Are You Truly Addressing What Is Holding You Back?

On last week's blog Working Hard: More Mental Skill than Mental Toughness we discussed how the mental skills required to train and race to your potential can be learned and perfected rather than being something that only 'tough-guy' elite athletes can do.

This prompted some really interesting discussion on the comments section of the post from people who'd tried working a little harder and reaching a little higher as a direct result of the post. We also received some great thoughts from more experienced athletes sharing their experiences and suggestions of how to enter that state of flow known as 'the zone'. Thanks to all of you who posted comments - please keep them coming!

Honest answers to difficult questions unlock great results
These mental skills are 'in the moment' of a race or training session but what about the choices you need to make in the months and years before a big race so that you put in a lifetime best performance?

Since Paul Newsome won the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim on 8th June we've had a lot of emails asking for more information on Paul’s 'swimming journey' towards this win, particularly in the light of having a full time job and young family to care for. How did he manage to perform so well and beat all the young full time professional swimmers?

Paul’s written up his own heart-felt answers to these questions in this fascinating new article. It's quite long so make a brew, kick back and enjoy! :

Swim Smooth!


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen any comments about compensating for physical issues that cannot be overcome by the swimmer; perhaps II haven't read enough. But some swimmers, including me, have discovered that they have musculoskeletal problems which physical therapy may or may not be able to help improve. Unfortunately, I had a massive pulmonary embolism requiring surgery during which my sternum was cut open. After two years of trying to improve my stroke, a physical therapist discovered that my ribs are likely permanently askew. I can't rotate correctly and my stroke falls apart, which I initially blamed myself for. We are still trying to see if physical therapy can improve this or not. I strongly recommend getting evaluated by a good physical therapist if your hard work isn't resulting in you swimming smooth. Alas, I won't achieve my goal of completing a sprint triathlon at age 60; two down and one to go this summer, but I could only do the swim and part of the bike.

Adam Young said...

Hi Anonymous, I'm very sorry to hear about your embolism and surgery, life sure throws some curve balls sometimes. Definitely stick with the physio and any advice they give on rehab and getting your proper range of motion back. You may always feel some restriction to your swimming but hopefully can get things back to a decent level with your stroke over time so it doesn't effect you too much.

Generally we find people who have a restricted range of motion in the upper body or shoulders need to develop a slightly shorter punchier style. You might also need to catch the water a little deeper beneath the surface in order to keep your elbow higher than your wrist during this important phase of the stroke too.

Stay positive and all the best with the rehab!


James said...

Congrats to Paul for winning this. Awesome accomplishment.

I have a question. I would like to know if Paul breathes bilaterally when he races?

Adam Young said...

Hi James, yes he does, you can see him during the Manhattan race here:

Cheers, Adam

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