Training the Mind in the Pool

How can one go about training their mind to endure past what is comfortable in the pool, while being safe at the same time?

I can run, ruck, and cal all day if needed, my past experience and training have given me that toolbox to reach into when things get rough.

The pool is another beast entirely.


Staff member
We're working on something a bit more substantial to bring to the community, but for some brief topics to look into, my recommendations are a combination of:

-Mindfullness training (ie yoga, meditation, box breathing)
--Check out On Combat at for a good book on relaxing while under stress/breathing techniques
-Distraction techniques (singing a song in your head, counting backwards)
-Dynamic and static Co2 and O2 breath hold tables

Is there an aspect of the pool you are struggling with the most?
BLUF: Buddy breathing

I have been struggling with under waters but maybe a combination of continuous pool work and being in the water more, I was able to do 5 back to back yesterday.

I can bob decently, and I can dolphin kick my way back and forth across the pool with hands and feet together.

I've been working on buddy breathing techniques and that is giving me issues. I am currently holding on to the side of the pool and simulating passing the snorkel back and forth. When I expel the water out, there always seems to be a bit in there still. Also, after expelling and getting a quick breath, I feel I have less air to push the water out with and the cycle repeats, getting worse until I pop.

So in short, buddy breathing is a challenge for me.
You will rarely get a perfectly clean breath once you have someone harassing you during buddy breathing so having a little water in the snorkel is something you will have to get used to. You're gonna swallow water during buddy breathing. But to limit it as much as possible try blowing out like you were shooting a dart out of a blow gun or spit ball out of a straw. Instead of blowing a big drawn-out breath of as much air as you can, a short, powerful blast of air will clear the snorkel more forcefully and use less air as well. You can also focus on being quicker with passing the snorkel. the faster you complete a clear/breath/pass cycle, the faster you will get another breath. If you can find someone to practice with it will be much more realistic and you will begin to appreciate how important it is for both people to work together. Your objective is to get your buddy a breath, and his objective is to get you a breath. You do that together and you're golden. From my experience the single thing that makes or breaks a buddy breathing session is the ability to stay calm and float. You want to avoid treading water and moving your legs as much as possible. Usually when someone starts freaking out the first thing they do is start kicking to keep themselves near the surface. That just burns more oxygen and makes it even harder. So get off the wall and just practice floating in the position you will be buddy breathing. You may have to play around with your position to find what works best for you depending on how well you naturally float. When I buddy breath I'm almost in the fetal position facing the bottom of the pool- knees tucked in toward my chest, back and shoulders hunched forward slightly. And relax your muscles. the only thing that should be tense is your grip on your buddy's arm and your grip on the snorkel. Eventually you will get dunked and thrashed around and you will find yourself at the bottom of the pool or flipped over, but if you know what your base floating position is and you can get back to it with minimal effort, you will save oxygen and it will give you a sense of control over the whole event.