7 Quotes to Help Swimmers Get Focused

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer based out of Victoria, BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook, a powerful log book and goal setting guide made specifically for swimmers. Sign up for the YourSwimBook newsletter (free) and get weekly motivational tips by clicking here.

In today’s culture we are consistently being pulled into a thousand different directions. Our social media feeds require our constant attention, our inboxes need to be replied to, and our commitments in the pool, school and work can leave us feeling like there isn’t nearly enough time to get to all of the things we care about.

Here are 7 swimming quotes for the next time you feel the endless tug of a thousand different directions pulling at you:

1. Instead of focusing on how much you can accomplish, focus on how much you can absolutely love what you’re doing. – Leo Babauta

While loving what you are doing won’t necessarily guarantee complete and utter success, it will make you a more consistent, more focused, and more engaged athlete over the long term.

You’ll notice that when you are enjoying the day-to-day chase to make those marginal improvements that the well of motivation takes much longer to dry up, and as a result, you’ll get more quality performances out of yourself in practice more often.

2. Always focus on the front windshield and not the rearview mirror. – Colin Powell

Successful swimmers have a short term memory. A bad practice, a bad swim is shelved and put away so that the next task at hand can be concentrated on. This is especially important at competitions, where one bad swim can derail a swimmer’s confidence and put the next race at risk.

When those bad swims do happen it is important to not dwell on them; learn the lesson, and apply it moving forward so that you can perform at a high level moving forward.

3. The successful man is the average man, focused. – Anon.

There will always be someone presenting an alternate route to your goal. Especially now with the proliferation of so much training online, it can be challenging to stay focused on the plan that has been set out before you when your newsfeed is clogged with latest and greatest in training from across the world of the sport.

Decline the allure of distractions and promises of a shortcut or an easy way out. It’s not enough that there will be distractions along the way, but that there will also be real, credible alternatives to what you are currently doing that present themselves. To want to take a detour is actually quite natural, and happens when we have second doubts about what we are doing.

Focus on your plans and your journey and carry them out, and you will already be miles ahead of those who get sidetracked and constantly jump from path to path.

4. Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. – Greg Anderson

Often we get caught up in the times that we want to achieve, the placings, the teams we want to qualify for, that we forget to enjoy and spend time mentally on the process of achieving said things.

When we zero in our attention on the present, on what we are doing right now, we tend to operate on a higher level. After all, we are fully engaged in what we are doing, and doing so also reduces the sometimes debilitating amount of pressure that we inflict upon ourselves to achieve something great.

5. To be everywhere is to be nowhere. – Seneca

Avoid the desire to be everything and everyone to everybody. When we do really well at something in the pool – and in life – it is because that we have drilled our attention into a particular task. We amass all of our respective talents, skills and energies into the completion of a singular, specific task.

By trying to do a lot of things really well we like to think that we are covering our bases, giving ourselves the highest possible chance for success, but in reality we are only watering down our efforts.

6. It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about? – Henry David Thoreau

How often have you had those practices or days where you felt busy, there was a lot going on, but you didn’t really get anything accomplished? Being busy gives us the superficial sense of having achieved something, of having gotten work done.

But being busy and being productive are two distinctly different things. Don’t mistake being occupied with being the things that will propel you forward. It is important to separate the things that are actually pushing you towards your goals, with those that are just eating up your time and focus.

7. You don’t get results by focusing on results. You get results by focusing on the actions that produce results. – Mike Hawkins

Love this one. It sums up the difference between people who dream big and those that achieve big.

It is easy to get lost in the beauty and shininess that is our goals. They are glorious, they make us feel good, and they preoccupy our daydreams when we should be doing our homework or listening to our coach.

The things required to achieve our goals, on the other hand, are not handsome. Beyond that, our goals are off in the distance, something to be achieved at a later date. The actions that will produce those goals however, the immediate and pressing steps, are right here and now.

About YourSwimBook

YourSwimBook is a log book and goal setting guide designed specifically for competitive swimmers. It includes a ten month log book, comprehensive goal setting section, monthly evaluations to be filled out with your coach, and more.

Learn 8 more reasons why this tool kicks butt.

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Wayne Mahaffey
8 years ago

Good advise

9 years ago

I like it

About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out. A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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