Knowledge Suppresses Fear
Preparing to be a Rescue Swimmer, PJ or SEAL are vastly different and require different approaches to training, but they do share some commonalities. The first being the need to have a high level of water confidence and the second being they both have a high attrition rate and finally they all have some level of mystery that surrounds the training and what goes on in each program that tends to elicit students deepest fears. This is the reason you follow pages like RSM. You’re looking for ways to gain an edge and eliminate some of those fears by training and sometimes overtraining with the hopes that it will ease your mind. That's a good thing! At the RSM we believe that’s exactly what you should be doing. That’s why I wrote my book in 2017 and the reason I continue to supply my knowledge daily via our podcast, IG posts and this blog. Of course, each of these schools will always have some level of mystery, there are some things about rescue swimmer school that I won’t share and of course I can’t speak for the other military training programs I haven’t been through.
When I went through swimmer school, I realized I could have a lot of emotions in a day ranging from fear to exuberance and every type of emotion in between. Fear is the one emotion that needs to be mitigated while training. Fear is an unproductive emotion that limits your capabilities compared to other emotions like nervousness that tend to enhance your capabilities. Fear hinders your ability to stay calm underwater when taking control of your survivor. It lowers your ability to think through the dynamic scenarios you will be tested on in your training. The most effective method for eliminating fear is increasing one’s knowledge.
As you learn more about training, increasing your fitness and the tests you will be required to complete in your training. Your level of fear surrounding your training will decrease and you’ll be able to replace that emotion with nervousness. While both nervousness and fear are negative emotions, nervousness, as stated earlier comes with the added benefit of increasing performance. Studies show that when our brain feels nervous or anxious there is more activation in the brains performance system. Thus, the negative emotion of nervousness allows us to perform at our optimal level. You should feel nervous about how you will perform when your tested at your physical limit, but you should never be fearful.