Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve

- Napoleon Hill   

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Motivational Swimming Quotes Swim Quotations, Inspirational Olympic Sayings

Swimming Quotes / Motivational Quotes
Swimming quotations
and non-swimming inspirational sayings


"In training everyone focuses on 90% physical and 10% mental, but in the races its 90% mental because there's very little that separates us physically at the elite level".
Elka Graham

"With so many people saying it couldn't be done, all it takes is an imagination."
Michael Phelps

"People ask me 'what was going through your mind in the race?' and I don't know. I try and ...let my body do what it knows".
Ian Thorpe

"I wouldn't say anything is impossible. I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and put the work and time into it".
Michael Phelps

"Being your best is not so much about overcoming the barriers other people place in front of you as it is about overcoming the barriers we place in front of ourselves. It has nothing to do with how many times you win or lose. It has no relation to where you finish in a race or whether you break world records. But it does have everything to do with having the vision to dream, the courage to recover from adversity and the determination never to be shifted from your goals."
Kieren Perkins

"When I go out and race, I'm not trying to beat opponents, I'm trying to beat what I have done ... to beat myself, basically. People find that hard to believe because we've had such a bias to always strive to win things. If you win something and you haven't put everything into it, you haven't actually achieved anything at all. When you've had to work hard for something and you've got the best you can out of yourself on that given day, that's where you get satisfaction from."
Ian Thorpe

"I have been visualizing myself every night for the past four years standing on the podium having the gold placed around my neck."
Megan Quann

"I concentrate on preparing to swim my race and let the other swimmers think about me, not me about them."
Amanda Beard

"Before the (Olympic) trials I was doing a lot of relaxing exercises and visualization. And I think that that helped me to get a feel of what it was gonna be like when I got there. I knew that I had done everything that I could to get ready for that meet, both physically and mentally".
Michael Phelps

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move".
Alexandr Popov

"In most sports they have a physical effect on your performance, in swimming only psychological. If you worry about what your rival is doing, you take your mind off what you are doing and so fail to concentrate on your performance."
Bachrach, great Chicago coach of the 20's

"I can't control what everyone else swims but if all goes well I know there are no limits."
Leisl Jones

"I am not going to allow myself not to perform well just because I don't feel well. I am bulletproof to the extent that a lot of things can be thrown at me, but it's about how much I am prepared to let them affect me".
Ian Thorpe

"I can definitely take more off my world record - a lot more. I have no doubt about that. I'm by no means putting pressure on myself, it's just the belief I have in myself......I'm not going to limit myself by nominating times or anything like that. I never thought I'd do 14:34 and I did. I thought I'd maybe do 14:38 or 14:39 that day, and I went nearly five seconds quicker so I don't want to limit the possibilities".
Grant Hackett

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"Body does what mind prefers."
Lenny Krayzelburg "Mainly, I like to have fun. Swimming is all about having fun, and I am firm believer that you should keep swimming as long as you are having fun, but I can say that it becomes much more fun as you get older and learn more about the sport, life, and especially more about yourself".
Scott Goldblatt

"I was so surprised. Then again, I was so relaxed in the water, it felt amazing".
Pieter van den Hoogenband after 2000 Olympic gold medal swim

"For myself, losing is not coming second. It's getting out of the water knowing you could have done better. For myself, I have won every race I've been in".
Ian Thorpe

"While I'm swimming, I sing songs in my mind."
Alexandr Popov

"I enjoyed every bit of my swimming career. I think that's the most important advice — to enjoy what you do".
Summer Sanders 1992 double gold medallist

"Any time you can get up there and scare a few people, throw up some decent times, it builds up your confidence and also sends a message to other people."
Olympic silver medallist Marianne Limpert

"I just refused to give up, to give up the dream. I was in excruciating pain, my arm was numb and they said it would be six months, if ever, for me to be back in the water. I thought my career was over, I was shattered but I never lost hope. I've always believed if you want to do something badly enough you will do it. Some told me that if you visualized healing an injury it would heal faster and that's what I did"
2004 Australian Olympic diving team qualifier Lynda Dackiw,
4 months before the Athens Olympics

"There is water in every lane, so it is OK."
Ian Thorpe (on being in Lane 5 for a final).

