Fear has power over us, even when we don’t want it to. It can stop us from enjoying a moment or doing what we want. Fear can keep us from dipping our toes in the water, taking that first stroke in open water, or signing up for an event like a Master’s swimming competition.
Whether you get more than the jitters before a race or panic when thinking about the pool, fear can often be associated with swimming. However, the sport is just as much about your physical fitness as your mental strength.
Self-confidence is key to athletic performance, research shows. But what exactly is self confidence? It’s your belief that you can accomplish a goal or complete a task. When you don’t have confidence, you are more likely to experience feelings of anxiety, depression, and dissatisfaction.
Just as you train your body to go faster and swim farther, you can train your brain to improve your confidence. Yes, you can train yourself to be more confident — in life and in swimming.
A positive attitude, smart goals, and consistency can help you become a more confident swimmer.
With a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa, you can swim at home on your schedule. The year-round pool alternative allows you to swim at your own pace while still challenging yourself.
Swimming in a Michael Phelps Swim Spa
Swimming in a Michael Phelps swim spa will be a different experience for swimmers used to staring at the black line at the bottom of a pool. The water of a pool is still and, often, smells of chlorine. And the temperature? It either feels like an ice bath or a hot one, seemingly never consistent.
A Michael Phelps swim spa has a propulsion system, which creates a continuous current of water. The Wave XP Pro system has a variable speed system, allowing you to set the pace of your workout. The speed settings go from zero to 100, with the fastest swim spa current speed the equivalent of a sub-60 second 100 meters.
The stationary swimming experience is just like a treadmill for runners. Just like runners don’t have to stop for traffic lights on a treadmill, a swim spa offers a continuous swimming experience. No flip turns. No crowded lap lanes.
The all-in-one unit also has energy-efficient insulation and a built-in heater. Adjust the water temperature on the touchscreen panel so you can swim at your perfect level.
How Swimmers Can Become More Confident
Positive Self Talk
It can feel nearly impossible to not get into your head when you are swimming. Staring at the bottom of the pool, lap after lap, forces you to be at one with your thoughts. When those thoughts are negative, it can not only affect your session but your self confidence.
When you want to become a more confident swimmer, it’s important to change that internal script. Try to catch yourself when negative thoughts start making their way into your head. If you find yourself saying, “I’m a terrible swimmer,” reframe it into a positive phrase like “I have room to improve.”
Or, focus on the things you are doing right instead of areas where you are struggling. You might not be keeping up with faster members of your swim squad but you swam consistent repeats during the workout.
As you begin to think more positively, you will feel better about your performance and, in turn, feel more confident.
It can be hard to feel like a swimmer when you don’t look like a swimmer. And we’re not talking about a certain body type or having a 6-foot-7 wingspan like Michael Phelps. Having the right gear can go a long way in improving how you see yourself as a swimmer. Sports-specific gear, such as a good pair of goggles and swim suit, sends a message to your brain that you are a swimmer.
Get Out of the Comparison Trap
A smooth stroke, a strong kick, a set of fast 100s. It can be hard not to notice other swimmers — whether you are swimming on a team, with a masters group, or at the community pool.
And that’s not always a bad thing. Observing the other swimmers can motivate you to continue training or push yourself a bit harder. However, if your mental notes go from constructive to critical, it can be helpful to build in some solo sessions.
With a Michael Phelps swim spa, you won’t have to share a lane or crash a swim practice. You can swim at home, when it’s convenient for your schedule, and make the session about you. Do you want to focus on short, fast efforts? Or, do you want to go at a steady pace for 20 or 30 minutes.
“Reaching for goals is an important part of strengthening self-confidence,” according to Psychology Today. How? The process of working toward a goal, feeling like you have taken action, and reaching small milestones can change the way yourself. You are no longer the swimmer with the sinking legs; you are the swimmer developing an efficient flutter kick.
Make a Plan
When you are lacking confidence, you might feel like you are not doing something right. However, you are not sure what it is. Creating a plan for success can not only improve your swimming but your self confidence.
You can tick off each training session, knowing that you are getting in your workouts. You can also incorporate benchmark workouts into your plan, which will help you measure your success. Even the smallest of gains can show you that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing.
If you have a Michael Phelps swim spa, you can test your speed by swimming a set of max efforts. Perhaps, it’s 15 reps of 45 seconds of hard swimming. A month later, try the same workout at the same pace but increase the number of reps. The stronger you get, the more reps you will be able to complete.
As you work toward your goals, it’s important to recognize that it will not always be smooth swimming. You might have a bad workout or experience setbacks. What will be important is to use the small victories to build confidence. The challenges will help you learn and become more resilient.
The only way to improve your swimming is to swim. OK, OK. There might be more to becoming a better swimmer than hours spent in the water. However, consistency is key to improving your form and your confidence. The more frequently you can get in the water, the more progress you can make.
However, it can be challenging to get in the pool as often as you want. Hours might conflict with your work schedule or the lanes are limited because of swim lessons.
A Michael Phelps swim spa can help you fit in more frequent swim sessions, even when your schedule is busy.
You might think building self confidence is a journey that you take on your own. However, it’s important to get a new perspective. Whether you work with a coach or connect with a local mentor, they can offer valuable insight and encouragement. They can cheer on small victories and lift you up during a setback.
However, especially as virtual options grow, your coach might want to do a video analysis of your stroke. How does that work? You take an underwater camera to the pool or get a friend to help. If you are working on your swimming confidence, though, you might feel self-conscious.
A Michael Phelps swim spa allows you to get video and real-time feedback on your swim technique. You can mount an underwater camera, taking video to send to your coach. Or, you can place mirrors on the bottom of the spa to see your self swimming in action. You can adjust your catch and pull in real time, making the improvements that will bolster your confidence — in the water and out of it.