What are the Trade-Offs for Faster Swimming?

Each day at the pool, you have some decisions to make, weighing the trade-offs. Here’s how to choose faster and better swimming.

When it comes to doing the right thing for your swimming, there will often be times where we need to make a decision:

  • Go to bed early so that you get a full night rest before morning practice… or not.
  • Attend practice when you are feeling slow and unmotivated… or not.
  • Decide to approach a surprise setback with the attitude that you can learn something from it… or not.

In these moments, we pretend to negotiate the trade-offs with ourselves, presenting the easy option as the right option:

  • Staying up late and watching Reels on your smartphone “feels” better than going to sleep early.
  • Skipping practice and watching Netflix feels better than the thought of trying to slog through a swim practice.
  • Blaming others and external factors is easier than absorbing responsibility for a setback.

The problem is that during these negotiations, our brain is hyper-focused on alleviating how we are feeling in the moment.

And this makes total sense…

After all, the decisions represented above are more likely to make us feel good.

But the problem is that these decisions don’t rationally weight the long-term trade-offs of the solution provided…

  • Sure, staying up late and watching Reels till 1am scratches that dopamine fix… but leaves you feeling exhausted tomorrow.
  • Missing practice tonight means you don’t have to go through the agony of a hard workout… but it also means you forever lose an opportunity to improve.
  • Outsourcing responsibility for your performance is easy… but it also means you are never in control of your swimming.

In the end, the trade-offs skew hard against you and your goals in the water.

Exercising some smart decision-making and delaying gratification may not feel good right now, but it will feel great in the long run.

Mental Training for Swimmers (FINALLY) Made Simple

Whether you are tired of choking on race day, want to finally conquer your mindset so that you can give your PB’s the beating they deserve, or want to develop a killer game plan for your mindset, Conquer the Pool is your ticket to faster swimming.

“This is the best book I’ve ever seen concerning mental training.” — Ray Benecki, Head Coach, the FISH Swim Team

Used and trusted by some of the top clubs and swimmers on the planet and written with the feedback of 200+ head coaches, Olympians, former world record holders, and NCAA champions.

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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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