Mental Prep for Swim Racing

Prepare for race day with a proven sport psychology training routine

Our mindfulness centered training guide for swim racing was developed by internationally known sport and clinical psychologist Dr. John Heil to help you get in the zone and improve your performance.

What’s included…

A two part training program to help you gain a competitive edge


Multimedia training routine

The core of the program is a 20 minute long mindfulness based exercise that guides you through the steps to get in the zone, both on in training and when you need it most: on race day.

It can be used as a video enhanced meditation or audio.



Guide book

Delve deeper into the concepts and psychological theory behind the training guide using the theory guidebook. 

In the tutorial section, you’ll receive helpful background and theory. In the script section,   you’ll learn to customize your mental training routine to suite your needs.



Learn how to get in the Zone

A technique used by Olympians focusing on control, concentration, self talk, and imagery

The “Zone” theory is the guiding principle behind Mental Prep for Swim Racing. It’s based on a routine that prepares you for meets by anticipating challenges, developing an action plan and rehearsing the plan so that it’s ready for you whenever you need it. 

Concentration & self talk

Overcome distractions, self-doubt, and fatigue that undermine your performance.

Imagery & visualization

Prepare yourself in advance for the critical moments that precede the start of your events.

Intensity control

Regulate the intensity of your breathing and focus both pre-race and in the water.

About Dr. John Heil

Internationally known sports and clinical psychologist

Dr. Heil’s focus on mind and body in action began at Devon Prep as a high school distance runner, where he was coached in the Zen tradition. It continued at Lehigh University where he pursued a degree in psychology, continued competing as a distance runner and developed an interest in Asian Mind-Body systems. A series of running injuries requiring extensive rehabilitation introduced him to the psychology of sport injury. While working on a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at St. Louis University, he began training in fencing, sparked by an interest in Modern Pentathlon. He continued to explore various mind-body systems and meditation in and out of the classroom, applying these to sport training. Back at Lehigh University, he completed a doctorate in Sport and Health Psychology, began coaching fencing and distance running, and started training in stage combat.
While on the psychology faculty of Roanoke College, he began a sport psychology practice and taught meditation in the classroom, while continuing to coach fencing, running and stage combat. Subsequently, he completed Post-Doctoral training in Behavioral Medicine and Pain Management at the University of Utah Medical School, while continuing a sport psychology practice.
Currently, he is a partner in Psychological Health Roanoke where I have he combines clinical and sport performance psychology practice, while doing extensive research and writing in the psychology of sport injury.

See what’s inside…

Watch a sample from the Mental Prep for Swim Racing Training Guide.

“Perfectly structured for in-season preparation and race day visualization…”

Starts out by addressing the simplest elements of life and athletic performance, “breathing”. Often overlooked by many athletes yet essential to master during practice and on race day, breathing is where it all begins and ends, particularly in the big events.
After the breathing section of the DVD, specific “in-pool” visualization techniques are given in an almost hypnotic manner, which is a well-proven retention enhancement technique.
Immediately after starting the DVD, I recalled my son’s most recent race in which he had uncharacteristically “gassed” himself in the first half of a race only to be agonizingly tracked down and passed by two other racers. Watching and listening to this DVD can only help the swimmer in that type of scenario.
When routinely watched in a quiet setting and before every big race, this “psychological tool” will improve the swimmer’s entire racing experience and ultimately result in faster times.”

Bob Burchfield


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Swim Sport Psychology