"I always have on my headphones to block out all of the other distractions and I'm just focused on doing the best that I can.... There a few of them … DMX Party Up ... Mack 10 BC and Ice Cube Connected for Life. I also listen to the Eminem CD …whichever song really gets me going that night".
Michael Phelps

"Susie had no talent whatsoever. She's a little person who couldn't even make a final at a state meet - coming and showing the world that on sheer guts and determination you can do anything you want!"
Susie Maroney's coach Dick Caine after her 200 kilometre marathon swim from Mexico to Cuba

"You can't put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get".
Michael Phelps

"I swam the race like I trained to swim it. It is not mathematical. I just let my body do it. It is a lot easier if you let your body do what it is trained for."
Ian Thorpe

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"Most of the preparedness happens during training every single day, so it's all about getting to a meet and being as relaxed as possible. Personally, I just try to stay in the crowd of people, just talking so my mind doesn't think only about swimming. That helps me to relax. And at this level, we all know what needs to be done once we jump in the pool".
Lenny Krayzelburg

(Preparing for a race)
"I try and just relax and reflect on all the work I've done in the past season. That's one of the most important things, remembering your goals and how to swim your races. It's also important to get your mind off racing before you race sometimes".
Ian Crocker

"I like to get in my own world. When I'm getting ready for a meet, I always have headphones on, listening to rap music to get myself fired up".
Michael Phelps

"Enjoy swimming for swimmings sake. We have to spend far too much time in the water to not enjoy the process challenging yourself of moving through the water".
Jeff Rouse - Multiple Olympic Gold Medalist and swimming World Record setter

"I saw my name: THOMAS, Petria. Saw my time, 57.72. Saw the number one next to them. I'd done it. Me! Petria Thomas, Olympic champion. The feeling inside was one of pure, utter joy. Excitement, disbelief, relief, hapiness, amazement, the whole works. Id worked so hard. I'd gone through so much, privately, publicly. I'd lost faith in myself and found it again. I'd sometimes stopped believing that I could do it and that I had a purpose in life. I'd come through the darkness, and this, this moment, was the sweetest, most amazing light there could possibly be. I was alive and loving it!"
Petria Thomas, Athens Gold Medallist

"I told myself there was no way I was going to let this training go to waste. It was my time, and I was ready to go."
Katie Hoff

"Everyone who has been to an Olympics says expect the unexpected. That kind of psychology games does go on, so I'm kind of expecting things to happen but I don't know who from. I think it's kind of silly but I'm prepared for it. I'd probably just laugh it off because it means that they are afraid of racing me, so it's like a huge compliment".
Libby Lenton, world record breaker

"It's easy to forget when you're an elite athlete that everyone else gets nervous as well. Even the best people in the world, at whatever they do, they're still nervous".
Leisl Jones - world record breaker at the 2005 World Championships

"I always assume that whenever I race against Michael it's going to take something amazing like a world record to win. It's definitely faster than I thought I could go but you can't put limits on yourself."
Ian Crocker after a world record at the World Championships

"I won't predict anything historic. But nothing is impossible".
Michael Phelps

"I've always been fortunate in that I've been able to put myself in my own zone and relax. It comes naturally. I'm lucky to be that way". Michael Phelps

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"I used to beat myself up everyday if I did not win an event. I am quite open about those things now and that has been a big change."
Leisl Jones

"I'm really quite exhausted at the moment, but you never know, you are always surprised at what you can find sometimes, and maybe I will find something deep within to find the desire to swim fast".
Leisl Jones

"I know I've made huge gains in my confidence, and knowing more about my racing and myself as a person. That has made me a better athlete". 
Libby Lenton

"It took a lot of guts to change it and say 'I don't like the life that I'm living and I don't like the swimmer I am', so let's change it completely and say 'Look, I've got to learn to love myself'. And that's been a really hard thing to do because when you've done a performance that you're not proud of and the public and the media have criticized you.....people are really quick to make judgements so it was tough to say 'Well I don't care what you have to say.  I'm going to do this for myself and if you don't like me after this, well then, it's too bad'." 
Leisl Jones

"Going into that race I was going for the world record, just quietly, but I wasn't feeling at my best all week so it was hard to determine what would happen. I could not believe it, I went into shock, I'm still in shock".
Leisl Jones after smashing her own world record at the 2006 Commonwealth Games

