Swimming is fairly unique in the realm of sports, and even among other individual sports, in that it truly is individual. There is no talking, or listening, or sometimes even seeing the other people around you when underwater. You are part of a team, and may even be close with your teammates, but when you are below the water it is just you. No matter if it is a long set in practice, or a race in a meet, the only thing you truly have with you when you are swimming is your mindset.
Studies have shown improving your mindset during practice will help you cope with intense training and boost your meet performances.
Your mindset is the attitudes you have conditioned yourself to experience, your outlook, or frame of mind. Everybody has their own disposition that shapes the way they view the things around them. In swimming, it is no different. If you have already decided that you aren’t going to do well before you swim, then it is likely that you will not. Whether it is a conscious decision or not, going into a swim with a positive outlook is something that everyone struggles with in some capacity. It is up to you to figure out how to approach your swimming from a positive place. Excitement and nervousness are two aspects of the same feeling, but where excitement brings you up, nerves can easily bring you down. Practice different ways to go into your swims with a better mindset, such as listening to music, meditating, or visualizing your race, and you may just find it easier to swim your best.