Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Power of One Human Mind

This is simply too good. We had to share with all of you. Devon DeMont is the 16 year old daughter of Swim Coach Direct founder Ken DeMont. The Western Zone Gold Sectional meet is next week in Bakersfield. This is a high end US Swimming Senior competition, one that most older swimmers in California and surrounding states strive to attend. Getting "cuts" (qualifying times) is a major season's goal for many swimmers. Devon trains with North Bay Aquatics in northern California. She is in the Senior training group. She made it a goal this year to achieve at least one Sectional cut. The event she was aiming for was the 50 freestyle. And an interesting thing happened on the way to achieving this goal.

Thursday, at the summer Junior Olympic Swim Championships in Concord, CA, Devon swam 100 meters of freestyle in 1:02.15 seconds, improving an impressive 2.8 seconds from her previous best time of 1:04.9...and in the process got her first ever Sectional Qualifying time standard.

Four items of interest in this story are:

1 - Devon was shaved and partially rested for the meet

2 - Devon did swim in a BlueSeventy high tech swim suit

3 - Devon did some visualizing the night before her swim. She wanted to work on her race, keep calm and give herself the best chance to race well. She also used a stopwatch in her visualization. This is a skill we teach, one we have used for 30+ years with our swimmers. She closed her eyes and swam her race and when she hit the touchpad in her personal "movie" she stopped the watch. The time on the face read 1:02.11, a mere .04 (that's four one hundredths!) of a second off her actual swim time. Does visualization work? You will have a very hard time convincing Devon that it doesn't!

4 - At the end of the day, the meet, the season, it is the swimmer in the suit, not the suit the swimmer is in, that matters. Devon has had her eye firmly on the target - getting a Sectional cut - for 5 weeks now. She has been training for years but for the last 5 weeks all of her actions have supported her goal.

We had several swimmers this weekend achieve goals similar to Devon's. I (Don Swartz) chose to highlight her in this instance because of her visualization drill. We are proud of all our swimmers. They are attempting to do something special. They are not willing to be "one of the gang". Average is not something they settle for. Swimming fast doesn't make you a better person. It simply makes you a faster person in the water.

Striving for excellence - your own brand of that - is what makes you special, what sets you apart from the crowd. We are fortunate to have a pool full of special people who happen to be swimmers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats Devon!! :) That visualization thing sounds awesome!! I will have to try it!