3 Things Swimmers Can Do to Get Motivated to Train Like Their Hair is on Fire

Michael Butler
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Motivation comes from progression.

Each day,swimmers progress in their swimming by improving their fitness. But, their coaches don’t measure their athletes’ fitness by time in the water.

Instead, the coaches establish measurable goals such as extra yards or percentage improvement.

If a swimmer swam ten extra yards in yesterday’s workout, then today the swimmer’s goal is to swim 11 extra yards. No matter how well they swim in today’s workout, today is just about getting to 11 extra yards.

This incremental progression leads to something much bigger … increased motivation and increased confidence.

What swimwear are you wearing?

If you’re not sure, it’s time to take a closer look at your swimwear. If you’re not wearing the right swimwear, you may be cutting off your motivation to improve.

Swimwear Should (C)Lass You (S)Wim


But most notable swimmers don’t wear typical swimwear. They choose swimwear that will help them improve. And they don’t use the same swimwear every day … or even every workout.

Motivation comes from showing up.

One of the biggest reasons people quit a training regimen is because they feel like they are always making excuses. They don’t feel like they have the time to fit in all of their workouts. However, the reality is that they make time for what’s important to them. They might not be as motivated when it comes to their training as they are for other things in their lives.

To combat this, write down everything you do in an average week. Zoom out to view it on a calendar. Take note of the times of day that you tend to do the things that you’re “too busy” to squeeze in time for.

Another thing that is likely happening is that you’re giving too much attention to the things that you’re not doing. Make a list of things that you can do to make time for your training and your body. This might include having an alarm clock that wakes you up in the morning on a training day, scheduling time into your schedule (by hand, if necessary) for your workout, eating a quick pre-workout snack, turning your phone off, or even getting someone to watch your kids for a few hours.

Motivation comes from being properly rested.

If you’re languishing in bed but dread the thought of jumping in the pool, you’re not going to be mentally prepared to swim well. If you’re tired, your muscles will be more vulnerable to injury, and you may also have trouble recovering.

Remember that motivation and passion do not come from the pool. If you have a list of reasons you should do something, you’re more likely to quit when things get tough. If your motivation comes from within, you’re much more likely to keep going no matter what.

When we work from our strengths, passion and motivation follow.

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Every weekend, many people head off to an open water swim such as a lake, pond, river, or the like. They’re inspired by the scenic views and wildlife, or maybe it’s just a great way to spend the day.

But even if you do love swimming in an open water setting, you probably dread the training you need to do to achieve your swim goals.

If you have never been comfortable in the water, and you go from 0 to 60 mph in a stroke of an arm, you’re going to be in a world of hurt. Maybe you want to be a marathon swimmer or maybe you just want to enjoy a nice easy, casual swim that you can do with friends.

It’s important to remember that training isn’t always fun, but you can still enjoy swimming.

The following are my tips for learning to be an efficient swimmer. Whether it’s for endurance, speed, or just for fun, you can apply this strategy to your swimming.