I'm a swimmer and fairly into the sport, I guess. I'm not currently swimming right now, but would be if it weren't for this problem. During practice, I sort of zone out. Usually not "in the zone" kind off zoned out (I think), but just more my mind is not really in the pool with me. I mean, I'm focused on trying hard n' such, but just zoned out.

That in and of itself isn't really my problem. Though it is a little bit annoying, I'm not sure I can say there's anything else better (I know its going to be hard one way or another) and I can't quite remember any other way. My problem is after practice, when my thoughts don't really come back to reality. Its hard to focus on stuff.

Zoning out in practice helps distract me from how hard practice is, but my mind doesn't stop when its over. Its like I never quite get in to the zone, but never really get all the way out, either. I've been out of swimming for a few months now. It's gotten better, but I still tend to focus inward. It sounds a little like depersonalization.

My question is: How can I leave my training in the pool, and focus on my regular life?

Has anyone else dealt with this problem of becoming really introverted?

  • This might be a better fit on sports.SE. Dec 11, 2014 at 9:19
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    Or it is a brilliant question for Cognitive Sciences: cogsci.stackexchange.com
    – tsykora
    Dec 11, 2014 at 10:05
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    It's also highly personal. While the given answer so far is good, the question just promotes a lot of "I think" and "Well, I experienced" type of answers rather than concrete evidence based.
    – JohnP
    Dec 11, 2014 at 16:44

2 Answers 2


I've had this and I'm no psychologist, but I am a swimmer (ocean rescue for about 16 years) and naturally a little introverted (given the time). I think its that distance swimming is sort a strange scenario for the mind. If you talk to any distance swimmer they know that there's a meditation that occurs with the controlled breathing and rhythmic motion and therapeutic ebb of the ocean (or pool if its crowded). You may just be very susceptible to this hypnotic state and require more time to get out of it. I notice when I abruptly leave the pool there's an uncomfortable, rushed feeling and then it gets better.

However, I think something you should be aware of is that swimming face down is against our human instinct and does in fact force your body into a survival mode. Psychologically, you may be experiencing side effects of this survival mode and begin to think more inward as a result. I'm not sure there is a field that could completely classify this as it sounds physio-psychological.

I can tell its coming when I lose lap counts or start to drift mentally. Find your triggers, acknowledge them and actively focus.

If I were to suggest any way to come back after a long swim, I'd consider taking some extra time in the pool, ramp up your breathing to a more 'out-of-water' state . Maybe end with a sprint or two to get yourself into a less formatted behavior.

  • Maybe this isn't a great question for fitness.stackexchange.com, but it's a terrific answer.
    – Eric
    Dec 11, 2014 at 17:12

I doubt many people on here are qualified to answer that question. I would seek out a sport psychologist who specializes in motivation. Maybe he or she can get to the bottom it.

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