There appears to be wisdom around just about every corner, or so it seems to us. In yesterday's paper there was a short piece about Amare Stoudemire, the often unbelievably talented, and sometimes injured (which athlete goes through his/her career without injuries?) basketball player for the Phoenix Suns. The writer spoke of how when the Suns acquired Shaquille O'Neal a few years ago that Amare went into a funk, taking the arrival of Shaq as a personal affront to his ability and the organization's faith in him. With Shaq clogging up the middle, Stoudemire went into a shell, offering the Suns no help on defense or the boards.
A club executive said, "If Amare is going to be among the great players, he's going to have to dominate the game in other areas - rebounding, defense, passing. There's going to be a time when he can't jump as high, and he'll have to rely on his mastery of the game, not ability. He'll have to play smarter, not harder."
We are going to read this at our team meeting this week. Too often swimmers rely on more and or harder training to improve forgetting the importance of swimming and racing "smarter."
So, a short list for you this week might look something like this:
For a swimmer...When was the last time you did a set where you:
Actually watched the clock to check and see if your swims got faster as practice progressed?
Counted your strokes to make certain your efficiency was as high as possible?
Did a kicking set that really had your heart rate up into the anaerobic range?
Made sure your head followed your hand on the last stroke into a flip turn?
Got an extra two or three feet off the wall because you were underwater deep enough?
For a coach...When was the last time you:
Wrote a goal for practice, then the workout, and then evaluated your success?
Asked a colleague for an idea for a set?
Made sure you said "Hi" and "Goodbye" to each swimmer at practice?
Told a joke in the middle of workout?
Wrote the team report cards?
We are sure you get the idea here. At some point working as hard as you can will not be enough to keep your game improving. You will need to rely on your intellect. The reason for this is very simple: the people you are chasing have already begun using theirs.
Let us know how we can help. Have a great week in and out of the pool!