5 Little Commitments You Can Make in Practice Today
Consistency with your commitment is jet fuel for your goals in the water. Here’s some ideas for picking up the commitment habit.
Just reading that word can give us a shiver of panic.
It’s a word that makes it feel like our focus and options are cornered. Captured.
And so, under the guise of wanting to keep our options open we only give things enough commitment to stay afloat, and not enough to truly excel.
Which is too bad.
Because commitment, when we learn that it’s not as scary as it’s made out to be, can do some pretty wonderful things for us in the water.
Here are some simple commitments you can make each day during your swim workouts:
1. COMMIT TO BEING A BETTER-ER YOU.
Comparing yourself to other swimmers can be an endless foray into not feeling too good about yourself. It’s exhausting always holding up your bad days to the good days of other swimmers.
Have a bad workout?
Your competition have a great race over the weekend?
For some of us that is motivating, but for those who use comparison-making to solely make themselves feel worse… cut yourself some slack and commit on doing things better in your world.
Your technique. Your nutrition. Your sleep habits.
Make commitment to personal excellence today… no matter what the swimmers around you are doing.
2. COMMIT TO FACING ADVERSITY WITH YOUR CHIN UP.
Tough times are a part of trying to be a certified gangster in the water. Tough stuff is also a part of life. It happens to us all.
It happens unplanned, it happens out of nowhere, and sometimes so much of it keeps coming our way that we feel overwhelmed.
The DQ, the bad workout, the recurring bout of swimmer’s shoulder… It’s gonna happen given enough time.
The most powerful commitment you could make in this moment is a simple one.
Face that piece of adversity and ask yourself, How can I make this the best thing to ever happen to me?
3. COMMIT TO STARTING.
Doing big, scary sets at practice is, well…scary. Mildly terrifying sometimes.
That set of timed 50s from the blocks all out. A timed 2,000m kick. Or 20×400 freestyle…long course…on 5:00.
The key to doing anything big is to not think about the extent of the task at hand.
Just that first lap.
The first rep.
The first stroke cycle.
Don’t psych yourself out before you’ve had a chance to try.
4. COMMIT TO ENJOYING THE PROCESS.
The gold medal. The record. The best time.
The goal gets us up at 5am, keeps us there doing extra, and is in the back of the mind when those hunger pangs drift towards the thought of motorboating a double cheese pizza.
Your goal is important. You don’t need me to tell ya that.
But the process is even more so.
You don’t become a champion or the swimmer you want to be the day of, you slowly chisel away at it via your process.
You become the swimmer you wan tto be via your daily and weekly process. The habits, routine, and effort you put in on a daily basis.
Everyone wants to have the best time in the pool on race day, but not everyone thinks about having the best process each day at practice.
5. COMMIT TO BEING A STELLAR TEAMMATE.
Swimming is a bit of a funky sport in the sense that we mostly compete on our own, but we train with a group and sometimes race as a squad (relays, competing for team points).
The idea of being a good teammate might seem like its taking away from your own performance, but this isn’t the case. Especially when you consider that the hallmarks of being a good teammate require almost no time and energy.
Things like encouraging other swimmers in the lane during a hard set.
Congratulating a teammate after a monster race.
Helping put away the equipment at the end of the session.
Don’t fear it.
Especially when it doesn’t have to involve completely up-ending your current way of doing things.
Start out with these little daily commitments and holler at me with how it goes.
Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer. He’s the publisher of YourSwimBook, a ten-month log book for competitive swimmers.