Freediving is a unique sport and has very few similarities with other sports. Most of the top level freedivers train intensively for months on end, year after year, and hours upon hours per day in the pool, at the gym and depth, sacrificing social activities for yoga and sleep.
How do these freedivers maintain such high motivation?
Well all freedivers, even the most skilled and successful freedivers, have times with they feel a bit unmotivated. But the best freedivers know how to overcome this and stay motivated in order to keep the momentum going and keep improving as a freediver. This podcast provides some tips on how to motivate yourself to become a better freediver.
This episode is part three in the podcast series, Inside the Mind of the World’s Top Freedivers, about mental techniques for freediving.
Interview With World Class Freediver Sara Campbell Success And Failure
Specific Training for Freediving by Umberto Pelizzari
Rest and Recovery | Freedivings Most Under Rated Training Principle
Davide Carrera – Making Love to the Sea
Alexey Molchanov – Interview 2019 – Recovery, Success and the Best Training for Freediving
The Deepest Dive. How Far Down Can a Freediver Go?
Alessia Zecchini – Interview – World’s Deepest Woman about Motivation, Home and her own Success
Born To | Freediving | Episode 1
Interview With Freediving World Record Holder Matt Malina
An Interview with Herbert Nitsch, The Deepest Man on Earth
Apnea: las increíbles fotos de la colombiana Sofía Gómez Uribe desde el fondo del mar
You can join the open source information network for this podcast at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/reneeblundonpodcast
To subscribe to my Friday 5 newsletter visit: https://www.reneeblundon.com/friday-5/
My contact information:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reneeblundon.official
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/reneeblundonpodcast
Please enjoy this transcript of this podcast episode.
Hello and welcome to episode five of The Freediving Podcast, your source for information about training for freediving, not only so you can freedive better, but so you can live the most healthy and EPIC life possible!
I am your host, Renee Blundon, I’m a competitive freediver and a freediver instructor trainer living in Dahab, Egypt. – And this podcast represents the efforts of my own personal research and my trial and error from my freediving training, as well as the combined efforts of a public open source information network which I invite you to join on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/powerofthebreath, all are welcome!
Feel free to check-out the podcast page at https://www.reneeblundon.com/podcast. There you can also sign up for my new Friday 5 newsletter, which is my round-up of 5 facts, fun and f’ups of the week. I try to include information that’s interesting and inspiring and freediving related, so I think you will like it.
And any questions and information can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all for listening!
So I’m going to start today’s episode with a quote by Sara Campbell, who was the first woman to dive to -104 meters constant weight in training – so it was unofficial until Alessia set the record officially
Sara said in an interview on Freedive Earth.com
“It’s important for people to understand that the top freedivers are just human beings who learned how to learn. Nothing more, nothing less. They found their way through mental stresses, and somehow understood how to address their fears, and turn their failures into lessons, and ultimately successes.”
And so today – I’m going to continue on this topic of ‘mental training for freediving’. More specifically, I’ll cover several different factors that can affect your motivation to train in freediving.
And at the end this podcast, I’ll answer the question, What Motivates Me to Freedive just if you’re interested to know!
So first, just to recap a bit… In the last episode, I spoke about motivation for freediving just in general – what is motivation, where does it come from and why is motivation so important in freediving.
And the reason it’s SO important is because motivation will directly impact the level of success that YOU ultimately achieve in freediving! If you’re motivated, then you’ll put in the time and the effort necessary to train and to improve, AND THEN you’ll maintain your efforts for as long as it takes, to achieve your goals!
So if you’re someone who’s NOT very motivated, then you’re not going to have that drive in you, that focus, and that like strong desire to keep training, day in and day out, month after month – and even year after year!
Someone who’s unmotivated, typically won’t be able to give 100% effort during their training. For example, he/she might shorten their trainings – you know, do a couple of dives and then call it a day, maybe they’ll turn early a lot on the dives or maybe they don’t even show up at all that day and just skip training all together!
So a person lacking in motivation probably will never really discover their true potential as a freediver.
And so that’s why, I spoke about goal setting in the last episode, because that’s really one of the best ways to get motivated as a freediving athlete.
With clear goals and sub-goals, you’ll know where exactly you want to go – and so then you can figure out what you can do right here and now that can get you closer to those goals.
