It Is All About You - To Publicly Announce A Swim Or Not

It Is All About You – To Publicly Announce A Swim Or Not

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

What is right and what is wrong in open water swimming?

Many swimmers have all kinds of opinions, especially about other swimmers who announce their swims in a public manner.

Like the issues of politics, religion and what to drink during a long swim, swimmers have perspectives that range all over the spectrum.

* Is it better to keep your goal private and quiet?
* Is it better to tell only a very few number of people?
* Is it better to announce publicly online?
* Is it better to tie your announcement to a charity so money can be raised for a good cause?
* Is it better only to publicly share your swim after it is successful?
* Is it better to not tell anyone if your swim is unsuccessful?

That is, is it better to keep your swimming goals private and quiet or do you tell some people – or anyone and everyone who will listen?

Which approach is best? Which approach is most helpful to help provide you with the best psychological boost? Which approach will encourage you to train hard and help realize your goals?

Like the issues of politics and religion, swimmers are adamant on their perspectives. For many (most?) swimmers, their preferred approach is the best way and feel any other way is inferior.

But from our perspective of covering swimmers over several decades, there are many who prefer to keep their swims private and others on the other extreme who conduct media campaigns. The correct answer seems to be that either complete confidentiality or active promotional activities depends on the swimmer, their personality, their characteristics, and their own goals. Like hydration and fueling in a channel swim, what works for one person may not work for another.

Some research studies conclude that telling others of your goals makes them less likely to happen for a variety of reasons. The pressure to succeed may increase and may negatively impact the journey to the final goal.

On the other hand, telling others of your goals can establish a level of accountability and provide an additional external source of motivation. It can also get others to help you (train or be escorted or help out at work or the home when training gets tough or time-consuming). It can also help you clarify your goals or keep others mindful of your (training) progress or simply connect you with other like-minded athletes around the world.

Telling others – which often involves asking for support or advice – is also favored by many.

So whether you keep your plans confidential or wait to announce until you are successful or are more public with your goals, it all depends.

On you.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association