Don’t panic in a triathlon swim
Do you experience a sensation of panic when you put your face in the water?
Has this stopped you from competing in a triathlon, or freaked you out in a race?
Well you are not alone!
In fact, many beginner swimmers feel this sense of panic when they attempt to put their face in the water. What can you do about this? How do you get over the fear?
First of all, it is just a fear. Although it is not necessarily a conscious fear. Often times this panic feel is due to your mind perceiving that you are about to fall a long way to the bottom of the pool. Therefore, it is somewhat natural to feel this way the first time you put your face in the water! It’s your mind’s way of protecting you.
To get over this fear, you must persist, and continue to put your face in the water! (remember that book, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway?). Start out in shallow water. Grab the wall and just kick in place looking down at the pool bottom. This will get you accustomed to the feeling.
Slowly work your way into kicking with your face down. Start with the width of the pool (a typical apartment or community pool is just fine).
Then, spend some time just going to the bottom of the pool (shallow water is fine). Stay there for 10 seconds or so and just experience the feeling. This may be scary at first- but ultimately, this will eliminate your fear.
Eventually, you will be swimming laps even in deep water with no problems.
Next up? The open water!