Getting Stuck

Swimming progress
Do you ever feel stuck with your swimming? However far along our swimming journey we are; overcoming a fear of water, beginner or seasoned swimmer, sometimes whatever we do we don’t seem to make progress.

We’ve all been there – before I discovered Total Immersion I was convinced that I had gone as far as I could with my own stroke; I was too old, not fit enough, too fat! Lots of reasons why I couldn’t seem to swim any faster or more comfortably.

But it’s important to remember that progress is never linear, it goes up and down, backwards and forwards – a bit like the picture below, and this is totally normal. It’s tempting to beat ourselves up and blame ourselves when we don’t make the continuous progress we want but often it’s just our brains working away in the background assimilating all the new information and we’ll find that with the help of the right approach and mindset, we won’t stay stuck forever.

Like most endeavours, in swimming we improve quickly at first, but improvement slows, and can stop completely for a while as the skill requirements increase – we hit a ‘plateau’. What happens next can be a defining moment. We can lose enthusiasm, stop and give up or perhaps we decide to be happy to accept the status quo; or we can see hitting the plateau as an opportunity rather than a problem.

Hitting a plateau gives us the chance to tap into our mental discipline, persistence and flexibility and understand that lessons learned more slowly have more meaning and permanence. We can decide to enjoy the process rather than focussing on the end result – an approach that is crucial to great swimming and at the heart of what we do and the approach that has helped me and countless others swim far better than we ever thought possible.

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