Are You Ready to Go All-Out?

I’ve always been an all-in sort of guy…


And I suspect I am not alone here.

Doesn’t matter if it is school, swimming, or even relationships. I tend to hover at one end of the spectrum or the other; it’s either complete disinterest, or I am utterly obsessed.

(Yes, I know, balance is important…I’ve come to accept that after 30+ years that this is the way I operate best. Doesn’t mean it should or could work for you—the way that we perform optimally varies from person to person. It’s taken me a long time to realize that this is the way that works best in my case.)

The problem I always had with going all-in on something was that there was always a reason not to…

  • The facility I am training isn’t good enough.
  • I’m not making enough money at work.
  • If only I could learn a little more about technique first…

And on and on.

But once I was able to get past the delaying tactics and get to a place where I was in an “all-out” state of mind, where nothing could make me change course…

It is over.

That’s how certain I am about my commitment.

Sure, the outcome might be in doubt, after all, there is only so much I can control about the final result.

But everything between now and then, the process, the day-to-day grind, that is not in doubt. I know that I got that one down and flat like a whole wheat blueberry pancake.

Does this mean you have to be 24/7 obsessed about swimming?

No. Not even close. Not only is it not sustainable, but it’s the fastest and one of the more destructive routes to burn-out and frustration.

But if you want to be successful in the pool, you do need to level up your focus and effort from the level of interest to fully committed (a.k.a. “all out).

when you are ready to go all out

Interest vs. Commitment

When it comes to being successful in swimming—whatever “success” means in your specific case—do you find yourself committed to that success, or more so interested by the thought of it?

Here is what I mean:

  • An interested swimmer works hard when it suits them. A committed swimmer works hard at every opportunity.
  • An interested swimmer dreams and talks about the cool stuff they’d like to do in the water. A committed swimmer puts immediate action to the things they want to do.
  • An interested swimmer listens to their coach when given instruction. A committed swimmer applies the instruction practice and practice.
  • An interested swimmer doesn’t have a hard time finding an excuse for not doing what is necessary. A committed swimmer doesn’t have a hard time finding a way through to doing what they need to do.
  • An interested swimmer loves the idea of being successful. A committed swimmer loves the process of becoming successful.

If you are holding back from going all-out and all-in with your swimming, I invite you to ask yourself why.

What is it that is keeping you from going all-out in the pool?

If you are waiting for the right circumstances—like I mistakenly did so many times growing up—than I have some rather lame news…

You’re going to be waiting a very, very long time.

The only way to get moving, to hurtle yourself down the path towards the bright, shiny things you want to achieve in the pool, is to look past the self-inflicted reasons for why today isn’t a good enough day to go all-out.

Our time in the pool (and on this planet) is short.

Don’t be afraid to give it the all out effort it deserves.

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Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

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