Triathlon Training Psychology
Even with all the information out there about swimming and swim training, some swimming myths just do not seem to want to die!
Often, we base our decisions on “what everyone else is doing”. Typically in life, I’ve found that if a huge mass of people are headed one direction, and a handful are headed the exact opposite direction, I’m better off with the small group than the mass.
This mostly has to do with the psychological phenomenon known as “groupthink”, where people follow the group because the group must know best.
Unfortunately, this sort of thinking fails because of this simple fact- groups can’t think! Only individuals can.
So with this sport, you have to sort through all the madness and get to what is really going to benefit you. Here are a few myths to get you on the right track (and separated from the sheep!):
Myth #1: Look straight ahead in freestyle.
I learned this growing up, but it has since been proven that looking down at the bottom of the pool is more efficient and will help beginners tremendously.
Myth #2: You need a strong kick to swim freestyle.
This may apply to sprinters, but even a sprint triathlon is not a sprint when you look at the overall distance. Your kick is mainly there to help you rotate through the water and keep you on top of the water. A light kick is ideal as
you will not be using all your energy on the swim!
Myth #3: Drills are unnecessary, just swim more yards and faster.
I would say the majority of Masters swim programs don’t do enough drills. This may be fine for the 15-20% of Masters that compete in swim events, but many are like you: triathletes that need technique work. In this case, especially as a beginner, drills are your foundation and you should never stop doing them completely.
To Laughing at the Water,
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”