Monday, February 4, 2019

The Power of Discouragement


Chapter 11 of Chop Wood Carry Water is all about the power of discouragement as it relates to human growth and developing potential.
The actual word “discouragement” means a lack of courage. We tell our team that to our knowledge no one on our team lacks courage…if nothing else than the simple act of getting up on a block and racing down the lane with no one to be held accountable except you. That, in our opinion, is exactly what courage looks like.
Disappointment is very understandable; discouragement is not.
Akira, the sensei at the samurai warrior training camp, is having this discussion with John – the young man who wants most of all to be an archer samurai warrior – about discouragement. John is learning about the process and dealing with ups and downs is paramount to his success.
Akira says there are six things you can do to fuel your heart with encouragement:
1 – What you watch
2 – What you read
3 – What you listen to
4 – Who you surround yourself with
5 – How you talk to yourself
6 – What you visualize
The very best part about this process is that these 6 items are all choices each person can make every day. Keep reminding your swimmers that their greatest power in life is the power to choose.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Results Are In…


And the winners are, to no one’s surprise, the ones who did the work. From a coaching perspective this is so refreshing. Shortcuts do not work. From an athlete’s perspective it is equally reassuring…do the work and get the prize. Don’t do the work, no payoff.
We think our last post had to do with the preparation for the December shave meets and what would the impact be of not being able to train regularly for 10 days in mid-November due to the bad air quality in Northern California.
Ken had texted workouts to each of the swimmers encouraging them to find indoor water and do their best at keeping training going. We could not find a pool with enough available space to bring all 35 kids at one time. It would be piecemeal and up to them.
Each of them admitted at the debriefing session after the meet that they had done some of the work but not all and even some was not done with the same level of intensity as if the group had been together. All of this information was to be expected.
As we watched the racing unfold both in Federal Way at the Husky Invite and in Austin at Winter Juniors one clear cut impression was made. To a person, all those who had trained diligently from September, before the bad air, had an excellent meet. One young man even made his Winter cut at Husky in the 200 breast. Even 1650 distances were not affected. Our sample size was small (2) but both guys had solid swims, one 15 year old dropped to 16:38…he was 10:03 at the 1000 so he had a bit of a fade but still very solid.
Work works. In this era of quick fixes and short attention spans little is as satisfying as a reward hard sought and won.