Fear of losing a race before you get in

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Swimming : One Thread

Hi, i am a parent of a 10 year old girl. She is a great swimmer. She has good times and is very outgoing. However, lately this year she has been experiencing some tough swims. When I say tough it is b/c she is putting a lot of pressure on herself and she cries before the race. I figured out that she is afraid of failing. We are looking for some good advice to help her. Please only serious replies. thank you.

-- Marian Bindas (Bindas5@bellatlantic.net), January 24, 2000


I can understand what your daughter is going through. I went through it myself. Fear of failure is a very real thing, and I think most athletes go through it at some point, just at varying degrees. What helped me, and would probably help your daughter as well a combination of visualization and support. It is obvious you care very much for her or you wouldn't be this concerned about her. Make sure she knows you will still love her even if she doesn't do well. Then have her practice some visualization techniques. You said she is a great swimmer, so she must have had some success in the past. Have her remember those successes. It works best if she can see, hear, and feel all the sensations that were going on at the time in her mind. She has been successful in the past, so there is no reason to belive she can't be successful again. She is just focusing on the failures right now. I would also suggest that she start seeing herself performing well in the present race before she ever makes her way to the blocks. She'll increase her confidence by performing well in her mind and she will be focusing on doing well, instead of the possiblity of failing. Good Luck. -Michelle

-- Michelle Carter (mnc10@gateway.net), February 14, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