Another great message from Ken to one of our swimmers (actual name is not Robert) about figuring things out. Perhaps our greatest value to our young swimmers is teaching them about how life from here on out “works”. Hope this is helpful to each of you!
Thanks for the thoughts....we do appreciate all things you say and they are all valid. In every case school should be more important and the fact that you need to put that first is spot on. One of the tricks to being able to swim in college is being able to manage yourself in a way that allows you to thrive in both areas. This is something you will want to work on if indeed you want to move onto the next level of this sport.
When I have talked to you this Fall I talk to you as a senior that is at the precipice of a new phase in your life. If I feel you are not ready for that step I do you a huge disservice in not mentioning it. Nothing personal as you should know by now, but if there are red flags you ought to know about them. There are things that you need to do in order to actually be able to swim in college...In no particular order:
1. Stay healthy so you can participate
2. Stay injury free so you can participate
3. Stay up on studies so you can participate
Without these things, College coaches tend to not allow you to be on the team...case closed.
In general the studies you find in College are more challenging than in High School. The training can be in many cases tougher and there is generally much less wiggle room as to missing what they want you to do. Sometime in the next bit of time you will need to set yourself up to have this all in order so you have the best chance not only to survive the rigors of College swimming , but to thrive and really enjoy it ( and it should be a really great experience for anyone who does it).
As I have mentioned you have had a difficult time staying healthy, staying injury free and now there are study issues to contend with as well. A large challenging mountain to face, but quite doable when you make the decision to tackle it....notice I say when.
There is no doubt you can tackle these issues. You are fully capable if you are willing. Actions will decide your fate and not just talking about it and that is where I see you right now. Don and I are here for you if and when you really want to do this, but you will provide the motivation, not us.
As far as missing practice, I am fine with it as long as you are adding to the mix. We have a standard for all that we allow on the senior team, and that is we know what they will be getting, but what are they adding to the team? If it is all to a swimmer’s benefit and they give nothing back, then the group is not for them. When you are in for short durations of time....miss the more challenging practices...come for the "fun" stuff and miss the scut work, it does speak volumes to the coaches and to your teammates. It will be important for you moving forward not to pick and choose what you will and will not do. You won’t in the future so why should you now?
My suggestion is to get healthy in all aspects then come down and take the lumps that will be associated with being a bit out of shape. Show me, show Don, show your teammates, but more importantly show yourself that you have grit and will fight through difficult and challenging sets, swims, etc. By doing so you create a new habit...a new Robert that will help you gain confidence that you can do anything that is placed before you....a wonderful thing to help you as you venture on in life.
See you when you can fully embrace the training. You are still in the senior group, but as with everyone else, it is up to you to do things that keep you there...always. You can do this and I hope you will!