It may be very helpful to know a big secret - that a huge amount of swimmers go through the very same problems, all over the world - and they quite often experience these over and over again - yes, sometimes even for years.
It may also be helpful to know that these problems can be overcome - as they are caused in the mind, and can be just as easily reversed by the mind! The key is to use the mind to overcome these recurring problems, instead of focusing purely upon the physical side of swimming and totally ignoring the mental side, as so many swimmers do!

One classic recurring problem for many swimmers is extreme nerves before races. Now, let's not get this confused with 'normal nervousness' which every swimmer experiences before a race (and which is quite helpful to your performance) - by extreme nervousness I mean when a swimmer is virtually at the point of vomiting before a race. That is extreme nervousness, and it is not helpful to performance.

When a swimmer experiences this, it's a definite sign that self-confidence is low and needs to be built up over time - as the subconscious mind is simply being bombarded with negative thoughts which are screaming "I'm not good enough!". This causes the physical reactions such as nerves, nausea and other related conditions.

Nervousness is often caused by a simple lack of inner belief, which is often the trigger of the negative thoughts which finally cause the nervousness. A steady diet of positive self-talk, affirmations and relaxation visualizations before races (designed to build confidence and calm the mind and emotions) can be helpful for this problem - though as many of these symptoms can develop over a period of time, they often take some discipline in using the mental techniques to totally eradicate them forever.

Intimidation from other swimmers is another very common problem which can be brought on by a wide variety of reasons - such as intimidation caused by dominant behaviour from other swimmers, regularly being beaten by particular swimmer, or even just by constantly worrying about swimmers who are improving rapidly and looking like they may move past you.

The main point I want to make is that it is possible to overcome these symptoms. Sure, these symptoms all appear in the body, but your mind controls your body - and this puts you in the 'driver's seat' to move past these problems - and create new, positive, powerful habits. In your next tip I will discuss how to overcome long-term recurring (negative) habits such as these, and change them into positives!

The Mind controls the body, and the mind is unlimited. The best of success,

Craig Townsend