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(Answering Jade Edmistone's comment that Jones was 'unbeatable') "I don't think I'm unbeatable, nobody is". 
Leisl Jones after breaking her world record at the 2006 Commonwealth Games

"Tonight was not about winning, it was about focusing on myself and what I was aiming to do.  It's the reason why I was able to swim so well". 
Libby Lenton after setting a Commonwealth Games record and beating Olympic champion Jodie Henry

"It's unbelievable I'm swimming so fast. I went in with no expectations. I just went out hoping to get a personal best. I went out there with a smile, just to have fun and see what would happen." 
Jade Edmistone after taking 2 gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

"I've just been enjoying the training a bit more. I've put too much pressure on myself in the past. Just relax and let it come. I just went out there to have a bit of fun tonight." 
Sophie Edington after taking gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games 100m backstroke in front of a home crowd.

If you're not on your 'A' game in our workouts every day, you're going to get absolutely smoked."
Michael Phelps

"I feel like Aaron brings out the best in me"
Michael Phelps

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Other Inspirational Quotes

Ability may take you to the top, but it takes character to stay there.

Act as if it were impossible to fail and it will be.

Actions speak louder than coaches. (Speedo ad)

Always remember, whatever the goal--keep your eye on it.

Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?

A winner makes committments to a goal, a loser makes promises.

Defeat should never be a source of disappointment, but rather a fresh stimulus.

Don't count the days, make the days count.

Faith can move mountains, doubt can create them.

Focus on your strong points when you visualize your race.

Failure is often that early morning hour of darkness that precedes the dawning of the day of success.

Go hard or go home. (Speedo advertisement)

Hard things are put in our way, not to stop us, but to call out our courage and strength.

He who does not hope to win has already lost.

If you do not consciously form good habits, you will unconsciously form bad ones.

Losers let it happen, winners make it happen.

Life's greatest adventure is in doing one's very best.

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal.

Only those risking to go far will ever know how far they can go.

Only a mediocre person is always at his best.

Practice is 90% physical-10% mental. Championship meets are 10% physical-90% mental.

Pride, intense pride, that's what it all comes down to.

Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.

People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they themselves discovered than by those which have come from others.

People who feel good about themselves produce good results.

Swim each practice as if it was the most important practice of the year.

Take the best team and the worst team. Line them up and you would find very little physical difference. You would find an emotional difference. The winning team has a dedication--they won't accept defeat.

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Take all defeats as temporary setbacks.

The road to success is always under construction.

There is always room at the top.

The swimmer who says, "It can't be done" is passed by the swimmer who is doing it.

The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win.

The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.

The future belongs to those who prepare for it.

The height of your success is determined by the depth of your belief.

The harder your work, the luckier you get.

The hardest thing about climbing the ladder of success is getting through the crowd at the bottom.

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond into the impossible.

The swimmer that makes the fewest mistakes wins.

Trust your hopes, not your fears.

Tough times never last, but tough people do.

We accomplish in proportion to what we attempt.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

When you are behind, don't give up; when you are ahead, don't let up.

You can motivate by fear and reward, but these are temporary. The only lasting thing is self-motivation.

Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have. Spend it wisely.

You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it however.

You can't do anything by doing nothing.

You create your own luck.

Your toughest opponent is in the mirror.

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Full List of Mental Training Articles You Can Access With MindTraining Membership:
(to access ALL articles, click here)

Secret to Relaxation Before Races

Power Ahead with Mind Movies

Calmness Strategies

Use Video for Success

Remaining Powerful During Uncertainty

Great Swimming: Mental Requirements

Winning - Below Your Best...

Is Time Your Friend, or Your Enemy?

Boosting Motivation When Its Low

Helping Your Swimmer with Anxiety During Meets  Coaches Article

Your Self Image - How It Affects Your Swim Results

Mind Traps to Avoid in Practice and Meets

How Music Can Transform Your Swimming

How to Finish Even Stronger

Champion Thoughts Create Champion Performances

What Your Competitors Do Not Want You To Know on Pool Deck

Advanced Uses of Visualization in Swimming

Re-Motivate Yourself With New Goals After Your Meet

Your Mindset Approaching a Big Meet

Get Results - Swimsuit or No Swimsuit!

