For most of our club Senior 1 training group school is over this Friday the 21st and resumes on Tuesday January 8th. Counting Friday’s evening workout through the 8th’s evening session we have 18 water training sessions in the 2+ weeks.
Every year at this time a certain number of our swimmers “lose” workouts. They go on vacations, or hang at home and find reasons/excuses not to train thoroughly through the December/January holiday period.
We refer to these missed sessions as “lost” since they cannot be regained at a later point in time. The one thing that all swimmers have in common is an equal amount of time. Each person has 24 hours each day and we all make choices about what we are doing with that time. If you are serious about moving your skill set (we often refer to it as your craft) forward, this holiday period is an excellent opportunity to do just that. An athlete can make enormous gains in fitness and skill in 2+ weeks. If you don’t think this is true then try the opposite. Do nothing for 2+ weeks and see where you are. Talk about a reality check!
We will challenge our team during this week’s team meeting (you have one of these each week, right?) to put a list of “priorities” on the board. These will be all sorts of fitness and skill related topics…goals if you will for the 2+ weeks.
Then we will provide them with a sheet – preprinted with the times and dates of the 18 sessions – and ask them to write next to each day a goal for that workout.
And we will encourage those that we don’t see to figure out what they can do while they are travelling or missing while hanging at home not to fall too far behind. But, some of them will and we will do we what we always do – smile.
We are in the development business. We will remind them that when they go to college to swim they will get “fired” if they miss workouts. The idea is to reach some of them now in hopes of turning on a light or two.
The ones that make all 18 will be our favorites. And we will do what all high level coaches do. We will play favorites. After all, that is how the games are played at the top.