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Jay-Lee Nair

Focused Connection to Your Swimming Goals

The final stretch for the school year has begun and it’s the perfect time to knuckle-down in the final block of training before holidays start and then SNAG 2015 will be round the corner for Singaporean elite swimmers.  In this article I will present some useful tips for creating fearsome focus in the pool.

Working toward your long-term goal with determination involves learning the art of “fully-focusing” on your daily tasks, the uninterrupted connection between two things: You and your directed action toward reaching your goals.

When you are fully focused in your swimming training or homework assignments, you are totally connected to what you are doing; your task at hand.  In swimming terms, focusing means tuning in to your body, […]

True Competition in Action at Wimbledon

In between breaks of the World Cup, turning our attention to Centre Court at Wimbledon for the Men’s final match offered a refreshing display of “true” sportsmanship that dispersed the focus on Suarez’s biting incident and was a timely reminder that traditional values and spirit are very much alive and well in sport at the elite level.

Playing in his 59th consecutive Grand Slam, Federer was bidding to become the oldest major champion since Andre Agassi won the 2006 U.S. Open at age 35, take the Wimbledon crown a record 8 times, and silence the critics who have suggested that his slam-winning days are behind him.

For Djokovic, who has lost his last three gram-slam finals and five of […]

Train Smarter: Tips from coaches around South East Asia to enhance your mental muscle in swimming training

For the age-group swimmer who has to balance study, swimming, and make improvements in the pool, it is essential that you know how to train hard, but more importantly, how to train smart.

In a recent post by, Ryan Lochte describes his commitment to training smarter in this Olympic quad., “I’m not just doing a bunch of garbage, I have to actually think when I’m training, and everything I do has a purpose.”

If you are a swimmer who has the desire to compete at SEA Games in the near future or beyond, then you have to learn how to make the most of your time each day in the pool.

In this article I will share the perspective of swimming […]

Improving Your Training Habits: Reviving your motivation to be the best you can be

For the majority of swimmers and coaches in Singapore, the second quarter in the year represents a change in pace and training focus.  After a hectic first quarter of back-to-back meets and major events you may be feeling worn-out and needing time to reflect.

A small percentage of Singapore club swimmers have the SEA AGE Swimming Championships to look forward to, as well as the SEA Champs, and the Youth Olympic Games.  However, the majority of club swimmers will not have another chance to compete until next year and you may be one of the athletes who make up this group.

Throughout this month, my chats with coaches and athletes have revealed some common themes:

A drop in motivation and […]

Managing Pressure at Major Meets

Competition time can be stressful for all swimmers no matter your age or skill level. Recall a typical morning on deck at a major meet and how you generally feel:

Following your warm-up nervousness may start to set-in, and you feel your breathing getting faster and a heaviness in your chest.  You have been making some good times in training and you want to do well in this meet.  You look around to see many of your opponents acting quite confident and relaxed, while others look dazed and unsure.  When you sit in the marshaling area the swimmers next to you talk about their best times for the event and you begin to feel intimidated.

This scenario is very familiar in […]

Proactive Parents! How sport psychology can help you to help your child perform and enjoy their sport

At the beginning of this month I had the pleasure of being involved in the Inaugural Fencing workshop series “My Olympic Journey” endorsed by Fencing Singapore.  It was a spirited gathering of Singapore’s Fencing community that offered parents and youth fencers the opportunity to learn valuable lessons from Olympic champion Brice Guyart from France and elite coaches Fencer’s in Singapore.  Throughout the day I had the opportunity to talk with many parents about psychological skills training and how a Mental Notes Consultant uniquely works to support youth athletes in their athletic journey.

In this article, I’d like to share with you my response to some pertinent questions I received from parents during the event and a few pointers about how […]

Shifting Focus to Build Confidence and Reduce Anxiety: Firing up for the Singapore National Age Group Championships (SNAG) 2014

In your final moments of preparation for the most anticipated annual event for age group swimmers in Singapore you are most likely starting to experience some stress and nervousness along with thoughts running through your head about how you will perform.  You say certain things to yourself or believe certain thing about what might happen and how that will make you feel.  Whatever you are thinking right now, stop for a moment and recognize that you have a choice in how you want to think and feel about SNAG.  Your thoughts can either make you feel scared or make you feel excited to race, make you feel confident or shatter your confidence.

Don’t wait until stress, worry, and anxiety arises […]

Focused Connection to Your Goals

Working toward your long-term goal with determination involves learning the art of “fully-focusing” on your daily tasks, the uninterrupted connection between two things: You and your directed action toward reaching your goals.

When you are focused in your training as an athlete, or in performing your daily assignments as a business professional, you are totally connected to what you are doing; your task at hand.  In the sporting world, focusing means tuning in to your body, concentrating on your coordination and technique with a simple cue or “trigger” such as “fix”, “anchor”, “connect” and “press”, whilst paying attention to your breathing, and rhythm of movement in the present moment.  In the corporate world, your focus must be adaptable, like the […]

Have you Fallen off the Wagon? Practical tips to get back on track and sustain your wellness plan

The area of psychology that I am most passionate about is wellness and the mental approach to optimising one’s physical health and fitness goals.  The mid-way mark in the year provides the perfect time point for all, from recreational to elite athletes, as well as corporate professionals to review their health and fitness goals and reflect on the lifestyle habits most individuals have seemingly involuntarily adopted as the year passes by.  It is typical to reflect on the goals you set at the beginning of the year and realise you have fallen off the wagon.  It is also common for many of us to surrender these goals to our hectic schedule and look forward to the following January when […]

Is Perfectionism Good, Bad, or Both?

Perfectionism has been placed under the researcher’s microscope in recent years to determine whether this complex personality trait has a positive or negative influence on performance and well-being.

Some of the most controversial examples of perfectionistic individuals can be found in the world of elite sport. When Tiger Woods won his first Major at Augusta he was the longest off the tee by more than 30 yards. He was hitting wedges and nine irons into the par fives, and that is when talk of Tiger proofing Augusta started. He won by a record 12 strokes and immediately began the task of transforming his swing. Move to the centre court at Wimbledon and you will see the cameras fixed on Rafael […]