So if you haven’t listened to episode 4, definitely check it out!
But for now… I’ll continue where I left off, because I’d like to cover some of the other factors that can also help your motivation for training in freediving!
And keep in mind, if you’re someone who’s already pretty motivated, then these things can help keep your motivation strong – especially when things get really difficult, or if you have any set-backs – this way you can always keep moving forward and keep progressing in your freediving training!
So the first factor for motivation, which I think is one of the most important, is LOVING the grind!
And if you can’t LOVE the grind, at least ACCEPTING the grind!
So in freediving training and also during competitions or record attempts, whatever it is that you’re doing – you sometimes arrive at a point which is no longer all that fun. It’s challenging, it’s stressful, and just plain difficult!
And this point is called ‘the Grind’…
So the other day for example, I was doing a freediving session with the goal to increase my dive time. And so for that training I’ll do like four to five -30 meter dives as slowly as possible, trying to get basically the longest dive time as I can, each dive becoming longer and longer. It’s kind of like a static apnea, but it’s a dive.
Anyway, this training is super challenging, and so sometimes when I’m heading down on some these dive, almost every cell in my body is telling me, ‘this is gonna suck, come on, turn – go back up’. But I don’t obviously. I just try to relax even more and try to stay in the moment, and just give it my all.
So, the Grind is that point when the training gets super hard, and tedious and tiring, and you just want to stop and give up… BUT YOU DON’T!
Because, this is ALSO the point when it really counts!!
It’s the grind which is what separates the successful freediving athletes from the freedivers who don’t achieve their goals or who don’t progress much in their training.
A lot of freedivers when they reach this point, they either ease up or they give up because it’s just way too difficult and uncomfortable.
But truly motivated freediving athletes, they reach the Grind, and then they keep going!
Tanya Streeter for example who still holds the women’s world record in No-Limits. She said in an interview on Interviews with Interesting People.com
“‘Do you enjoy it’, is a tough question. There are moments on shallower dives, or easier dives, even just now thinking of the sound climbing down a rope makes me happy, makes me excited, but the reality of it is that when you start pushing to or beyond your personal limits, let alone what are human limits may be, it’s hard. Typically in the moment we don’t really enjoy the really really hard things, you know? It’s hard. And then afterwards you say, “Ah, I enjoyed that”, whether… you know, for me, because I knew that little bit more about myself.”
In some like major freediving competitions, you can watch the Dive-eye footage of these incredible deep freedives, which make it seem like the life of an elite freediver seems to be this nonstop adventure – full of deep diving, traveling the world, just competing, freediving. And to some extent, it is quite an adventure!
But what you don’t see on Dive-Eye is all the years of grueling training sessions and the thousands of hours of pool training, depth training, static apnea and dry training, also all of the various mental and physical preparations that freedivers do to prepare for these deep dives.
So for example, Alexey Molchanov, when he was interviewed in the book, Specific Training for Freediving said:
“I have a specific and long-term training program. I focus on a well-defined goal, with very clear macro-cycles, although I tend to adapt them to how I feel and my intermediate goals.”
And then he says, “I especially train by swimming, but I also do a bit of running and workout at the gym. I have a trainer who sets up a workout table that complements this for the upcoming goals. My physical training is spread over a period of about 3 months, with a lot of cardio and strength endurance work.
When I am not close to the time for setting a record, I work a lot with hypercapnic and hypoxic tables in dynamics in the swimming pool. During this period, another typical workout consists of long distances: swimming or dynamic with monofin for 400-500 meters, minimizing recovery times.
Close to the time of the record, I finalize the workouts…I still do a few hypercapnic and hypoxic series, interspersed with max dives. In these max dives, I am able to get to 75% and to 95% of the goal that I will attempt for.”
So that’s Alexey, if we look at Goran Colak for another example, he was interviewed in the same book, and describes his training program as:
“Broadly speaking, I start approximately 9-10 months before my goal for that season. The first phase, of about 3-4 months, is mainly made up of physical preparation. I train by swimming, running and lifting weights.
Then it follows a period of about 4 months of freediving workouts in the water, which I define as general specific training. In this part I train all disciplines; static, dynamic with and without fins.
