What’s the biggest obstacle standing in the way of your reaching your swimming goal?

Would you like me to tell you how to solve that problem?

Well, I can’t address every individual problem there is, but I can point out the different categories you can search through to find your personal solution or combination of solutions.

You may solve your problem by improving your technical skill. Learn how to control your physical body so that it can more easily adapt to the environment and the demands of your activity.

You may solve it by increasing your physical fitness. You may work on the general fitness first – your mobility, stability and strength so that your body parts can safely handle more work, and then you may work on swim-specific fitness in your areas of greatest weakness.

You may solve it by improving your perspective and attitude. You may form better mental representation, or reframe the way you view your relationship to the problem, or you may adopt a more suitable personal narrative (= the story you tell yourself about who you are and why you do this and what failure and success mean).

You may solve it by using better external technology (as opposed to all the other categories listed here which refer to ‘internal’ technology), which is another name for gear. If skill, strength, mindset don’t quite work, then perhaps an artificial aid or device may finish the job for you.

Wait – You might be surprised that I would suggest such a thing, but really, if this is what it takes to get you into the water and enjoy it, swimming with an assisting device is probably better than no swimming at all. The benefits outweigh the liabilities. Hopefully, those artificial devices will be only a temporary necessity.

And, if skill, strength, mindset and technology are still not quite enough, you may solve it with more resilience – a.k.a. grit. If your goals are truly taking you beyond your current capabilities it is likely you will need a bit of this on top of everything else because growth involves some discomfort.

 

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