Mental Toughness Toolbox: Avoiding Psychouts and Intimidation


A common problem that a lot of swimmers struggle with is finding themselves getting psyched out or intimidated by the competition. You know the drill – you have to race against Larry Lightening Fast or Linda Lifetime Bests and you get yourself totally freaked out by them. Your heart starts pounding, your breathing gets faster and shallower, your muscles tighten and before you know it, you don’t want to race against them. You just want to get their autograph. They are sooo good! How can you possibly stay with them? What if they lap you? How embarrassing will that be?

Here’s the interesting thing about psych-outs: No one can psych you out or intimidate you! I repeat, NO ONE! How good an opponent is, or how strong, fast or tall they are can’t intimidate you. The times that they’ve achieved can’t intimidate you. The only way you can get intimidated is if you allow it to happen.

Read USA Swimming


About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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