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In competitive swimming, four major styles have been established. These have been relatively stable over the last 30–40 years with minor improvements. The four main strokes in swimming are:


  • Butterfly (fly)

  • Backstroke (back)

  • Breaststroke (breast)

  • Freestyle (free)


Events in competition may have only one of these styles except in the case of the individual medley, which contains all four. In this latter event, swimmers swim equal distances of butterfly, then backstroke, breaststroke, and finally, freestyle.


Swimmers require mental strength to perform under pressure with mental agility and speed. Focus and attention needs to be optimized by the swimmers in order to maintain the right frame of mind during a race. Swimmers cannot be focused on the competition or the outcome, but the process necessary for them to push themselves to their highest potential. The same goes for divers who need to excel under the pressure of a perfect dive.


Common psychological obstacles that can occur:

  • Anxiety (physical and mental)

  • Uneven performance between practice and game situations

  • Fear

  • Slow processing speed

  • Trouble performing under pressure

  • Difficulty overcoming mistakes

  • Confidence

  • Optimal performance training


If you believe you or your child may be battling with mental obstacles that could be affecting their overall athletic performance, please call MVP Mentality today. Dr. Hennessy can help athletes of any age and level to optimize their performance on and off the field with cutting edge tactics.


With a unique therapy plan designed on a per-patient basis, she knows that the right therapy makes all the difference. Call today at 954-317-0551 or email her at


For more information regarding mental blocks in Swimming or Diving, check out the links below:


Neurofeedback can Optimize Performance in Athletes

The Detrimental Affects of Anxiety

Is Sports Psychology Right for My Child?

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