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Ultimate Swimmers Aren't Always Happy with Where They Are

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

Being part of a swim team can be a rewarding experience, but what happens when you start to feel discontent and feel like there might be something better elsewhere? As an elite swimmer, it can be challenging to deal with these thoughts, but it is important to evaluate your situation carefully and identify what a winning culture and environment looks like for you. In this blog post, we will explore how an elite swimmer can deal with feeling discontent on a team and how to identify a winning culture and environment.


Understanding Your Discontent

The first step in dealing with discontent on a swim team is to understand why you are feeling this way. Are there specific things that are bothering you about the team, such as the coaching style, the team dynamic, or the training regimen? Or are you feeling a more general sense of dissatisfaction that you can't quite put your finger on?

Once you have identified the source of your discontent, it is important to evaluate whether it is something that can be addressed within the team or whether it is a sign that it might be time to move on. If it is something that can be addressed, it might be worth talking to the coach or a trusted teammate to see if there are ways to improve the situation. However, if the source of your discontent is fundamental to the team culture or environment, it might be time to start considering other options.


Identifying a Winning Culture and Environment

When considering your options, it is important to have a clear idea of what a winning culture and environment looks like for you. This can help you to evaluate other teams and programs and make an informed decision about where to go next.

A winning culture and environment will look different for every athlete, but some factors that may be important to consider include:

  1. Coaching style - Does the coaching style align with your needs as an athlete? Do you feel like you can communicate openly and honestly with the coach?

  2. Team dynamic - What is the team culture like? Are the swimmers supportive of each other and working towards a common goal?

  3. Training regimen - Does the training regimen align with your goals as an athlete? Are there opportunities for individualized training and feedback?

  4. Facilities - Are the facilities well-maintained and conducive to training at an elite level?

  5. Performance history - What is the team's performance history? Have they consistently achieved success at the level you are aiming for?

It is also important to consider the geographical location of the team and whether it aligns with your personal and professional goals.


Making the Decision

After evaluating your options and identifying what a winning culture and environment looks like for you, it's time to make a decision. This can be a difficult process, but it is important to take the time to consider all the factors and make a decision that is best for you.

Remember that changing teams or programs is a significant decision, and it is important to approach it with a clear mind and a willingness to adapt to new environments. While it can be challenging to leave behind a familiar team and environment, it can also be an opportunity for growth and development as an athlete.


As an elite swimmer, decisions should be made based on values rather than feelings. Feelings can be transient and influenced by a variety of factors, while values are rooted in our core beliefs and principles. When we make decisions based on our values, we are more likely to stay true to ourselves and make choices that align with our long-term goals. This can be especially important in high-pressure situations, where it can be tempting to make decisions based on emotions rather than reason. By grounding our decisions in our values, we can maintain our focus and composure, which can help us to perform at our best as elite swimmers.


Admittedly, feeling discontent on a swim team is a common experience for elite swimmers. It is important to take the time to evaluate the source of your discontent and to consider what a winning culture and environment looks like for you.



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