The Importance of your Focus

Zoning At The Right Time

How Elka Graham Mastered Marshalling Area Pressures

Power In The Mind Creates Power In The Body

The 3 Most Commonly-Asked Swim Questions

Swimming And The Massive Influence of Emotions

Why You Have No Limits

Dealing Positively and Quickly With Pressure Situations

Work On Your Weaknesses But Focus On Your Strengths

Secrets Of The Successful Swimming Mind

Mastering Your Races & Overcoming Every Hurdle - By Tailoring Your Visualization

Handling Negative Pre-Race Pool Talk

The Grant Hackett Mindset

The Ultimate Way To Handle Intimidation

The No.1 Way To Deal With Any Swim Problem

The Power of Emotions

Comeback Stories Behind the Australian National Titles

Building Up To A Big Event

Recovery From Injury

Moving Through Pain Thresholds, Overcoming Adversity

5 Relaxation Thoughts Before Races

5 Power Thoughts Before Races

Overcoming Fears and Doubts Once And For All

Master Performance Enhancer And Pre-Race Strategy - Stop The Worrying!

Zoning In On The World Champions' Attitudes

Treat Your Challenges Like Phelps, Thorpe, Thomas, Hall and Beard.

Finding Your Perfect Pre-Race Mental Formula - And What The Champions Do.

Achieving Your Potential With Visualization

Swim Success Through Your Self-Image

Boost Your Racing Confidence

Examining Your Swim Beliefs

Creating A Champion Attitude

A Master Mental Training Secret

Breaking Out Of A Slump

The Art of Zen Swimming

The Danger of Comparing Yourself With Competitors

Power Thoughts For Before Races

Competing With Your Team Members

How to Remain Unaffected By Intimidation

A Classic Mindpower Principle To Help Your Performance

The Day Of A Swim Meet - The Perfect Attitude

Olympic Impressions From Athens

Switch On, Switch Off Concentration

Using Your Competitor's Energy!

Leisl Jones's Record-Breaking Visualization

New Secret Technique! Finish Races With A Burst Of Power

Breaking Negative Race Patterns

Thoughts To Avoid Before Races

Personal Success Improves Swimming Success

Making Cuts and Achieving Specific Times

Emotions And Meets

Leading The Race On Your Own

Swimming Successfully Under Pressure

Revisiting The Zone - The Most Powerful Mental State

Using Movies and Music For Motivation

Mental Recovery For Your Next Race

The Most Powerful Knowledge A Swimmer Can Have - To Know Yourself!

Using Atomic Theory To Swim Faster!

Dealing With Pre-Race Doubts & Performance Anxiety

Dealing With A Crisis In Your Swimming

Handling Pain And Fatigue In The Pool

How To Edge Out Your Major Competitors

Maintaining Your Vital Swim Confidence

Observing, and Creating, New Champion Qualities

Moving To A New Team

Mental Training To Overcome False Starts

Dealing Mentally With Your Competitors

How To Achieve A Specific Time You Need To Qualify

Bringing Mental Training Into Your Swimming Life

The Zone

A Crash-Course in: Your Mind and Body in Swimming

Monitor Your Thoughts Before A Big Race

Develop An Expectation To Succeed

Visualization - An Amazing Tool To Bring Down Your Times

You Must Be ONE With The Water!

Mastering Your Main Competitor - Yourself

Will To Win - Accessing The Fire Within

Motivating Yourself When You Feel UN-Motivated - Making Success A Habit

When Swimmers Leave The Team  Coaches Article

Slaying The Dragons - Finally Conquering the Pre-Race Doubts (That Refused To Quit!)

Building Team Spirit And Unity  Coaches Article

Success Tips For On The Way To A Swim Meet!

Comparing Times Before Races - And Your Swimming-Personality

Change Your Perception And Transform Your Times

Can Mental Strength Conquer Stronger (or Longer) Bodies?

Sleeping Problems Before Swim Meets

Racing Suit Psychology

Overcoming Racing Paralysis

Competing Successfully Against Big-Name Reputations

Mental Training During Your Taper  Special Article

Belief, Fear And Self-Sabotage

Marshalling Area Psychology

Loving (Or Hating) The Pool At Swim Meets

Essential For All Swimmers - Damage Control!

