Unleash the power of routines for faster swimming

When you hear the word “routine,” what is the first thing to come to mind?




But the things that happen from a good routine are anything but boring or yawn-inducing.

Good routines:

  • Keep you focused on the things you control and block out distractions and external expectations
  • Get you to the pool on days when you are tired and not “feeling it”
  • Help you stay fully locked in on your process, whether it’s the way you get prepared for morning practice or the things you do on race day.

And so on.

Soooo maybe routines aren’t so boring after all.

Building routines for peak performance

One of my favorite past-times is building processes and routines for stuff.

And I am always fascinated by how other swimmers (and high-flying performers) build and maintain their own routines.

Whether it’s the things they do at a swim meet to lock themselves in for a big race, or how they approach a tough main set.

Building your own little routines for 24% better swimming starts with looking at the stuff that has worked for you in the past.

It’s tempting to look at what other swimmers are doing and copy-paste what they are doing.

But the secret to YOUR peak performance is in the past.

Look at what’s worked for you.

Review the times where you rocked the pool.

And build a simple routine that is uniquely yours and that you can feel confident about.

“Let go and enjoy the moment”

Routines are hyper bon because they let you mentally get out of your own way.

Instead of overthinking, or worrying about things you don’t control, you sink into your routine.

Kind of like taking the parking brake of that performance that is just itching to be unleashed on the world.

Here’s an example.

Misty Hyman, who won gold in the 200-meter butterfly at the Sydney Olympics, defeating heavily-favored hometown world-record holder, Susie O’Neill, had her own performance routine laid out.

Even though most swimmers prefer the angry hype-up route when it comes to racing (I count myself in this group), Hyman needed to dial DOWN her emotional energy.

“I was one those athletes who would go off by myself and just listen to music and visualize,” says Hyman. “The funny part is that I preferred listening to slow music at the big swim meets because I needed to mellow myself out versus hyping myself up. So, I’d listen to music like Sting’s ‘Fields of Gold’ and visualize my race. I also had a little stretching routine that I’d do as well. This entire routine let my body and mind know that it was time to perform and that it was time to let go and enjoy the moment.”

Look back at your past performances.

Practice and competition.

What worked?

What didn’t?

What lessons can you pull from each?

Once you have taken some time to objectively reflect on those performances, build routines that you can depend on for maximum performance when you need it most.

See ya in the pool,


PS: Personalized routines are your secret weapon for better and faster swimming.

Routines are especially useful on race day or before a really hard main set.

Which is why it is so critical to:

  • Have a pre-race routine
  • Know what kind of emotional state breeds fast swimming
  • How to use pre-race nerves and anxiety to your advantage
  • Know what kind of self-talk helps you perform under pressure
  • Build a collection of strategies that help you manage discomfort in training

And so on.

Having these routines at the ready is like putting fins and paddles on your mindset.

And if you want a blueprint for building the high-performance mindset that delivers devastating swims when it matters most, whether it’s in competition or in practice.

Ultimately, how you perform under pressure comes down to your mindset and the routines you use.

Don’t leave them to chance.

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