Jack Alexy Swimmer - Mindset and Training Tips

5 Mindset Tips from Jack Alexy for Faster Swimming

Looking to take your mindset and swimming to the next level? Here are five things you can learn from Jack Alexy, one of the fastest freestylers on the planet.

American Jack Alexy has joined the ranks of elite sprinters in the world.

Now 21 years of age and standing a towering 6’8”, Alexy exploded onto the international scene at the 2023 World Championships, winning five medals, including silvers in the 50m and 100m freestyles.

He’s also one of the fastest men in history over 100m of freestyle, clocking an eye-popping 47.08 in the preliminaries at the US Olympic Trials earlier this year.

Later this month, in Paris, Alexy will compete individually in the 100m freestyle relay and also join Caeleb Dressel, Ryan Held, and Chris Guilano as they will almost certainly threaten the world record in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

So, what does it take to excel at the highest level and under massive pressure?

Here are some mindset tips from Jack Alexy on training mindfully, preparing for peak performance, staying motivated to chase your goals, and more.

Let’s dive in.

Set goals for training

After a disappointing 2022, where Alexy added time in his best events at the US Trials for Worlds, he recommitted himself to preparing as well as possible in the water. To not waste an opportunity to get better.

“I was approaching every practice with that mindset and question of asking myself, what do I do today in these next two hours that in the water to make an Olympic team, world team, or win an Olympic medal,” said Alexy in a podcast with USA Swimming.

This mindset is wildly powerful for swimmers who struggle with motivation, consistency, or staying focused during training.

Every set, every lap, every meter is a gift and an opportunity to fine-tune your swimming and push yourself closer to the big goals you have for yourself in the pool.

Alexy’s mindset is simple when it comes to training:

“What do I have to do in the next two hours to move closer to achieving my goals?”

Train for killer technique in the pool

Alexy’s renewed focus after a disappointing 2022 campaign wasn’t just about blinding effort and working as hard as possible each day, but also finding ways to swim better.

In training, he was conscious of how his body moved through the water, how his hands caught the water, his body position, feel for the water.

“That’s really important for me—not necessarily putting yards in but just being in the water and doing drill work or just floating around or sculling, so that’s helped me a lot,” Alexy told SwimSwam’s Coleman Stewart.

Swimming fast isn’t just about going balls-to-the-wall each day in training, dropping blinding reps of maximum effort. It’s also being highly efficient and without getting too hokey about it, working with the water to develop speed instead of against it.

“Doing everything in practice with the intention to get better, and not just going through the motions, really helped me too.”

Leave it all in the pool

Given that swimmers put in so many meters and yards into the pool over the course of a season and career, it can be easy to coast at times, or even procrastinate with giving our best effort.

With another 1-2 practices tomorrow, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that we can push a little harder starting later.

But Alexy recognizes the pain of regret down the road will be worth the extra effort today.

“I don’t want to look back and think that if I’d put in 10% more effort every day, it could have made that much of a difference. I want to be the best version of myself that I possibly can in and out of the pool.”

Swimmers shouldn’t have to wonder if they could have been great, or what they could have done had they shown up to training. If this is something you want, don’t leave room for regret.

When you surf into the wall at the end of the Big Race at the Big Meet, know you’ve give it your all and that you brought the absolute best version of yourself to the pool.

Use your goals for fuel.

The roller coaster of a swim season is filled with ups and downs. Heck, even a week of training has its own yo-yo vibe, with some workouts going well, others not-so-well.

Alexy’s key to preparing the best he can is using his goals as daily fuel, reminding himself constantly of what he wants and what he is willing to do to earn it.

It comes down to:

“Every day, waking up, and thinking, ‘How bad do you want to achieve this goal? How bad do you want to win? How bad do you want to make the team?’”

Alexy also wisely notes that this mindset isn’t about being “overwhelmed and consumed” by your goals but letting it “fuel you and drive you” in the moments you need it most.

Like when you are tired and groggy and your snooze is going off for the third time before morning practice.

Or when Coach pulls a sneaky-sneaky and draws a long bracket around the entirety of the main set and write “5x.”

Or when you have a disappointing race or meet and need to refocus on moving forward.

Write your goals down. Have them visible. Use them for fuel and motivation each day when your motivation and commitment waver.

Learn from your setbacks.

At the 2021 US Trials, Alexy put up some blazingly fast times in the 50m and 100m freestyles. He broke Caeleb Dressel’s 17-18 NAG record in the 100m freestyle and placed tenth.

Things were looking very bright for Alexy. The following year in his freshman year at Cal Berkeley, he performed below expectations at NCAA championships, not making the top 16 in his individual events.

Later that spring, at US Trials for Worlds, he added 1.28 seconds to his 100 freestyle PB, failing to get out of the preliminaries, placing a disappointing 24th.

These setbacks led to a renewed focus and determination, and looking back on those performances now, Alexy credits them as fuel for the heights that he’s climbed this year.

“If I didn’t have that failure, I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am now.”

📷: Jack Alxy @ Instagram

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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.

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