While we look around today at our hectic lives, many of us lament over how simple life used to be. Today, we are bombarded with constant stimuli that demand our attention for nearly every waking hour.
From emails, to texts, to alerts on our devices (which we all carry now), there is rarely a minute that we can be away from technology. For many, it just seems too much.
While we can reminisce about how simple life used to be, we can’t stop progress. We have to embrace parts of technology in ways that allow us to simplify our lives and get our focus back to the things we enjoy the most. For this forum, that means coaching, swimming, spending quality time with our families.
Let’s look at coaching. What would make it more enjoyable? When you look across your group of swimmers, what would you like them all to have in common today? What simple technique point would you like them all to have mastered?
In the good old days, you would choose an element of technique. You would stop the team, stand in front of them on deck (maybe half hidden by starting blocks or a diving board) and, with your loud, commanding voice, express your desire for them to perform this technique. You would gesticulate and contort your body, trying to mimic the movements you wanted them to perform in the water. For many techniques, this is effective, but for other skills (like flip turns), not so much. Besides, it’s hard for swimmers to translate the movements of someone wearing clothes, standing on deck, into movements they need to do in the pool. This also must take into account, the time spent stopping the entire group to explain these skills, is time not spent practicing these skills.
This is where you can embrace technology, and show your swimmers exactly what you’d like them to do… before they show up… using great examples of swimmers you’d like them to emulate.
By sending videos to your swimmers’ smartphones, you’re meeting them where they live. While in the middle of sending WhatsApp messages, or checking out Instagram, they get a notification that a new video has been shared by you, the coach. The swimmer can now be distracted from their distraction with purposeful content. Swimmers love seeing swimming on their smartphone, and when they start to understand that the content they’re seeing will be what they’re expected to do that day, they’ll look just a bit more intently. It’s personal, it’s not forced. They can take their time viewing, and they can watch as many times as they need to for them to understand the skill.
Interrupt your swimmers’ technology with purposeful information, and you’ll save yourself more time for swimming while you have their attention AWAY from technology.
Pre-teach technique. Swim more.