To conclude, I focus on a stage of very specific definition workouts before attempting the record. This part takes a little less than 2 months. The workout becomes much more specific and related to the discipline in which I will compete. The volume of workout decreases and the performance load increases comparing to the previous phase. I have to get closer to my maximum, the goal needed to win the competition.”
Pretty much every single freediving champion does some sort of planned 6-12 month, somewhat intensive training program before they attempt a record or win at a major competition.
And so with training programs like those, some of the most successful freediving athletes aren’t necessarily the people who have this monster breath-hold, or a super strong dive response, or the most amazing technique… but they’re simply the freedivers who are the best at staying motivated and who enjoy the grind!
So keeping the motivation strong throughout the months of training, and especially in that last phase of the program, when the dives are more max attempts or PB dives
The overall stress level in this moment is a lot higher and so this can be extremely taxing,
And so this is when a lot of freedivers – before they physically give out, they give out mentally.
Harry Chamas wrote a bit about this on his blog at freedivepassion.com:
“Living in Dahab I see people come to train for anywhere between 1 week and 1 year. I like to keep an eye on everyone; there is always something to learn. What I see is almost everyone over training to the point of burn out. Usually the result is performance dropping off and total loss of motivation.”
“Each decision you make needs to run through the filter – “will this affect my dive”. The dive is always lurking around in your consciousness and with it a level of stress. After a certain period of this residual stress you become worn out by it and loose motivation.”
What I’ve noticed is that top level freedivers, keep their motivation strong by finding and discovering things that they love about the grind of training, they’re not just freediving for the records or for the competitions.
For example, Davide Carrera, on The Freediving Cafe Podcast said:
“I like to spend time in the water, so I feel sometimes, the more I stay in the water the more I’m connected to the ocean, the easier it is, the more I flow and the less I fight, and it starts to kind of flow, I don’t know if you know about the flow state)
Yeah, when you let it go and you just feel an energy coming into your body and moving you freely and you feel strong, but you know, it’s not only your strength, let’s say…. the Force of Star Wars.
Alexey Molchanov said in an interview on Freedive Your Life:
“Competing, I’m very happy when I’m competing and training, I think I’m just hooked on the process and I like the process because I was doing it since I was a kid, and I like the process of training, just to really seeing improvement, really seeing clear links with the workouts I do, different types of dives and repetitions and how they make or resolved, which converts to deep dives, it’s pretty cool”
So the most successful freedivers enjoy the process and the training just as much as they enjoy the competition. They love that idea of pushing their limits and self discovery, and being challenged emotionally and physically!
Do you Really Need to Love the Grind?
So many sports psychologists will say that you have to love the grind, but that can be a bit difficult sometimes, because except for a some of the top level and super highly motivated freediving athletes, love just isn’t in the cards, because the training can be so difficult and challenging, that there’s not always that much to love!
But how you respond to the grind lies along this spectrum with ‘Loving the grind’ on one end of the spectrum and ‘hating the grind on the other end’ of the spectrum.
If you are on the end of the spectrum where you hate the grind of the freediving training, then you’re probably not going to stay very motivated to train.
Eventually, you’ll just stop, because you can only stick to doing something that you hate doing for so long!
I’d suggest that you try not to hate the grind or love the grind, but that you just try and accept it as part of the deal in striving towards your goals in freediving.
The grind in freediving may not always be enjoyable, but what does feel good is seeing your hard work pay off, and achieving your goals in the long-run.
So along with loving or accepting the grind, another factor for motivation in freediving is being positive and optimistic! And this goes for really all sports, obviously, not just freediving
In an article on TheAtlantic.com titled “How Olympians Stay Motivated” (and I’ll put a link to this in the show notes) it’s written that:
“In studies of Olympic athletes, it shows that having a sunny outlook helps their performance. It also helps athletes bounce back from defeat. Meanwhile, negative moods tend to hurt their performance.
Another study showed that the MOST common definition of ‘mental toughness’ that the athletes chose was “having an unshakeable belief in your ability to achieve competition goals” A lot of the Olympic athletes also believed they possessed “unique qualities and abilities” that made them better than their rivals.
