How Mental Is Swimming? Featuring Eddie Hall & Brian Shaw

Plenty of sports have crossover when it comes to training techniques, theories, and more, but can a powerlifter’s mindset prior to lifting 500kg off of the ground apply to swimming? I think so, and I’ll explain to you why. 

Before diving into the application, if you're a visual learner or just interested in watching elite athletes talk about mental preparation press play on the video below. While you’re watching, think about how it might apply to swimming and athletic excellence as a whole. Also just an FYI, 500kg is half a ton. Half. A. Ton.

Disclaimer: If you aren’t able to get past the fact that Eddie Hall uses some vulgar language in this video, then it’s not for you.

Now that you’ve listened to Eddie talk about what took place, it’s time for you to watch it.

Now how on earth could anything that just took place in that video compare to swimming the 1500? The 400IM? News flash! When you’re running out of gas in a race, you’re not actually running out of gas physically. The mind will shut your body down long before the body itself shuts down as a survival mechanism to protect yourself from yourself.

Exercise One: Create the story.

No more going through the motions. It’s time to give yourself a reason to swim faster than you did last week, faster than you did when you were tapered five months ago, or faster than ever. What’s your story? Are you swimming from sharks? Chasing someone? Everyone’s story will be different.

Exercise Two: Visualization.

Alright so you’ve got your story. Pat yourself on the back. You did it. Amazing. It’s now time to visualize it. Really visualize it. Get detailed with it. What’s chasing you? How close is it? How quickly is it gaining on you? Do this often and do it with purpose. When you get up on the block you want to be able to vividly put yourself in a mental state that will allow you to push the limits well beyond what you’ve previously programmed yourself to think was possible.

Exercise Three: Do it.

Nothing more to say here. Just go do it.

BONUS: Remember that guy that deadlifted 500kg? He’s a former swimmer and might still be faster than you. See below.

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