Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Tale of Two Swimmers

We just returned from our 2nd long course meet of the season. For many it was actually their first since most high schoolers were involved in their dual meet season 6 weeks ago. It is always interesting to watch them as they acclimate to a longer pool. Some seem to really thrive in the longer runway for their jets while others are gasping for the walls.

As we watched the scene unfold it became aware to us that there are two distinct types of swimmers. This is nothing new but perhaps it is the long course that really exposes the two styles. We remember the truism from Terry Stoddard that long course swimming is the “truth serum” of our sport.

Sarah trains so well. She is all over the workouts. She attacks each set with purpose. She is a consistent leader among the “high effort” output kids on the team. When she races she lacks the passion exhibited in her training.

Tim races like a young man possessed. He attacks each event with a fierce passion. He will never give anything less than his best effort from the start of the race until the touchpad. We can never seem to get him very interested in training in a similar fashion.

When we are at the meet we ask Sarah, “Will you race like you train?” To Tim we say, “When will you train like you race?”

This is a coach’s frustration. We see this conundrum so clearly. Once we can get all swimmers on our team to train like they race AND race like they train…well then I guess we will have a waiting list for our team a mile long.

Perhaps this is merely a long winded way of saying the age old truism; “What you put in on a daily basis determines what is available to you at the meet.”

Either way, it is what we saw this weekend.

But it is not all that we saw. Miki was suffering from a monster headache that got worse as the day went on. Before her final event we asked her, “If it was two summers from now at Olympic Trials what would you do?” She said, “I’d go for it.”

Then before she went to the blocks she came by and said, “I’m going to Danny Way it.” And she did. Click play below to see what she meant.

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