Teri McKeever, the head swimming coach at UC Berkeley who’s also trained Olympic swimmers says in the article
“Everyone’s gonna fail or get beat or get injured or whatever, but successful athletes figure out how to re-frame it so that it can be a positive thing instead of a negative thing. Failure and setbacks and struggles are all where the good stuff happens, if you can take that approach” Said Mckeever
One of the most positive freedivers I know, and who has the strongest mind I think of anyone I know is Sara Campbell:
She said in an interview with New Yorker Magazine:
“You have to be able to trust yourself—It’s O.K., I’ve done a dive almost like this before, four meters different, I’ll be able to get back. It feels like a long way up, but it’s always going to. I don’t look up until I sense that I’m ten or 15 meters from the surface. While I’m rising, I’m concentrating on kicking, and I’m thinking how strong I am, I’m done, I have enough oxygen. Often, there is the thought—and I’m lucky if I can have this thought—I’m the best in the world.”
Another example of someone I know, who’s always super happy and positive is Miguel Lozano. He was asked in an interview on Freedive Earth.com “Do you want to dive deep? Do you want to put that time in?” and he replied:
“Yes yes! I don’t have a real planning to organize this, but I want to learn what I did wrong, to do it better, to have time to get stronger, to get deeper in a safer way. To train the parts that I don’t usually train. This could make the difference. I’m going to do it, I think, progressively. I won’t put any pressure on [myself] to do it. If I reach it, I do it and that’s my main focus: I go deep because I like it but I’m not going to go crazy if I don’t reach it again. I don’t need to do world records to be happy.”
And then Alessia Zecchini – another person who’s always super happy and super positive, when doing an interview with Freedive Your Life she was aked ‘What is success for you?’ and Alessia said:
Something that you are happy. Because it doesn’t depend on the competition, first, second or third place, or something, but something that you understand that you do the best that you can, so you are happy to do it”
So if you’re an optimistic person and generally run high on positive emotions and self belief that you can do it, the motivation to freedive will just follow!
Also being positive during the dive itself can be really important, and can really make it or break it, another thing Sara Campbell said was
“You commit to a dive or you don’t. If any part of my mind has an awareness that I can turn, I probably will turn. For me the process of a dive starts a week before the dive. If you start training yourself to think, I’ll announce a hundred, but maybe I’ll turn eighty, well, it only takes a split second to grab the line for a negative thought and that’s your dive”
In the video, Born to Freediving, Stig Pryds, who’s another quite successful freediver, said:
“The reason why I’m not scared, maybe it’s because I’m getting rid of everything, every bad thought, I actually don’t think about a lot of things when I’m down there. It’s my girlfriend, its my kids, it’s the dogs, it’s sunrise, something like that and it cannot scare you. Now I’m getting more out of life and showing my kids that you can do a lot of things if you set your mind up to it”
Now those are all examples of positive people, well, what happens if someone has a negative attitude about freediving or just general.
Well this factor alone – just because you have a negative attitude, can actually more easily lead to over-training and burnout!
Although in freediving there aren’t many studies about this, we can reference some studies in other sports!
For example a study of college-age swimmers, showed that the biggest factor in predicting burnout, was “the athlete’s own devaluation of the sport, basically caring about the sport less or attributing negative qualities to it”
So if you’re negative, this can affect you going into burn-out mode even more so than any kind of physical exhaustion or setback.
And then once you’re over-trained, it can take weeks, sometimes months to start training again. You’re just absolutely and totally shot mentally!
Plus nobody wants to dive with someone who has a negative attitude, or who brings their own problems into training sessions and dampens everyone else’s mood!
Now another thing you can do if you want to improve your motivation for freediving is to pick a competition!
This is a bit rare, but there are some freediving athletes that don’t enjoy training – they just kind-of see it as a means to participate in a competition or to achieve a record.
This is why when freedivers and athletes in general, retire or stop competing, they often stop training in their sport altogether
Basically they don’t train just for the fun of it, unless there’s a competition or a record or something worth training for. This is because by nature we are all competitive animals.
All you need to do is look at evolution, and how humans have needed to fight, and compete, for their own survival.
So freediving competitions and records are what allows freedivers to excel at what, by nature, we are intended to do – to compete against others!
Not only do we have an in-born desire to compete, we also have a burning desire to win at things. A lot of us are largely motivated by wanting to be the best; not just another freediver, but the guy or girl on the podium getting a metal, or the guy or girl that rose to the top.
