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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Open Water Swimmers Remember The Extremes

After listening to swimmers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds reminisce about their open water swims, it seems they most vividly remember and can discuss most colorfully the toughest, roughest, coldest and worse parts of their swim (e.g., the coldest part of the lake, the roughest part of the ocean).

After years pass by, when they recall their swim, the most difficult parts of their swim gradually become the norm (e.g., "...the waves were HUGE in the lake...").

Stanford University professor Clifford Nass explains “Almost everyone remembers negative things more strongly and in more detail.”

Even when the swim is ultimately triumphant, even when the crossing is successful, even when many things go right in the open water, the setbacks and the most difficult parts of the swim are remembered and recalled most vividly.

But experienced open water swimming coaches and support crew can utilize this focus on the negative. When the swimmer slows or conditions get rough, they describe their progress in the water or ability to stay with the pack. They do not ask, "How do you feel?" that very easily serves as a catalyst for the swimmer to focus on the negative, but rather "You are hanging in there…you swam the last mile faster than the one before…your stroke looks better…"

The coach and crew listen to what the athlete might say or may complain about, but they turn this focus on the negativity to something more positive, however trivial or constructively.

Photo of Ashley Twichell in the Midmar Mile.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...

The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac

An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:

The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program