We are in one of those reflective phases of our coaching career; one where we are working on the mental construct of how to approach getting our athletes to make necessary changes in their preparedness. We find it helpful to keep things simple as we work the process.
Without being too simplistic, we have boiled down the game to three phases: body, mind and spirit. Each athlete on our team knows what we mean by these three components. We have discussed it at some length over the recent week or so, in meetings and individually in some cases as time permits.
Sports often make reference to "being in shape". Yet it can (and indeed does) mean more than simply challenging yourself in workouts. The word "SHAPE" encompasses a great deal if you expand your mind to accept its implications.
For example, a highly respected coach stated after the ban on tech suits was instituted that each swimmer now needed to "build their own Blue 70". Talk about shape!
So we wonder:
What is your shape - in body, mind and spirit?
What would happen if you did something each day to improve the shape of your body?
What would happen to you, if you did something each day to improve the shape of your mind?
What would happen to your teammates (and by extension you) if you did something each day to improve the shape of your spirit?
The physical, the mental, the emotional...each has value. When you put them together you become unstoppable, quite literally.
This concept is clearly not for everyone, since there are an enormous number of people on the planet who are easily stopped.
Is there anything stopping you?
What is amazing and simultaneously energizing is that with a well-placed word or teaching moment, we coaches can actually make a difference in our athletes' lives. This is what makes our profession so riveting and compelling.