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Mental Toughness: The Mike Burton Story

By SwimSwam, 05/16/19, 12:00PM CDT


When Mike Burton looked at himself in the mirror, he did not see a 5 foot 9 inch swimmer with small hands and feet. He saw a giant. He saw a champion.

At The Race Club we try to help swimmers become mentally tougher. Mental toughness is necessary to become a swimming champion, as it is in any sport. Some are born with it. Others must learn how to get it.

At University of Texas, Eddie Reese used to rank all of his swimmers on mental toughness from 0-10. He called it the Killer Instinct scale. In order to grade his swimmers, he needed to see how they performed in the Championship meets and particularly during their freshman year.  After all, those are the meets that count. Whatever level you may have been born with on the Killer Instinct scale, we do believe you can improve your ranking on that scale. At The Race Club we teach a five step process to improve your mental toughness; goal setting, visualization, confidence building, focus, and anchoring.