SIP 034: Bringing Meditation techniques to swimming

Why is meditation so closely linked with water?

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Does meditation have a place in swimming?

How did I arrive at it?

Podcast: Art of Charm




What exactly am I talking about?

Encouraging swimmers to “think” about swimming as they do it

Promote “attempts”

Promote awareness of what you’re doing, acknowledge difference and attempt change.


How does this connect to meditation:

Not stillness

Acknowledgement: Breathe with eyes closed, focus on breathing. When you become aware of yourself thinking of something else, make a note “Hey, I’m thinking of something not my breathing. Then go BACK to thinking about breath.


Same with swimming. I’m attempting what the coach said to focus on, I’m attempting to do something. When you realize you’re NOT doing that. Think, “ahah! I’m not doing that.” Then, attempt to return to focusing on what the goal is.


Appropriate for all ages? No.

Used more in a swim team or pre-swim team setting where you can hold the attention for longer. No harm in attempting it with younger swimmers, but games and play is better for beginners, or those between 3-7.


What do you think? Have you done it?



We have an arch or a theme for our swim team right now, a macrocycle if you’re familiar with it. That theme is “Balance, Line, and Posture” and how that fits into swimming. Our goal is to be mindful and aware of those three things throughout our practices.


We did this set at practice:


    3x { 2 x 25 Freestyle
{ 1 x 50 Back Kick
{2 x 25 Fly Kick

Goals: Attempt to be the stacked soccer ball tower body, straight good posture, and when you’re NOT doing it, recognize that, acknowledge your body not doing it, and attempt to do it again. You might realize multiple times that you’re not in the good body posture, and that is okay, focus on realizing that you’re not and attempt to go back into that position again.


Do the things correctly, as in do the freestyle swim at the right time and place, and distance, but during that swim, attempt to maintain the body posture, and when your body is NOT in good “Balance, Line and Posture” then attempt to correct and return to it.


The goal overall was to provide meditative experiences for each swimmer through repeated use of meditative techniques, without actually directly explicitly stating the link or connection (unless you think it will be beneficial). The hope is that through repeated mental training (focus on this, when you realize you’re not focusing on it, dismiss what you were doing and attempt to go back on your set focus) swimmers will be better equipped to be more mindful of their own swimming because we are also building their own self-awareness.


Are you interested in more stuff like this? Let me know! Connect on twitter @swimmingideas

Email me at


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