Short course is officially over and the results are in! You’re probably feeling great after dropping time (and maybe getting a PR!), or you’re feeling disappointed after not getting the results you wanted. It’s typical to move on quickly regardless of the result, but slow down. This moment after your last meet of the season is a key opportunity.
Since your season is still fresh, now is the time to reflect. Pick a time to sit down, uninterrupted, and think about your season from start to finish, including the following elements:
- training (in the pool, dryland, and cross-training)
- stroke technique
- race strategy
- mental toughness
- rest and recovery
- nutrition and hydration
- relationship with coach(es) and teammates
With these aspects in mind and your preferred journaling method (phone, computer/tablet, or good ol’ fashioned pen and paper), answer the following questions:
- What did I do well this season?
- What did I not do well this season? What was in my control and out of my control?
- How did my actions help me achieve my goals or prevent me from reaching my goals?
- What do I want to do differently next season?
Be detailed, specific, and honest. This is your chance to soak in everything you experienced and learn from it. Getting your thoughts down will help you make a plan for how to continue improving in long course or summer league. Reflecting is one way to take ownership of your swimming, keep yourself accountable, and bring intention to your future training.
Abby Keenan is a certified mental performance consultant located in Atlanta, GA. She mentally prepares competitive swimmers to perform at their best when it matters most. To talk to Abby about how you can improve your performance in practice and meets, click here.