This message is from John Wooden. Wooden is regarded as fine a coach that ever lived. Some of you know him personally if you hung out at UCLA in the last century. Many of you know about him through coaching investigations…as in who was the greatest coach ever type of thing. Basketball was his specialty but teaching wisdom was his chosen path to greatness. He is to coaching basketball as Doc Councilman and Peter Daland and Jack Nelson are to swimming.
He was counseling his players to be quick but never be in a hurry. When you hurry you rush. When you rush you give up something. When you give up something you put yourself in a tough spot that almost certainly you cannot recover from.
When you think about how to approach a race, first things first – HAVE A PLAN.
You cannot win a race in the first 25 but you can lose a race in the first 25. If you are in a hurry you will “spin your wheels” using too much energy. This, combined with a loss of stroke efficiency, will put you in a tough spot that will manifest itself late in your race.
Said euphemistically, you will crash and burn; you will “die”.
So yes, be quick. Get in the race. No, do not be in a hurry. This sweet spot, this delicate balance is exactly what makes racing so darned interesting and ultimately so very compelling.
Have fun…you are in the next heat! Yikes! Be quick…you will be fine…really…