Today we are inspired by John Leonard’s recent article “Chop Wood, Haul Water.” To quote John, “Chop wood so you can stay warm and cook food. Haul water so you can drink and wash: the everyday things that make life possible. While they are not exciting always, they certainly get very exciting when we are cold, hungry, dirty and thirsty when we don’t do them.”
We are thinking about our swim team and our coaching…and the value of keeping it simple.
A swim team needs a culture to function and differentiate itself from competitors.
Question 1 – Has your team a written statement that accurately reflects your culture? If “yes”, is it posted prominently on your website; if “no”, then get together with leaders of your team and write one.
A swim team needs water to train.
Question 2 – Do you have enough time and lanes to get what you deem necessary done? If “yes”, how secure is your time/lanes; if “no” then what is your plan to remedy any shortcomings.
A swim team needs money to operate.
Question 3 – Do you have enough to pay your staff so you can attract and retain them; enough to rent the time and lanes you need; to pay for travel and the other basics your team needs to be competitive? If “yes”, how secure is your funding stream; if “no” what can be done to remedy any shortcomings. A word about money here…price is what you pay, value is what you get. When you are valuable enough to your members they will pay whatever is necessary to get what they value.
A training program needs both work and rest to have swimmers get faster.
Question 4 – Do you understand the value of each and do you plan for each? If “yes”, do you review it regularly to ensure you are allocating proper percentages for each component; if “no”, then make sure you are writing down what you do so you don’t have to remember the amount of work and rest you are giving your athletes…it is the only real way to measure the effectiveness of your programming.
Confidence is the most important muscle in the human body (might be Rick DeMont’s quote?).
Question 5 – Do you do something every day to build confidence? If “yes”, make certain you keep doing it; if “no”, then get with the program – a steady stream of negativity will make your swimmers/parents move to your competitors.
Chop wood, haul water…not glamorous yet so necessary for success…in the pool, in school, at home, with your friends and mates…everywhere.
Thanks John for reminding us of this basic powerful truism.