So freedivers can really become motivated to train by signing up for a freediving competition, even if you’ve never done one before, well especially if you haven’t done one before(!) So that you can explore how you can be the best that you can be…
So freedivers in general differ enormously in what makes them happy. Every person has particular things about freediving which makes them happy, and some things are more important to them than other things.
For some it’s competition, records and winning that are the greatest sources of happiness, and for others what makes them happy is feeling competent, socializing or something else maybe be more satisfying.
According to a 1993 study of top performers in the Psychological Review:
“Competitions provide short-term goals for specific improvements. At this point the motivation to practice becomes so closely connected to the goal of becoming an expert performer and so integrated with the individual’s daily life that motivation to practice, per se, cannot be easily assessed”
So some athletes in general just love to perform and compete and to have the opportunity to be in the spotlight in front of an audience.
A lot of mornings, I’ve woken up feeling super tired and lazy, not really feeling like training, but then I remember the competition in two weeks and that puts fire under my butt because of course I want to dive as deep as I can for that!
The fact that there’s a competition ahead, helps to get through some of the tough times and the grind, and help remind you why you’re working so hard, especially when you’re not feeling that motivated – but then you look ahead and imagine what the end result could be, oh maybe I can dive to x meters in the comp, heck maybe I could win something, or do a PB, or set a record, whatever.
Just by imagining what you want to accomplish, and then telling yourself that the only way you’ll be able to do well in the competition, is that you keep training and keep work hard.
You can even try to imagine the feelings of success and inspiration that you’ll experience after doing the competition. This can also help distract you from the discomfort of the grind, and it help you focus on what you want to achieve, so you’ll be generating positive thoughts and emotions that will get you through the grind.
That’s where our minds can be pretty AMAZING and powerful!
So! So far we spoke about Loving or Accepting the Grind, being positive and Signing up for a competition!
Next I’m going to talk about using Self Talk, and Rational Thinking which can also help your motivation for freediving
So let’s say it’s the night before or even the morning of, your max attempt dive, so you’re planning to do a new PB and the nerves are starting to get the best of you.
Self talk and rational thinking is where you basically logically examine all of the potential stressors, and you determine what can be controlled and what can’t, and then you talk yourself through the problems rationally.
So you can do this just in your mind, or if you want you write it on a piece of paper!
Basically you want to make a list of all the potential stressors and thoughts about your dive, and then go through one by one, keeping what you think is a good comment, disregard what you think that is not a good comment.
Like for example, a common concern is “What if I can’t equalize, what if my mouthfill doesn’t work” Well this is something you can try and do something about and see if you can sort it out before your dive just doing some dry training or working with a coach.
But if it’s something like; “I’m not good enough to do this dive” – likely this is something completely untrue so you can disregard.
William Trubridge wrote about his self-talk and rational thinking on his blog at williamtrubridge.com:
“In freediving the nemesis is more a fear of failure, or performance anxiety. When I felt the fluttering sensation that heralds this anxiety I didn’t shy away from it, but rather looked for a concrete source in the present moment, and when I couldn’t find one it was further confirmation that nerves aren’t real. Gradually, rather than being at the mercy of these nerves, I was able to keep them in control and brush them aside with a cursory thought: “nerves aren’t real.”
So you see he sort of rationalized it in his mind, and even wrote it out at some point, and then he disregarded the thought.
Also Matt Malina uses self talk, he said on Dip n Dive.com ” I don’t have any specific mantra, I deal with the thoughts that are coming, and there are many thoughts and fears. There is this technique of positive self-talk, so I just use that before and during the dive.”
He doesn’t go into much more detail than that but still it gives you an idea. You can also displace the weight of the competition by convincing yourself that it’s just for fun (like it’s just a game!)
Alexey Molchanov said in his interview
“I had so many competitions already, I can deal with this stress and pressure in the way that I don’t really like care about it, it’s a part of my lifestyle and they say that maybe in another words, I really like diving so in general, I really like everything associated with diving, so this is like competition, the atmosphere, all the people around, some people are nervous, and I just like this general atmosphere. So I enjoy, it’s like a If you lose there nothing bad happens. If you don’t do your dive it doesn’t really change anything.”
