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Can Romantic Relationships Impact My Training?

Updated: May 30, 2023

While being in a romantic relationship can bring a sense of emotional support and stability, it can also be a source of stress and distraction for an athlete, which can negatively affect their performance. Here are some main concerns that I have identified among elite swimmers:

  1. Time Management: Elite swimmers have to train for several hours every day, which means they have very little free time. When they add a romantic relationship to their already busy schedule, it can be challenging to balance their training and spending time with their partner.

  2. Emotional Stress: Relationships come with emotional ups and downs, and when things are not going well, it can cause emotional stress for the athlete. This can result in a lack of focus and affect their performance in the pool.


To avoid the pitfalls that can lead to poor performances, athletes can take some steps, including:

  1. Communication: Athletes should communicate with their partner about their training and competition schedule and try to find a way to balance their relationship and training schedule.

  2. Emotional Regulation: Elite swimmers should learn emotional regulation techniques to deal with the emotional stress that comes with a romantic relationship.

  3. Sexual Boundaries: Athletes should discuss their sexual boundaries with their partner and make sure they are honoring their own moral convictions, if not, this will create internal turmoil and impact their performance in a negative way.

There are several studies that support dating for elite athletes while training and competing. In a study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, researchers found that athletes who had a supportive partner had a better chance of achieving their athletic goals. Another study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology found that athletes who had a positive romantic relationship had better mental health and performed better than athletes who did not have a romantic relationship.


In conclusion, being in a romantic relationship can be both beneficial and challenging for elite swimmers. By communicating with their partner, learning emotional regulation techniques, and setting sexual boundaries, athletes can balance their romantic relationship with their training schedule, and achieve peak performance. Again, healthy relationships can lead to peak performance and unhealthy relationships can lead to poor performance.

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