Sunday, June 19, 2011

Two Basic Questions

It is a pretty exciting weekend for mid-June. We are at the Santa Clara International Grand Prix meet here in California. In addition to many of the stars of US Swimming there are racers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, South Korea and Mexico. Many of the big names from the US contingent – Dana Vollmer, Natalie Coughlin, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte to name a few – are using this meet as a tune up for the World Championships being held July 24-31, 2011, Shanghai, China.

We wondered what we would do if one of those swimmers came to our pool for a week or two to train? What could we offer that would be meaningful to them? How could we be effective as a coach to such an accomplished athlete?

The first thing we would do would be to ask them two questions. The first is “What is the one thing you haven’t done in the training pool that would make a difference in your racing?” The second is, “Knowing yourself as well as you do, how would you coach a competitor to out race you in your best event?”

We believe that honest answers to those two questions would be a great start to the week. Each of us knows – regardless of the level at which we participate – what we are avoiding in the training pool that we already know would help us. Each of us also is very familiar with the chinks in our armor. Properly motivated, every single person on the planet could stop avoiding what they know is keeping them from being more successful. Each of us also knows how we need to shore up our game.

Have a great week – in and out of the pool!

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