Monday, February 22, 2016

Write It Down

In the never ending quest to figure out what works and what doesn’t, what has value in our preparation and what doesn’t, what leads us forward or holds us back from making the progress we long for, it is worth noting that we humans are not very capable of remembering all the small stuff…and the small stuff makes a huge difference, especially over the long haul.
That’s why it is vital for us to write things down. Get a log book…any notebook will do. Put it in your back pack and take it to meets. Write down your warmup, your races, what was going through your mind, what emotions were working for or against you. Write down your splits or your tempo or your stroke counts. All the information that is provided to you by your coaches and meet mobile etc. is valuable feedback.
No feedback; no progress. You can work your tail off and go pretty much nowhere unless you understand what and how you are doing.
Coaches…if you don’t write down your workouts – and then evaluate them – you simply will not remember them. There is no way to evaluate and alter the course of future sessions if you do not have feedback written down based upon your observations of today’s session.
Bob Bowman – and countless others – records every workout. Some have the luxury of being able to record the main sets and the times achieved. At the very least you can record your observations, things you want to alter or tweak for the next time around.
For instance, today we did a set of 6x175/4…number 1 = 80%, #2 = 85%, number #3 was to be 4% faster. We have the chart poolside… (If you want one just email us). Observing the athletes in action we could tell who was fresh enough to succeed and who could use some more rest, maybe take tomorrow morning off. Then we can adjust the coming week’s stress sessions accordingly.
I know on our team we have at least one swimmer who records meet swims. It is no surprise that this swimmer is one of the highest level performers on our team.
The little stuff matters and if you don’t write down your observations they will be “lost” in the daily clutter of life…guaranteed.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Whatever the goal, the opponent never changes: It’s you vs. you

Performance Grid
1                                                                      2
Consistent Workout Attendance               Inconsistent Workout Attendance
Consistently Train to My Capability          Consistently Train to My Capability

                        3                                                                      4
Consistent Workout Attendance               Inconsistent Workout Attendance
Don’t Consistently Train to                                    Don’t Consistently Train to
            My Capacity                                                   My Capacity

You have already figured this out, correct? Every swimmer and coach is in one of these grid spots every day. And while we certainly move around from time to time the question is in which spot do we reside, say 95% of the time?
Our success or lack thereof, is in our hands…every day. We choose our course of action. So, be accountable and you will move forward. Look for excuses or why you might be the “victim of circumstances beyond your control” and you will not move forward.
The beauty of our sport is twofold – thanks to Pete at UC Davis – the stop watch never lies and the water is always right.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Who Is Your Training Partner?

You pretty much always swim faster in a race than by yourself in a time trial at the practice pool. Why do you suppose that is the case? We are assuming that you answered with something along the lines of, “Because it’s a race, because there is another person(s), to work with” etc.
Our question today is, “Who is you training partner?” That person fulfills the same function in daily training sessions as your competitor does in the race situation.
Your training partner:
1 - Keeps you honest in your effort
2 – Keeps encouraging you when the going gets tough
3 – Gives you feedback about your stroke technique, turns, dives and finishes
4 – Has “your back” at all times
5 – Wants you to “win” more than s/he does
6 – Smiles for you no matter what
7 – Gives you some “shot blocks or goo” when you forget or run out
8 - Loans you a pair of goggles no matter what – even her own – yep!
9 – Drives you to the meet or workout when your ride isn’t available
10 – Holds you to your words and actions and goals…keeps you accountable
11 – The list is endless…just like your training partner’s willingness – it is endless
Provide all the same things for her/him…unselfishly because you value your teammate as much, maybe more, dare we say, than you. We can all move forward faster with a bigger smile on our faces and stay “in front” with a personal training partner.
Hey, you can even have a couple of partners. The main thing to do is make sure everyone on the team has one. When you do that, the team becomes stronger, more unified. And there is nothing quite as strong, dynamic and powerful as a group of people unified around a common goal.
Pursuit of excellence is positively empowering…to each individual and the entire team.