So another factor for freediving motivation is being able to stay in the moment!
Especially if you’re someone that battles with performance anxiety before your target dives.
In the article on The Atlantic.com it talks about the requirements to become a Navy SEAL, how each person has to swim for 50 meters underwater without taking a breath
“One trainer realized that the SEAL-aspirants who are most likely to have trouble with this task are the ones who get intimidated and overwhelmed by it before they even try!
So he began telling them to focus on executing each stroke individually instead of the entire, 50 meter stretch
This re-calibrates the brain to pay attention to the body’s moment by moment change. And so a lot of the guys did much better than if they were beforehand saying ‘Oh my god, I have to dive 50 meters’
“If a particularly arduous training session were to seem overwhelming to an athlete, the brain’s motivation centers might falter and the person would feel like they just couldn’t go on” Said Martin Paulus, a psychiatry professor at the University of CA.
New research from the OptiBrain Center suggests that the grape-sized section of the brain called the insular cortex is especially fine-tuned in top athletes and this helps them to anticipate upcoming pressures and adapt to them quickly.
The insula can generate strikingly accurate predictions of how the body will feel in the next moment. That model of the body’s future condition instructs other brain areas to initiate actions that are more tailored to coming demands than those of unsuccessful athletes or couch potatoes” Sandra Upson wrote in an article in Scientific American.
And people with greater insular activity were also able to guess their heart rates more accurately and had faster reaction times.
Paulus said he didn’t know whether athletes became gold medalists because they have stronger insular cortices or visa-versa, but he did say the insular cortice, like the athlete, got better with practice
So just staying in the moment can help your motivation, not just in the short-term but also in the long-term! Because there are physiological changes in the brain just from this.
Also if you’re ‘in the moment’ it can help with anxiety and feeling overwhelmed before and during your dive
An example of this is David Mullins’ Interview on Ocean Hunter, when he was asked what thoughts run through your head when you’re on a constant weight dive to 100 meters
Before the dive and through the first 30m of the dive there are always doubts. Seeing a line stretching 110m into the depths is a daunting sight and when you’re full of adrenaline with your heart beating fast it seems unthinkable that you could get down there and back on one breath. At that point you need to let yourself be irrational, to let go of the doubt and dive regardless. After all, you made the decision to set the line at that depth the previous day and this is no time to re-think it. I find that sense of recklessness is what lets me relax.
Beyond the mental battle, the main focus is on timing the countdown and maintaining my technique. Balancing relaxation with technique is not easy, especially in the first few metres for which you need controlled power. Past about 50m I’m committed and all my focus is on equalising; letting my chest relax under the pressure and keeping a controlled rhythm.
So on the surface and on the descent his focus is fully in the moment, technique relaxation, equalizing, these are all things in the moment. Then here’s what he says on the way up!
So on the surface and during the descent of his dive his focus is fully in the moment, technique relaxation, equalizing, these are all things where he is fully in the moment.
Another thing that helps motivation is to have a good coach!!
It can be difficult for some freedivers to stay motivated just on their own – to train consistently, and to stay on the straight and narrow! For sure there’s going to be days that you just won’t feel like training, so having a coach can make a massive difference!
Because no matter how hard you push yourself, you’ll always work much harder and be a lot more motivated if you have someone there holding you accountable — and also to give you feedback and direction.
Some say that the coach can matter almost as much as the athlete!
Also the type of coach you have, can make a big difference.
In the article on The Atlantic, it talks about a study that was done in 2000, which showed Division I athletes being more motivated when coaches weren’t too easy-going OR too strict. “The coaches that had a more democratic style of instruction rather than coaches with a more autocratic style, who shouted orders with no explanation.
“It helps if the coach provides rational for each point of feedback. And then this creates an internalization process which helps athletes follow well-reasoned feedback. It enables athletes to connect the feedback to themselves, their training and their goals”
If you can’t find a coach, or can’t afford a coach, just having a regular training buddy can help!
Because the chances are, that one of you will be motivated on any given day, so even if you’re not very psyched to train one day, you still show up because you know your buddy is counting on you.
The best training buddy is someone you can train with regularly, and ideally someone that’s around the same level of ability and with slightly similar goals. This way you can both sort of work together towards accomplishing one-another’s goals.
