We have had quite an exciting time the last couple of weeks here in northern California being part of the San Francisco Giants run through the baseball playoffs culminating in the victorious World Series with the Detroit Tigers.
We choose the word “with” carefully over such other options as “over” or “against”. Our opinion is that all competitors perform closer to their potential when the stakes are higher. When you get into a World Series you are compelled by the event to dig deeper into your talent base and resolve…the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Olympics, the local high school championship meet – it matters not the “stature” of the event. What matters is your perception of it.
The lessons learned from the Giants are the value of teamwork; the importance of each person contributing when needed; the willingness to sacrifice ego and pitch when you are asked to do so…the list goes on.
What our swim team takes from this are several things. When you are against the wall, facing elimination…dig deeper…ever been in a swim off? Most swimmers have. Ever swim poorly in your first swim at an important meet and come back to have your best meet? Most swimmers have. Ever been asked to anchor a relay and lose the lead? Most swimmers have. Ever needed an encouraging word from a teammate, coach, or parent – and gotten it? Most swimmers have (though sometimes they ignore it).
What is amazing about baseball is there is no clock. You never hear a team saying, “We would have won but we ran out of time.” Swimmers, unless your most recent race was your last – EVER – you are not out of races!
Think about this for a second…every season, every professional baseball team will win about 1/3 of their games and lose 1/3 of their games…it is what they do with the remaining 1/3 of their games that determines the success of their season.
Rebecca Soni won the Olympic 200 Breaststroke in London breaking 2:20 for the first time in her life – no one else had done it before. She had not swum her best time in that event in 4 years…don’t you dare complain about not having swum your best time in a few weeks, months…
What are you going to do with the all-important 1/3 of your races?