Swimmers who make a mistake in public are no longer in the moment and are usually not ready to make the next move. We can help by giving them a tool called the Mistake Ritual.

A mistake ritual is a gesture that individuals use to ward off the fear of making mistakes so they don’t perform timidly. A mistake ritual allows your swimmers to quickly “reset” and get ready for the next race.



A mistake ritual is one of the most powerful tools a Double-Goal Coach has because mistakes are what your swimmers will worry about most. Reduce fear of making mistakes and more energy will be available to learn and excel.

Here are some helpful mistake rituals.



  • Flushing is a great Mistake Ritual for your swimmers and you.
  • When a swimmer makes a mistake, the others make the motion of flushing a toilet.
  • A mistake is something we don’t want to hold onto, so we flush it, and it’s gone!



No Sweat – Shake It Off:

Replace negative actions like eye rolling or looking at the ground with No Sweat (wiping your hand across your forehead) and Shake it Off (shaking your arm).

Download “Flush & Park Mistakes with a Mistake Ritual” in the course materials.

Creating a Mastery climate allows all swimmers to feel and act like winners no matter the scoreboard outcome.

  • Whether we win or lose, we want our swimmers to feel and act like winners.
  • Creating a Mastery climate allows swimmers to perform to their fullest.