Ultimate success is, as we’ve stated so many times, reaching one’s personal potential. Ultimate success in athletics is something that takes many years to achieve.
Our goal at GoSwim is to teach skills, and to make swimmers aware of possibilities. We hope to awaken swimmers to the idea that there are many ways to achieve the ultimate goal of speed…that there are many ways to move and to apply the power that will propel you forward in the water, with the desired speed for the assigned distance. What works for one may, or may not, work for another. Finding that perfect (and personal) combination of technique, balance, power, rate, efficiency, air control, etc. etc. etc. takes much study and self awareness.
When you start to understand that success is a combination of consistent, proper movements, plus detailed application of those movements at a rate that gets someone FIT, plus enough race-pace training, stretching, strength training, nutritional balance, psychological maturity, team unity, etc. etc. etc… then we MUST start to understand that with so many variables, every day of training COUNTS.
One of my favorite things to do at practice is to challenge someone to just get up and swim fast. To surprise a swimmer with the opportunity to show their stuff. Of course, it’s most fun when they’re not ready, and are a bit tired from a previous set. Part of my plan is to convince the athlete that THIS swim matters. To get them into the mindset that THIS is no longer practice but, instead, the most important swim of the season.
Convincing yourself that TODAY is the most important day of the season is not easy. Convincing yourself that there is no tomorrow, no next week, and no more time before the REAL championship meet, is a skill. It’s a quick visualization, the ability to put yourself into performance mode at a moment’s notice, and increase the importance of what you’re going to do in the next few moments.
This won’t be easy when you first try it. In the back of your head, you’ll know this isn’t real. You’ll know you have other chances and that even if you completely fail on this, it doesn’t matter. However…the more you start to apply the mindset that today really does matter, that this next practice, set, interval, start, turn, and finish really DOES matter, then you’re building a portfolio of intensity that will be tough for your competitors to match.
None of us will ever know our ultimate potential. Fewer still will ever achieve it. The trick is being the one that gets the closest to that perfect race. The LEZAK swim.
Imagine two swimmers who, if we knew, had the ultimate potential of going :45.00 in the 100 free. One swimmer worked hard at practice, but had a bad diet, didn’t get enough rest, slacked off at dryland, didn’t stretch, didn’t think about his technique. What would he go? What if the other swimmer also worked hard at practice, but ate right, got enough sleep, worked dryland, stretched every day, and focused on the application of skills that would connect him to the water better?
Who’s going to get closer to :45.00?
The same goes at competitions, whether it’s a dual meet in college or high school, or a weekend age-group meet. Do these meets REALLY matter? Absolutely! Convince yourself each time you climb on the blocks that your swim is important. Race as if each race IS your Olympic Trials. You’ll have some good ones and you’ll have some bad ones, but you won’t have any wasted ones.
Everything you do in the pool can be a learning experience that takes you closer to your potential, or it can just be time spent going back and forth.
Convince yourself that TODAY is the most important day of your season. Convince yourself that you can learn something new TODAY. That you can do better turns TODAY. That you can live like an athlete who will be successful… TODAY.
If you convince yourself about today… your tomorrow is going to be pretty stellar!