The holidays are over, normal activities between home, work and family have resumed and … of course your return to the pool. However, sometimes, returning to the water can be more difficult than expected, especially after a long hiatus. Preparing your bag in the early morning, carving out a couple of hours, maybe at lunch or in the evening after work, to swim in freedom, can cost a lot of effort.
Don’t panic! Just follow a few simple tips and it will be a breeze to leave your beloved couch, to throw on your new suit and goggles, grab your kickboard and dive into a new adventure with the right energy and enthusiasm.
Fix your goals
Nothing energises us like setting new goals and raising the famous “bar”. This is not a cliché but a principle underlying sports psychology. Having precise and challenging objectives is an essential step, as the psychotherapist Chiara Francesconi affirms, to find the right “initiatives, to put in place a purpose-oriented behaviour.”
Ask yourself: What is my purpose? Playing sports to win, play, have fun, be part of a group, or keep in shape?
Because swimming is supposed to be a joint effort between an athlete and coach, with constant and direct communication in order to achieve the desired objective.
Defeat the enemies of your motivation
Surely there are many reason why you’ve moved away from the pool, you don’t necessarily need to get absorbed in feelings of guilt, and identifying them can help you to regain your motivation. They can influence, for example, poor maintenance of structure or its absence, study or work problems, high costs and even feelings of boredom, monotony, anxiety or depression, repeated accidents or failures or changes in living habits. Find the cause and think of solutions to solve it.
Can you work on your motivation?
Sure you can! In this case, the “Target” model can help us. It is the acronym of some English terms that you can focus on:
Let’s look at how you can apply the Target model to swimming. It is important, in the meantime, to maintain proper concentration during training, to not get distracted and to not get lost in small talk (Authority). Working with a friend or a teammate makes the exercises easier to overcome and can improve your preparation.
Determine the frequency of your workouts (Time) and write a journal of your workouts and results (Task). In this way, “you will experience first hand” the route taken and recognise your progress (Evaluation). Lastly, it is good to celebrate your achievements (Recognition) with pampering or a treat every now and then, to reward yourself breaks from the monotony, one of motivation’s main enemies.
Once you have achieved your goals, why not share them with someone who loves you? This way, you will be careful, in addition to not disappointing yourself, to not disappoint your friends (Grouping). Including social media, blogs and whatsapp, you will be spoiled with all of the different means you can choose from.
And finally; get moving and have fun!
If you continue to put off the time and training day and find excuses perhaps what is lacking is a bit of healthy fun. Try to enjoy yourself every step of the way. Don’t look at numbers and times obsessively. Free your mind to regain physical and psychological well-being. Face the bad days and contingencies philosophically without falling victim to feelings of guilt. One of the keys to motivation is just the calm acceptance of difficulties.