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

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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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