Another way to become more motivated for freediving, is just being curious…
focusing on your OWN self-discovery and curiosity…
For example Herbert Niche said in an interview:
“The only drive I ever had in going deeper and deeper was to explore the boundaries of my own limit. I enjoy nothing more than to explore how far and how deep I can go. In this pursuit, I discovered how human physiology and psychology work in union and learned how to interpret and influence them.
And then Matt Malina said “I was curious about my body, what can I achieve, so I was gradually improving, but the championship was never an ultimate goal for me. I started from the very beginning and I wanted to improve, to see where it goes. That’s why I still do it. It gives me motivation and a sense of purpose in my life.”
Also Sophia Gomez, in an interview with BBC Deportes, said that the most beautiful thing about the sport is that:
“You explore things that very few people can. It’s a sense of great peace and tranquility, feeling the water pass through your body. When you go down you do it alone. It’s just you and your capabilities. (Wo)man is always looking to do things that are unconventional, that not everyone can do. That is what I like most about the sport, that I’m always breaking my own limits”
And lastly, one very easy and simple way to stay motivated is with motivational cues such as inspirational phases, photos and videos. Because these can help generate positive emotions associated with your efforts and with achieving your freediving goals.
So what you can do, is if you come across a quote or a picture that moves you, you place it where you can see it regularly like in your bedroom or on the refrigerator door and look at it periodically and allow yourself to experience the emotions it creates in you.
These reminders and the emotions associated with them can help inspire and motivate you to continue to work hard toward your goals.
I remember when I went I went to Stephane Tourreau’s apartment in France, he had a small apartment that just was awesomely decorated with freediving pictures and paraphernalia just everywhere, he had a French flag, a calendar with all of his competitions and training marked on it, it was a very motivating space! I’ll have to ask him for a picture
Also watching videos of freediving competitions, or even of dolphins and whales, I find can be pretty inspiring too!
And now that we’re at the end, I’ll answer the question:
What Motivates Me to Freedive?
I’m motivated to freedive competitively by so many things, but the main reason being that I want to succeed at what I do. I want to be the best that I can be at freediving especially free-immersion.
Just the thought of being able to go to a World Championship event or one day maybe achieving a record really lights me up. Also something that’s always motivated me more than I think anything else is participating in a freediving competition. It totally fuels me during my training and gives me that added incentive to really focus and train to be my best.
I can be pretty motivated by just the power of my own mind, when I’m progressing in my depth training, I get this burst of self confidence, the sort of drive I get from it, makes me feel invisible in the depths. I really believe that at least half of anyone’s motivation is just a result of how they think.
I also use visualization to help me prepare for my deep dives. Usually the last thing I do before suiting up, is I’ll sit down or lay down for 10-15 minutes, and close my eyes and start visualizing the dive in my mind. I’ll see myself relaxing and breathing-up on the surface, starting the dive and pulling down, doing my mouthfill, free-falling deeper and deeper, taking the tag, pulling up and basically planning out the whole dive so that it finishes exactly the way that I want it to.
I also make sure that I eat right and try and think positive. I really think that positive thinking, is one of the most powerful tools a freediver can use to have confidence for the dive, and fueling my body with the right nutrition I think is vital if you want to get like the absolute most out of yourself.
I find when I’m thinking positively and healthy and also when I do my stretching the evening before my dive, I’m just top of my game and diving deep.
So from the will to succeed to the love of freediving and the competing, I find that motivation is the result of a combination of factors and can be largely individual.
So that concludes this episode of the podcast. In the next episode, I’ll be talking about Confidence for Freediving – and the different ways to build-up confidence for your dives.
So definitely be on the look-out, I hope to get that episode up within the next two weeks.
Feel free to follow me on Instagram if you’d like, just by searching for reneeblundon.
And if you haven’t joined the Facebook group, I’d highly recommend it, so that we can keep the conversation going during the week. You can find it by going to https://www.facebook.com/groups/powerofthebreath
And something else I’m working on at the moment is a motivational / inspiring dive visualization mp3, that will be free to download for my Friday 5 Newsletter subscribers, so if you haven’t signed up yet, be sure to do on the website at www.reneeblundon.com
Dive safe and thank you all for listening!
Leave A Reply