my swimming drawings. I have three young children; all boys. I have recently taken up painting and yoga....but not at the same time. You can see my new paintings at: https://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/gary_Vandermeulen
This entry was posted in General Knowledge on swimming and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s