Every now and then, sometimes when we least expect it, a breakthrough occurs. As coaches, and parents too, we continually are teaching, highlighting those elements we feel are prerequisites for progress. Sometimes it seems we are never moving forward and yet our messages are being heard. And then, presto, like last week for Olivia, the message is heard and translated into action. These are the sweet moments in life!
Thanks Olivia for sharing your breakthrough!
Ken and Don,
I've been doing some thinking regarding Monday's practice and in particular some changes I've made to my training and I wanted to share them with you.
While I was swimming on Monday, all I could think was, "Come on Olivia, you're better than this. You are completely wasting this practice." Every thought that ran through my mind was negative and completely related to the times I was going relative to those I thought I should be going during that set.
I realized that night that my entire approach to swimming has been very results focused instead of process focused. I am constantly worrying about my times, mostly because my times currently are almost frustratingly close to my goal times. I have always been told, "Celebrate the process", but I don't think I truly understood the entirety of what this meant until Monday night. I have known for a long time that obsessing over times before a race can negatively impact a swim, but I failed to realize that it can also inhibit one's ability to perform at their top during practices.
Upon seeing this 'results obsession' in my swimming, I tried something new last night. I did not look at my time once. I left on the correct intervals, but resisted the temptation to do the math and look at my times on the hundreds and especially the 25s. This helped my practice so much! While I know that often times in practice are very important, when we are doing a set focused on technique (or tempo such as last night) being so ultra-focused on times takes away from the things I am supposed to be working on.
I realized that I didn't waste Monday's practice at all. My performance gave me an opportunity to refine my approach to training (and racing) and truly celebrate the process instead of just the times or results.
I just wanted to share this with you so you know what’s going through this brain of mine J I'll see you at practice tonight.