What Do Swimmers Think About?

What Do Swimmers Think About?

What do people think about while swimming in open bodies of water?

It seems as varied as the different colors and styles of swimsuits. Some are focused on technique, others on trivia. Some zone out and others think random thoughts. Some count their strokes every now and then or throughout their swim.

Readers sent in a variety of answers to the question above:

* “I think non-stop about my catch, pull through and back end finish every stroke.”
* “I think about my stroke — one at a time, in the moment I’m taking it, until I’m finished.
* My stroke thoughts are primary, conscious and explicit. Anything else that passes through my consciousness is momentary and mostly implicit.
* “When I swim I think about a wide variety of things.”
* “I sing my favourite songs.”
* “I recite some poems I know by heart.”
* “I fantasize about competition, winning for example, or I imagine I’m swimming the English Channel and am about to arrive in France soon.”
* “I count my strokes in a foreign language (Spanish or Chinese).”
* “Sometimes I think about family or friends or everyday issues that cross my mind.”
* “When I am swimming in competition (triathlon), I usually only think about the race, checking the position of my competitors, trying to stay on course and keeping up the pace.”
* “I also think about the landscape around me, as usually I swim in freshwater, and how lucky I am to be out there swimming.”
* “Not drowning.”
* “I think about the event, my life, hope I don’t have any animal contact, worry about running into jellies and other things, think about my dad, and wonder if i’ll ever get faster.”
* “I think about keeping up with my friends, I think about how I think I am enjoying myself after I actually forget about the shark.”
* “Just enjoying the experience, taking in the feel of the water, how my muscles feel, the taste of the salt, the sun on the water. Of course, there are those times when I have a horrible pop song stuck in my head that gets played over and over again!”
* “I think and picture all my friends and family waiting for me and cheering for me on the shore.”

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association