Visualizing Your Races and Creating Specificity
Hello Swim Team and Adult Fitness Swimmers!
I hope everyone enjoyed the last couple weeks' focus on mindfulness. This week, we are shifting over to a discussion on visualization. We've gotten the wheels turning on building a "mind palace" in our competitive journeys, and now it's time to move to the next steps. Consider visualization as the next stair step. Think about how many laps you swim in a given practice, how many strokes in a given lap, how many kicks occur off each wall. It is important for us to develop a visual concept of our swimming so that we can better mentally prepare, particularly when thinking about competitions. When we can visualize the exact number of strokes and kicks for each lap, we can put the puzzle pieces together to form our race strategy. Be specific, be realistic, and visualize success.
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The more we accustom ourselves to visualizing our races, the more concrete our swimming becomes. This means that we do not only have a time written on a piece of paper in our nightstand drawer or a goal on a mirror sticky note. Not to say that these aren't great daily reminders, but visualizing them physically HAPPENING is simply the next step! We set ourselves up with our mindfulness, and the calming of our thoughts. We create our own focus. Then, think about following through the whole routine. The pre-race - everyone typically has some myriad of stretches, bodily slaps, and not to mention the "swimmer jump" in which you just jump up and down and let arms bounce like noodles. (we all know the one).
After which, we have the culmination of our preparation - the race. You envision yourself on the starting blocks... diving in... underwaters... and breakout. Now we're in the race. It's important to let your stroke count come to play in this. Count each one throughout the race. Feel the differences due to fatigue and account for them as your race within your thoughts. Learn and see what you can do better compared to the last time you raced this particular event at the last meet. There are always opportunities to become more focused, aware swimmers, and it does not stop when we leave the pool.
Fact of the week: It's extremely easy to overthink or over-complicate our race strategies. The preparation is there. If you've spent the time in the water working, and spent the time mentally preparing yourself for success, then the results will show! How hard can a race really be if we've run through it in our head multiple times and know exactly how we're going to attack it. You control your competitive journey. Don't be a passenger, but rather put both hands on the wheel and visualize your path. 10 minutes per day can make all the difference. How does my swimmer move up? Our group promotion standards are your guide to growing and graduating! Promotion times can be achieved in practice or swim meets. We prefer to see them happen at a swim meet! Visualize your success! Thanks as always for joining us each week! The Sigma Team