Stop Focusing on Fake Problems

Focus on the Things You Can Do (and Stop Worrying About the Rest)

What are the things that are holding you back from doing your best in the water?

Are they the real threats to maximizing your potential, or are they being used to distract yourself from the real issues?

Here are a few examples:

  • Worrying about not being as fast as you were last season isn’t a real problem. The real problem is finding a way to stick to the routine and schedules necessary to improve this season.
  • Labeling less-than-awesome facilities as crippling to your potential isn’t a real problem. The real problem and opportunity is in being creative in finding ways to make your existing facilities work for you.
  • Labeling yourself as a bad kicker isn’t a real problem. The real problem is allowing that assumption to stop you from working on your kick at the pool.

Fake problems are fun and tempting because they make for easy scapegoats.

They distract us from the hard work, effort and creativity that our real problems require.

Adam Peaty Facilities

Sometimes, fake problems looks so darn appealing because they have easy solutions. They can give us an easy win, giving us a sense of progression, even though the real progress-boosters are waiting idly for our attention.

But usually, our fake problems lull us into “If only I had…” thinking.

  • If only I had more talent.
  • If only I had a better coach.
  • If only I had more lane space.

This kind of thinking guarantees we aren’t going to get after the real solutions.

Worrying about being the swimmer you were isn’t a solution. Agonizing over a weak facility doesn’t help a new shiny one get built. Being frustrated about being a bad kicker doesn’t help you get better at it.

Focus on the real solutions instead of your fake problems.

More Stuff Like This:

Adam Peaty’s Tips on Developing a World Class Mindset. Breaststroke ace Adam Peaty has quickly attained legendary status in our sport. Here are some of his tips on how to be world-class between your ears so that you can dominate the pool, too.

Regan Smith: You Don’t Know What is Possible (Until You Do It). In the summer of 2019, Regan Smith redefined what is possible for a generation of backstrokers.

Image courtesy of Roger Padres / Alamy Stock

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of YourSwimLog.com. He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.
Olivier is the author of the books YourSwimBook and Conquer the Pool. He writes all things high-performance swimming and is passionate about helping swimmers, swim coaches, and swim parents  master the pool. His articles were read over 4 million times last year and his work has                                  appeared on USA Swimming, SwimSwam, STACK, NBC Universal, and more. He’s also                                    kinda tall and can be found hitting noon-hour lap swims. You can learn more about                                       Olivier here.

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

Olivier is the author of the books YourSwimBook and Conquer the Pool. He writes all things high-performance swimming and is passionate about helping swimmers, swim coaches, and swim parents master the pool.

His articles were read over 4 million times last year and his work has appeared on USA Swimming, SwimSwam, STACK, NBC Universal, and more.

He’s also kinda tall and can be found hitting noon-hour lap swims. You can learn more about Olivier here.

Related Articles

Journaling Prompts for Swimmers
Mental Training

21 Journaling Prompts for Swimmers

Feeling stuck with your journaling? Here are some journaling prompts for swimmers to build self-awareness, confidence, and help swimmers maintain perspective over the course of the swim season.

Read More »
The Importance of Having a Powerful Why for Your Swimming
Mental Training

The Importance of Having a Powerful Why for Swimmers

Swimmers invest a lot of time in the water over the course of the season. The two-a-days, long swim meets, and the perpetual sogginess can be difficult to bear for even the most motivated of swimmers. In the moments when you are struggling with commitment or motivation, it’s a great

Read More »
The Big Mistake Swimmers Make with Motivation
Mental Training

The Big Mistake Swimmers Make with Motivation

Motivation or some variation of it is by far the most common query I get from readers of my weekly newsletter. “How do I get motivated to work hard?” “How do I get motivated to do the things necessary for my goals?” “Why is it so hard to get motivated

Read More »
Mental Training

The 3 Swimmers You Can Learn Most From

During my noon-hour swim today, my mind wandered back to my age group days. The swimmers I trained with. The swimmers I raced against. My heroes growing up. And the resulting big box of ribbons and medals collecting dust under my bed. Over the years, I realized, I’d learned a

Read More »
How Olympic Champion Ryan Murphy Deals with Pre-Race Nerves
Mental Training

How Olympic Champion Ryan Murphy Deals with Pre-Race Nerves

Ryan Murphy is yet another in a long line of American backstroke dynamos. Murphy, who starred at Cal, took over from legends including Naber, Rouse, Berkoff, Grevers, and Peirsol. An NCAA champion, world record holder, and four-time Olympic champion, Murphy has collected a ton of hardware over the years in

Read More »