Sports Psychology for Swimmers


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Dr. Patrick Cohn, owner of Peak Performance Sports at - helps athletes and coaches improve mental toughness for sports. Learn mental game strategies to help you perform your best in meets and competition.

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  • Sports Psychology for Swimmers

    1. 1. Sports Psychology And Swimming Performance Patrick J. Cohn, Ph.D. Peak Performance Sports Orlando, Florida
    2. 2. Sports Psychology <ul><li>About i mproving performance </li></ul><ul><li>Uncover negative thinking </li></ul><ul><li>H elp healthy athletes get better </li></ul><ul><li>Improve practice efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Improve team unity & cohesion </li></ul>Peak Performance Sports
    3. 3. We earn Competence in a Lifetime, but Choose our Attitude Every Single Day Peak Performance Sports
    4. 4. Ten Signs Your Mind is in the Tank <ul><li>Meet times are slower than practice times. </li></ul><ul><li>Lose focus during critical times of the race. </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence dives when you go to big meets. </li></ul><ul><li>Best technique on the team, but slow times. </li></ul><ul><li>Swim worse when others are watching you. </li></ul>Peak Performance Sports
    5. 5. Ten Signs Your Mind is in the Tank (Cont.) <ul><li>You have negative thoughts before meets. </li></ul><ul><li>You feel sick or really scared before meets. </li></ul><ul><li>You focus too much on your competitors. </li></ul><ul><li>You worry about mistakes & embarrassment. </li></ul><ul><li>You worry too much about what others think. </li></ul>Peak Performance Sports
    6. 6. Mark of Champion Swimmers <ul><li>Dreams of greatness </li></ul><ul><li>Clear and simple goals </li></ul><ul><li>Belief in one’s ability </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on one stroke at a time </li></ul><ul><li>“ See” the successful race </li></ul><ul><li>Perform improves in meets </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to discard doubts </li></ul><ul><li>Let it happen, not force it </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to let go of mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Train like a champion </li></ul><ul><li>Swim without mental roadblocks </li></ul>Peak Performance Sports
    7. 7. The Three C’s for Success in Sports Peak Performance Sports <ul><li>C onfidence </li></ul><ul><li>C oncentration </li></ul><ul><li>C omposure </li></ul>
    8. 8. You Must Believe Before You Can Achieve Peak Performance Sports <ul><li>What is self-confidence? </li></ul><ul><li>Sources of confidence for swimmers </li></ul><ul><li>Take control of your confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on reasons to be confident </li></ul><ul><li>Fight the “doubter” inside you </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare to feel confident </li></ul>
    9. 9. Focusing on the Process Brings Desired Results Peak Performance Sports <ul><li>Define what’s important to focus on </li></ul><ul><li>Know what’s not important to racing </li></ul><ul><li>Immerse yourself in those tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware when you get off task </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to refocus when off-task </li></ul>
    10. 10. Choose to Stay Composed Peak Performance Sports <ul><li>You can control your reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Stop the dwelling! </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on improving for next event </li></ul><ul><li>Be your own best coach </li></ul>
    11. 11. Common Challenges for Swimmers Peak Performance Sports <ul><li>Nerves before races </li></ul><ul><li>Doubt or low confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Intimidation from others </li></ul><ul><li>Can I beat this gal/guy? </li></ul><ul><li>Protecting your lead </li></ul>
    12. 12. Positive Thoughts for Mental Toughness Peak Performance Sports <ul><li>“ Take it one stroke at a time” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have no limitations” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’ve trained & deserve to win” </li></ul><ul><li>“ No one can distract me today” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It’s just me and my lane” </li></ul>
    13. 13. Commitment is a Choice You Make Everyday <ul><li>Self-motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Personal goals </li></ul><ul><li>Practice plan </li></ul><ul><li>Self-monitoring </li></ul>Peak Performance Sports
    14. 14. Choose to Learn & Grow in the Face of Failure <ul><li>What are the positives? </li></ul><ul><li>How can you learn? </li></ul><ul><li>How can confidence grow? </li></ul>Peak Performance Sports
    15. 15. Tips for Coaches <ul><li>Encourage a process focus </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on goals, not outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforce athlete’s confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Use objectives, not expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize specificity training & routines </li></ul>Peak Performance Sports
    16. 16. 8 Guidelines for Parents <ul><li>Sports should be just a game. </li></ul><ul><li>Your agenda is not your child’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasize process not results. </li></ul><ul><li>Model composure & poise. </li></ul><ul><li>Refrain from game-time coaching. </li></ul><ul><li>Detach self-esteem from achievement. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the right questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Pledge: P.A.Y.S. Parent’s Code of Ethics. </li></ul>Peak Performance Sports