Sunday, March 27, 2011

If You Want To Be Successful…

We tell our athletes that if they want to be successful then they should hang around successful people, choose their friends wisely. We would definitely go to a clinic to hear what Pat Summitt has to say. Enjoy!

Patricia "Pat" Head Summitt (born on June 14, 1952) is an American women's college basketball coach. She is currently the head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team. She is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, men or women, in any division. She has been coaching since 1974, all with the Lady Vols, winning eight NCAA national championships, which is second only to the record 10 titles won by UCLA men's coach John Wooden. Summitt is the only coach in NCAA history, and one of three college coaches overall, with 1,000 victories (Gene Bess of Three Rivers Community College and Harry Statham of McKendree University being the other two). She was named the Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century in April 2000. In 2009, the Sporting News placed her number 11 on its list of the 50 Greatest Coaches of All Time (in all sports); she was the only woman on the list. In 36 years as a coach, she has never had a losing season.

Quote of the week:
"Responsibility equals accountability equals ownership. And a sense
of ownership is the most powerful weapon a team or organization can have."

Coach Pat Summitt

To Do Today: Follow the Tennessee Lady Vols 12 Principles:

1. Respect yourself and others.

2. Take full responsibility.

3. Develop and demonstrate loyalty.

4. Learn to be a great communicator.

5. Discipline yourself so no one else has to.

6. Make hard work your passion.

7. Don't just work hard, work smart.

8. Put the team before yourself.

9. Make winning an attitude.

10. Be a competitor.

11. Change is a must.

12. Handle success like you handle failure.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Healing Power of Water

The following is a shared item from one of our readers. We felt strongly that some folks out there would find the information useful. While we do not personally know those at the link provided it surely sounds like an organization with the best interests of its users in mind…and we support that. If any of you tri-athletes are dealing with running injuries we are sure you will appreciate the concept of being able to continue your running without the impact.

The Healing Power of Water

There is something undeniable calming about water. The way it envelopes you, cradles you, the sounds, and even the smell, all can evoke feelings of peacefulness. It’s not all about holding hands and listening to waves crashing though, water also happens to be one of the most effective and efficient therapeutic tools that we have readily at our disposal.

Therapy pools come in all shapes and sizes, from the compact unit in your next door neighbors home gym to the giant multipurpose ones used by professional athletes, and this wide range of users is a clear testament to how beneficial and how easily accessible therapy pools really are. 
The popularity of water therapies and therapy pools is in large part due to the natural buoyancy of water. This displacement of body weight means that anything from mild stretching to high energy cardio workouts can easy be achieved without the bone jarring and often damaging impact that you would face on land during the same activity.

This is of great importance to those people coming back from a serious injury and to those people with limited mobility.

Once an injury has occurred, the chance of re-injury is a definite fear, and in most cases, rightly so. The road back from an injury can be a long one if the rehabilitation period isn’t handled correctly. Attempting too much too soon or without sufficient support can set you right back to square one while significantly increase your down time and this is where therapy pools reign supreme. Water cushions and supports your body yet still provides enough natural resistance to build and improve strength and muscle tone.

Besides the obvious road to recovery from an injury, therapy pools are utilized in many other ways as well. Diabetics can experience improved circulation, people with compromised mobility due to weight or physical disability often find movement within water less difficult and restrictive, and even patients with neurological injuries or disabilities can benefit but the soothing effects of warm water. Stroke victims, paraplegics, those with MS, or people who have suffered traumatic injuries- the list of people and circumstances that can be aided by therapy pools is near endless, as are the types of pools available for both commercial and residential uses.

In this day and age a pool no longer has to be just a pool. It can also be an economical and multi functioning asset in your ability to achieve and maintain health and wellness for the future.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Random Quotes

We read everything we can that is related to sports and high level performance since we know that the information we see stimulates us to think about how we might apply it to what we are doing, be it in the pool, the weight room or on the coaching deck.

Here is a sampling of this week’s encounters. Thanks to Al Saracevic, Christopher McDougall and Michael J. Stott respectively for their writing.

Bay Area sports psychologist John Ellsworth was asked what he thought were the mental keys to success in the upcoming NCAA Men’s March Madness Basketball Tournament. "1) Trust what you know to be true – teamwork, preparation, leadership and mental toughness. 2) Focus on the process, which means staying connected to the present, in the moment and totally connected to the immediate task at hand. 3) Mental flexibility. Don’t complicate things by overthinking about a play, situation or mistake. Distractions only create mental congestion, and mental congestion restricts mental flexibility.”

This is from Herb Elliott, Olympic champion and world-record holder in the mile who trained in bare feet, wrote poetry, and retired undefeated.

“Poetry, music, forests, oceans, solitude – they were what developed enormous spiritual strength. I came to realize that spirit, as much or more than physical conditioning, had to be stored up before a race.”

And from Tony Batis, head coach, Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics we get the following message.

“Anything in life lends itself to burnout if delivered the same way day-in and day-out. While there are stable components to all programs, I believe the pattern in which it is presented and how it is delivered greatly impacts the outcome.”

If you have any favorite gems please let us know and we will share…it does have a positive impact on our collective swimming community. Have a great week!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Coaching Conundrum

We went to a meet this weekend. It was a developmental meet with very little at stake…or so we thought.

We were struck with the importance of the performances by the swimmers themselves in a meet that had very few implications, if indeed any.

Early and mid-season meets are a great chance for swimmers to practice that which they have been working towards in training. These meets give coaches an opportunity to gauge how well they have been coaching. (We overheard one coach this weekend chastising his swimmers for not doing things correctly – such as breathing inside the flags at the finish on a freestyle race – while simultaneously declaring that this same flaw was one they always did in workout. Our reaction, kept to ourselves of course, was that this is a coaching problem, not a swimmers’ problem.)

So, we digress…when a swimmer in a development meet puts a lot of importance on their time we ask ourselves…WHY?
There is so much more to competitive swimming than the time. Olympians go several years digging for a tenth or two and still manage to stay involved and not get too upset at swims that are not their “best times.” Yet our younger swimmers who are training strenuously and are not “primed” to swim their fastest are still concerned about the times they post.

We believe that the culture around our sport needs constant evaluation. Are we serving the best interests of our swimmers? Are we striving to give them tools they know can help them get where they want to go? Are we as coaches fully informed about how to help youngsters “get better” – whatever that may mean?

We asked more than one swimmer this weekend the following question; “If you came into workout today and we asked you to swim 3 really fast swims with 30 or so minutes of rest between them, then go have lunch and come back and swim three more really fast swims, would you be able to do that?” Each one of course said, “Yes.”

We then asked the rhetorical question – with a smile on our face – “What is the difference between that and what we are doing at this meet?”

We are very pleased to report that the answer to that question was most often, simply a smile. We feel we made some progress this weekend. That in turn makes us feel like we used our time and efforts wisely.
What say you?