Transparent 3d head of the person - x-ray. Object over blackTen things you can do to respond to a psyche out-er:

  • Smile;
  • Say “thanks”;
  • Shake their hand and say “I really appreciate your support”;
  • Laugh and say “is that the best you can come up with?”;
  • Tell them, “I am sorry. I really wasn’t listening to you”;
  • Tell them an even bigger “exaggeration”;
  • Walk away;
  • Say, “wow – I am really lucky to be racing someone as talented and gifted as you”;
  • Keep chatting with family and friends.

But the best thing of all is to……………ignore them and swim your best.

Psyche out practice – dealing with Dirty Downers.

You can make yourself Dirty Downer “proof” by being ready to perform at your best.

The best way to do this is to make sure your training and preparation is tougher and more challenging than the competition you are targeting.

Nothing gives you more confidence than going to a meet knowing you have done everything in your power to prepare fully – physically, mentally, technically and tactically for the meet.

If you are prepared to the best of your ability and you know you have done your best in training then your confidence to compete well is high then………..Confidence is your protection against the psyche out and confidence comes from a great preparation.

Positive Power Plays – PPPs – using psyche outs to your advantage:

Yes – you can be a psyche out-er: but you can do it positively and not have to put anyone else down? How?

Nothing psyches out other people like confidence! Confidence works both ways – it can make you impervious to psyche outs and it can Psyche out others. It is your secret weapon!

Confidence comes from having complete faith in your training and preparation.

Faith in your training and preparation comes from working hard, developing all the physical and mental skills that will make you ready to perform and doing the little things right every day.

Body language – psyche out with your body!

A lot of communication is non verbal, ie communication other than speech.

Your body says a lot more than you realize. Your arms, legs, head, body and face often relay messages to other people about how you really feel inside.

For example:

  • Walking briskly with body tall and straight = Confidence
  • Standing with hands on hips =  Readiness
  • Sitting with legs apart = Relaxed
  • Sitting with hands clasped behind head and legs crossed = Confidence and superiority

People pick up on your body language and will react to it.

Just as you want your words to convey confidence, strength, composure and certainty, send positive, powerful signals through your body language.


  1. A psyche out is something that can only happen to you if you let it;
  2. A psyche out is the result of not being ready to do what you have to do – proper preparation produces no pressure;
  3. The greatest defence against the psyche out is confidenceconfidence which comes from your belief in your preparation and yourself;
  4. Make training more challenging and more demanding than the competition you are targeting and you can relax and enjoy the challenges of the meet with confidence, control, composure, certainty and calm;
  5. Do not be tempted to join the “Dark side” young padawan…never become a Dirty Downer – fight hard, fight fair and let your medals do the talking!

Wayne Goldsmith