A Crash Course: Your Mind and Body in Swimming

Welcome to the first of 6 lessons in mental training! This will give you the edge over all of your competitors who are not using mental training. This course contains information taken from the acclaimed Mind Training for Swimmers Program which has been recognized all over the world by many elite swimming organizations.

This first article explains how the mind and body work together in swimming, which is very important before I show you any of the major improvement techniques. OK, here we go with your first lesson, showing you how the mind and body work together in swimming....

The secret to improving your swimming times lies in your mind far more than your body - because it's your mind that controls your body, not the other way around. In fact, if you master your mind, it is even quite possible to beat swimmers who are better and faster than you!

What the champions possess over the regular swimmers is the ability to access the awesome inner power of their own subconscious mind, instead of using the much weaker conscious mind (which is renowned for ruining racing meets with lousy performances). This is the key to unlocking the sleeping giant within you.

Your powerful subconscious totally controls your ability to swim - and if you want speed and power, it has plenty of it.

Your subconscious acts almost identically to a computer (the very first-ever computer was actually modelled upon it), and runs virtually all of your body's natural processes.

Probably the most important one to you would be your entire body's ability to move- which makes it obviously essential for swimming, though some people just don't seem to understand this fact.

Your subconscious runs ALL movement. It also your circulation, respiration, elimination, cell regeneration etc etc - and I could go on forever of course (but don't worry, I won't! ; )

So.... depending upon the instructions you give your mind before the race (ie. your thoughts, words and emotions), it will run a particular swim program for you during each race - which is designed for you to either succeed, or fail - and rarely anything in between. It all depends upon what you asked your mind to do.

So basically your race results depend upon what data (or thoughts) you feed into your subconscious, as this data is then directed on to your body! Yes, even just knowing this can save you absolute years of heartache! (but there's a heck of a lot more to know!)

Now, when your subconscious is programmed for success, it will sometimes slip into the powerful and rare mental state known as 'The Zone'. The Zone brings out your best-ever performances in the pool. It can provide you with unbelievable power and rhythm to your strokes and allow you to swim at the absolute utmost of your ability - and the most amazing thing about experiencing The Zone is that it does this all absolutely effortlessly!

The bad news is however - for those poor souls who don't know how to use their minds properly in swimming, they tend to get the very opposite of what they actually want - self-sabotage.

This crippling problem causes fear, lack of inner belief and low confidence - which can cause a whole variety of different recurring problems for swimmers, the most common ones being:

* a deep inner feeling of not being good enough

* extreme nervousness (which sometimes manifests as vomiting)

* negative thoughts - of all types!

* low energy / increased pain during swimming

* worrying about small details which may never occur (uncontrollables)

* intimidation from other competitors

* unusual or silly mistakes during the race

* slow times - for no apparent reason

* dislike of competing in particular pools / lanes

* not looking forward to meets or specific events

* jealousy of other swimmers.

So it's definitely worth knowing how to use your mind! You see, I find that once swimmers begin to believe in themselves, these symptoms often disappear completely or reduce substantially.

This allows positive feelings of confidence, anticipation, energy and yes, even a general feeling of happiness and eagerness to fill your mind and body before a race. This is a mental preparation which can bring strong performances in the pool.

Belief is probably the most important weapon you can have in the pool - potent enough to beat faster swimmers and overcome almost any obstacle, it is the power that brings about most of the world records and miracle swims we see on television. This is probably the most vital facet I work with in helping swimmers achieve their potential.

"The Mind controls the body, and the mind is unlimited".

The best of success,
Craig Townsend