Sunday, March 1, 2009

Psyche Sheets

The publishing of a meet psyche sheet is a time honored tradition in swimming circles. As we prepare our team for the winter shave and taper meet all swimmers eagerly await the dissemination of this information. It gives them a chance to see how they compare to other swimmers who enter the meet.

And yet, the psyche sheets themselves are often as accurate as the winter weather forecast! We don’t know about your town, but here it seems as if the weather people could stand a closer look out their windows before hitting the airwaves.

The number one seed in an event is no different than the number 50 seed going into an event. Those are their seeded times; that’s it. In most cases no one swims their seeded times; they swim faster or slower. Indeed it is a rare event where the final results look similar to the psyche sheet. Unless you have one swimmer who is so dominant most often all spots are up for grabs.

As coaches, one of our most prominent missions in sport is to get the athlete to ignore past performance. The goal of pre-meet strategy is to get each swimmer to realize the upcoming race is an opportunity to do something they have trained for but not yet accomplished. The swim is in them and our job and their task is to let it come out.

So, the next time one of your swimmers grabs the program saying, “I want to see where I am seeded” you might encourage them to focus on what the result sheet will look like, reminding them that the psyche sheet is actually ancient history…and they are here today to write their own chapter!

See how that works for them and you and let us know. Have a great meet!

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