Friday, April 6, 2012

Is Procrastination Killing Your Swimming?

Procrastination is a silent killer of swimming performance; it keeps us doing the safe and familiar things, and stops us making the changes that we need to improve. It keeps us on that frustrating plateau we're on, sometimes for years.

Do you recognise yourself in any of these statements?

I haven't been in the water in ages, when I do go back it's going to be a struggle.


When I'm at the pool I see slow swimmers fighting the water. At all costs I must
work on my stroke technique and focus on efficiency.


I don't feel ready to -  join a squad / swim in open water / do a race  - as I'm
not a strong enough swimmer yet.


I'm sure my stroke technique is fine, I've been swimming for years and it's
always stood me in good stead. What I need to do is train harder.

Procrastination can take other forms too, such as endlessly studying great swimmers on Youtube or debating technique to the nth degree on internet forums. The more intellectual the swimmer the more elaborate this analysis-paralysis becomes but more often than not people who do this are simply putting off going to the pool and actually swimming.

Our suggestion? Don't put it off another day. Commit to a period of six to eight weeks and make some major changes in your approach to swimming. Then focus on those changes every session and be objective about the outcome by measuring your swimming speed before and after. The worst thing that can happen is that you slow down slightly and need to revert to what you were doing before. But far more likely you'll finally get off that plateau and break through to a higher level of swimming.

What changes should you make? There are some ideas here and here but quite likely it's the thing you've been avoiding doing more than everything else.

If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always got. It's a cliché but so very true.

Swim Smooth!

2 comments:

Rex said...

Well said Paul. After 5+ years of not swimming, and wishing I were, I got back in the pool and approached a local swim squad about getting started again. In the back of the slow lane, earning my way to the middle of the fast lane, I am scared witless about the pain I will experience, but looking forward to finishing a big session and climbing out of the pool feeling great-like I used to. Took me a long time to swallow my pride... but here goes.
Great post and so true of so much including swimming.

Denis said...

Wow! This is the first newsletter I have received after signing up & already you seem to be reading my mind!
Great post & I am looking forward to putting some of the advice here to use on my next swim.

Having committed to learning a proper freestyle stroke last year I have reached a plateau which has been halting my progress for weeks on end now,much of it I suspect is down to my own mental attitude & the need to stop making excuses & just get on with it.