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Give every race the same effort


Thank you Gary, that you provide me with all those valuable informations.   But I’ve on question for you. My son (13 years old) is very good in all strokes. What I could tell you that, I noticed that he more like sprints than long distance. But I can’t understand that, when he swim 200 IM or 400 IM, he will give his best, but if he swim 200 or 400 freestyle, he doesn’t have the will to swim the best. He thinks that he isn’t good in those disciplines.   I know that this is more psychological, more in his head, but what can I do that he’ll think otherwise, how do I encourage him.

With such thinking everything is heavy, from mind everything can move to body, so legs and arms are heavy more.   Because in 50m free he has the time 27 sec and in 100 m free has just under the minute (times are in 50m pool). Probably the technique is different in 200m or 400m than in sprints, what should he do. Or maybe where is my role here.   Thank you for your answer and I will definitely provide you with a feedback.   Kind regards,



Hi B,

Psychology plays an important role in swimming. If a swimmer enjoys swimming an event he will most likely swim with more energy and aggression than if they do not enjoy swimming that particular race.

To be a good 400 IM swimmer, you need to be able to swim the 400m freestyle well and also race the 200 backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly regularly.  The freestyle leg at the end of an IM will improve if it is also practiced at the end of a 400m freestyle. You also need to be able to think positively about what you do and the races you are competing in.

The next few times he swims a 200m or 400m freestyle, he needs to focus and commit to those races as though he was doing a 200m or 400m IM.  Swim them and enjoy swimming them and not worry about the outcome (the time).

You can be there to encourage him and support him to attack all his races the same way and really enjoy competing in different events. Your continued positive support is critical along the way.



The Swimming Expert

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