Sunday, November 26, 2017

Do Everything Right

MEXICO CITY — Before this season began, the Raiders, coming off a 12-win season and loaded on offense, were a trendy pick to possibly unseat New England atop the AFC.
In the wake of his team’s 33-8 loss to the Patriots on Sunday, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr stood at a podium in the shadow of Azteca Stadium and acknowledged the standard still being set by the defending Super Bowl champions.

“They don’t do anything special, they just do everything right,” Carr said. “You sit there in the first half and they don’t have any turnovers, I don’t think they had a penalty. They do the little things right. And it starts in the offseason; it starts with the culture in their room and their building and all those kinds of things.

“It’s something that we’re building. It’s something that we’re striving toward, that efficiency and all those kinds of things. But obviously, we have a long way to go.”

As a swimmer and/or a swimming coach Carr’s comments hit the nail squarely on the head. “Do everything right” is a very demanding, tough task. But if you want to be the very best at whatever you do then this is what you must do.

So many people, regardless of their chosen path, are willing to do some things right. A smaller percentage are willing to do many things right. A very few are willing to “do everything right”; those that choose that difficult, demanding and at times daunting path are rewarded greatly.

As Ken says, there are three groups of people (swimmers on your team): 1 – those on the bus; 2 – those standing at the bus stop deciding if they want to take the ride; 3 – those who don’t even know there is a bus…

David Carr + Ken DeMont = 2 smart guys

Thanks to Matt Kawahara of SF Chronicle for the coverage of Derrick Carr

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Short Swimmer’s Quiz

1 - Which is more important?
A) genes        B) hard work            C) feel for the water
2 – A swimmer benefits most by the coach yelling out during a race          
A) kick            B) race           C) tempo       D) all of the above   E) none of the above
3 – Which is more important to a successful outcome?
A) tempo        B) distance per stroke                    C) all of the above
4 – In preparing for the big meet, in descending order which is most important?           
A) rest                        B) shave        C) tech suit   D) the breakfast burrito
5 – Thinking about underwater dolphin kicks, which is most important?
A) how far you go     B) how many kicks you take          C) the tempo of your kicks
6 – In a 100 free race which is the most critical for breath holding?
A) lap 1          B) lap 2          C) lap 3          D) lap 4          E) laps 1&4
7 – You are racing outdoors. Which parts of your body lose the most heat?
A) legs           B) arms         C) torso         D) hands, head, feet
8 – Name the swimmer who most inspires you and say why
9 – What is your BIG racing goal for the next 6 months?
10 – What sacrifice will you make to reach that goal?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Keep It Simple

At the US Open in August we saw this brilliant T-Shirt on a man from Texas (UT)…
Whoever put that together should win a medal. The first person who sends me a shirt (I wear extra-large – Don 36 Montego Key, Novato, CA 94949) I’ll send you a $100 bill.
It got us to thinking about simplicity. We have a youngster on our team, an 8th grader named Sydney B, who has some pop in her game. We asked her the other day if she knew she had some skill in our sport. She smiled sheepishly and nodded her head “affirmatively”. We then asked her if she had any “will”.
We said SKILL+WILL = WHAT YOU WANT. In our attempt to keep it simple we reaffirmed that skill is acquired through repetition of correct swimming. The will part comes from each person/swimmer deciding that they want something they don’t have.
This is called a goal…again keeping it simple.
We had a girl this weekend who swam an awesome 500 free. She has tons of skill and is working on the will component. We asked her how come Katie Ledecky swims so fast; there are many skilled swimmers. We asked her to consider Ledecky’s “will” component.
Would really love that T-Shirt J

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Talking Today

Had a chance today to talk with the brothers DeMont – Ken and Rick; as always a fascinating, liberating time. We were free to talk about kids and time and coaching…three topics of main interest in my (Don’s) life.
What happened to free time? Where did it go and why? How come everyone – includes adults as well young ones – has every minute scheduled? Who decided that this was a good idea…and why?
I am of the opinion that when you do not have free time you have no time to touch your wandering mind; the mind that often comes up with really good ideas; the mind that invigorates you; the mind that provides solutions to challenges you face…the list is perhaps endless.
So today and tomorrow and every day after this one I am going to set aside some time – even if only 10 minutes (I am certain I can carve out more) – to allow myself the privilege to “free wheel”…
I am betting it will feel awesome…oh yeah, and be productive since that seems to matter as well J