I believe I am constantly talking to myself, don't you?
This is what we called as SELF-TALK. Is your self-talk generally positive, negative, or neutral?
Positive self-talk can increase self-belief, self confidence, and the ability to perform well in tough situations. It helps to enhance self-esteem, motivation, attentional focus on the present and keep your mind from wandering.
The following example shows the power of positive self-talk:
Swimmers A and B have 6 more 100s left in a challenging set of 10 x 100 freestyle. Each is holding steady but their muscles are beginning to tighten and burn.
Swimmer A feels like the set is getting the best of him. "I have almost 10 minutes left of this set! My stroke is failing, I'm getting zero push-off, and I can't breathe. I'm never going to make it."
Swimmer B tells himself that this set is a great challenge. "In less than 10 minutes, I'll finish! I'll feel great having accomplished my goal of making the time for all swim-rest intervals. Go for it!" He concentrates on his stroke, turns, push-offs, and breathing pattern. He even talks positively to swimmers around him trying to make this set.
Who do you think has a better chance of making the set?
The fact is you do exactly what you tell yourself you can do. So, go and attack those tough challenges and talk positively to yourself!
Towards effortless and efficient swimming,
Giam Teck Choon
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 08, 2003