When Personal Problems Affect Your Swimming

Monitoring For Burnout  Coaches Article

An Insight Into Ian Thorpe's Mental Strength  Special Article

Avoiding Burnout

Staying Positive In Swimming Training

Protecting Yourself From Negativity

Conserve Your Emotional Energy For Your Races

Bringing Cruise-Control Into Your Races

Mental Training - Competing Away From Home

Swimmers Who Get Sick Before Every Big Swimming Meet

Swimming With Injury Pain

How To Race When You Don't Believe In Yourself

When A Swimmer Wants To Quit Swimming  Special Article

Mental Speed Tricks In Swimming

The Mental Differences Between Successful and Average Swimmers

When A Fast New Swimmer Affects Your Motivation...

Know Your Mental Swim Personality

Create An Aura of Invincibility

How To Monitor Mental Strength  Coaches Article

Practicing With Awareness  Coaches Article

Team Visualizations  Coaches Article

An Exercise in Belief  Coaches Article

How To Change A Long-Term (Bad) Swimming Habit

The Most-Common Recurring Problems

The 5 Major Beliefs Of Swim Success  Special Article

Pre-Race Psych Up  Special Article

You Are Creating Your Future Results - Right Now

Reasons Behind The PB Drought

Master Key To Handling Harsh Criticism

Hungry To Win Vs. Afraid To Lose

Breaking Through Mental Barriers

The Common Fear - Of Success

When Goals Stress You Out

Comparing Yourself To Faster Swimmers - Good or Bad?

Manage Your Life Like a Pro

Overcome Pain During Swimming Training and Races

The Most Common Mental Mistake In Swimming

Surviving The Pressure And Still Winning!

Overcoming Fatigue - Out Of The Pool

Learn To 'Project' In Your Swimming Training

Watch Out For These Traps

Handling Psychological Warfare

How Do I Cope If I Don't Achieve My Goal?

Nervousness Is Good!

Your Team's Enormous Influence On Your Performance

Never Focus On Your Competitors

Use Your Most Powerful Advantage

Roadblock To Success: The Over-Zealous Parent

You MUST Learn To Bounce Back

Do You Need The Killer Instinct?

The Excuse Trap

Beating Tiredness During A Race

Add Power To Your Visualization

Your Constant Ally Is Waiting To Help You

Common Problem: Self-Sabotage

You Must Plan Your Daily Mental Training

The Awesome Power Of The Quiet Achiever

Your Mind Is A Computer - So Run The Right Program!

Overcoming Visualization Problems

The Secret To Improving Your Technique

Beat Fear And Succeed

You Must Conquer The Doubts

Even The Best Use Mind Games

Channel Nervousness Into Energy

How To Achieve Consistency

How Much Confidence Should I Show?

Dealing With Open Intimidation

Thinking Clearly Under Pressure

Training Great - But Terrible In the Swim Meets?

Use Mind Power In Your Swimming Training

Belief: An Essential For Success

Fear Of Failure: Your Self_Worth Determines Your Results

Visualization Is The Key To Your Success

How A Champion Came Back From Nowhere

Reverse Psychology: Pain Is Good!

Who Do You Swim For?

Mental Toughness Makes Champions

Create Your Dream Race

Reverse Psychology Can Take The Pressure Off

How Important Is A Reputation?

How To Beat Fear

How Past Victories Can Help You To Future Ones

Create A Success Formula

Success Brings Criticism - So Be Ready!

Coping With A New Age Group

How To React When Someone Passes You

Perfectionists - Positive Or Negative?

Experiment Your Way To Success

Maintaining Focus For A Week-Long Swim Meet

Transforming An Average Swim Meet Into A Great One

The Ultimate Secret To All Swimming Success: Happiness

Mental Differences Between Long and Short Distances

Knowing How To Win

Bend Your Reality For Success

Beating Faster Swimmers!

Handling The Pressure When You Are Expected To Win

Succeeding After Illness or Injury

Remove Uncontrollables From Your Thoughts

Mental Training In Your Daily Swimming Routine

How To Overcome Nerves

Discover Your Peak Emotional State

Overcoming Intimidation

Maintain Your Confidence And Belief

Are You Thinking Too Much? Release The Pressure On Yourself

How To Overcome Pain - in Swimming Training and Races

The Zone