Sunday, June 5, 2022

POSITIVE VERSUS NEGATIVE

For all you Gold/Blue swimmers who came out this weekend to race, it was great to watch you.  As we watched you go through your events we were pleasantly pleased to see how much a lot of you improved especially in the breaststroke and butterfly events.  It goes to show how your hard work on those stroke days have really paid off.  The fact that your in that long course pool and are able to get into a good rhythm without the walls have helped all of you tremendously.

The work that we have done with those tempo trainers have been helpful in figuring out your pacing and as long as you combine that with your color chart you will continue to see those improvements.  This was very evident in those 400 free events.   It’s awesome to see it starting to come together for all of you.  Now you won’t see the big drops if any as those times come down. I will promise you this however, if you show up, work smart, work hard those great swims will be there at the right time.

Some of you will be ending long course after this week but regardless where you practice remember to work hard, play hard and have fun with your summer friends and teams.  Don’t forget summer swimming is about STARTS, TURNS AND FINISHES.Take them seriously.  RACE AND SCORE POINTS for your teams unless of course you swim for Oakton, Orange Hunt, or Mantua in which case feel free to head to the beach those weekends.


 Feed the positive.  Starve the negative.  Stay positive this summer and remember it’s about racing and scoring points.  Let’s not get wrapped up in times until around divisional.  If your lucky you may see time drops each week, but it’s hard to do.  So go into each meet with this thought, I own this race. Be the big dog and get your hand to the wall first.

Think about this statement, “You become what you feed your mind,” and it got me to think about it’s importance in swimming if not your life in general.  Can any of you say that you can have a healthy body by eating a steady diet of empty calories such as chips, candy or any other food filled with sugar that gives you that roller coaster ride of the ups followed by the, you guest it, the big downfall.  How do you expect to have positive performances in your swimming if you are constantly feeding your mind with a steady diet of negativity.  

It’s take as much training to train your mind as it does your body.  What in todays world it’s hard not to focus on some of the negative things from time to time.  The key was from time to time.  You can’t let the scary things out there overwhelm you to the point that it affects your performance.  At the same time it is unrealistic to have nothing but positive thoughts.  You need to come up with a balance that works for you and allows you to perform at your best even if does not always result in a best time.

Worrying for a few seconds during a meet or before a race is one thing but spending countless time in that dark hole worrying about things that most of the time are out of your control is just foolish and can become very contagious to those around you.  Not only are you own mind with junk food but you are force feeding those around you and now everyone is on that junk food mentality and quite frankly I can’t see any positives arising from that dark hole.

If anything choose your worries carefully and start talking positive a little more often and remember you can’t just mouth things like I’m going to go fast.  You need to believe it.  Saying it doesn’t make it so.

Feeding the positive starts with your thoughts and feelings.  It’s so easy to walk around feeding your negative side such as, I’m tied, or I don’t feel good.  You might even think why show up, I’m going to just get a good old fashion beat down.  Maybe so but that’s why we race.  Our team might face that this summer but I will promise you that we will show up and RACE.   If we get beat we will tip our caps, say good job and move on.  The alternative is to not swim and that’s not an option period.



Tuesday, May 24, 2022

RECONNECTING PART 2


 You made a choice to be a swimmer, You made a choice to make your workouts.  You've made sacrifices.  Now maybe it is time for you to sit down and consider how powerful a process-focused mindset can be for you in the water instead of leaving all your goals and dreams to chance.


The process is like a checklist that includes everything from proper rest, proper nutrition, proper hydration, consistent dry land, proper technique, proper turns, proper finishes and of course that last thing on all of your checklists, the outcome.

A mouthful in that paragraph.  My question to you is; Are you a swimmer who trusts that process and has your own checklist, or are you the type that is all about the outcome and ignore everything else.  If your the latter your ignoring all the little steps that go into that GREAT swim.  When you obsess over the outcome and ignore everything else it adds anxiety and uncertainty that leads to crashing on race day.

The process is personal and is yours and it starts with building a process that you can control.  Life is full of uncertainties and so is swimming.  First off you can't control what other swimmers are doing so stop worrying about them.  STAY IN YOUR LANE.  You can't predict a slow start, slipping off a turn or even stubbing a finger on the lane line.  All uncertainties and out of your control.  Your process should only include things like effort, techniques, sleep, sleep habits nutrition, positive mindset and positive self talk.  

The more often that you practice it, and do it correctly, the more you can rely on it an d use it when you need it and the less stress and frustration you are going to deal with on RACE DAY.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

RECONNECTING PART 1


 

Now that our short course season has ended and we have had our first day of Long Course practice along with our first meet this might be a good time to reconnect with your swimming mental

Even kids and swimmers can get dragged down by life and everyday occurrences ranging from school, swimming or other sports, friends, family issues and yes all the technology that is throw at you, especially from social media.

The question you need to ask yourself is this, When I get dragged down a little am I going to stay down or will I pick myself up breathe and move forward.  Wow hope the answer is YES.

I find it fascinating that the majority of swimmers, if not ALL what to have a GREAT RACE overtime off the block but yet they won't take the extra few minutes to do something that will help them achieve it.  For sure they show up for practice, hop in and start swimming, but is it with a purpose.

We have talked here in the past about the process, but what is the process?  

Part of the process involves the outcome, you know what I'm talking about here the time.  The outcome also involves what you want to accomplish during practice and it has a lot more to do besides going up and down that black line.  It involves things such as stroke counts, breathing pattern, the catch, the kick, the turn, the underwater kicks.

This and so much more is part of the process to help you get to your dreams; your training regimen, your daily practice habits.  The process is how you execute from day-to-day, practice-to-practice, lap-to-lap.

Go back, read the highlighted part again.  The take away here is that you can't do the things correctly during practice only when it is convenient for you, or only when you feel like it.  An example of this took place yesterday during both the morning and evening practices.  We were doing some backstroke drill/swim work and this is what I observed from a few swimmers, pushing off on their stomachs and rolling over before finishing.  Why would you practice things the wrong way or in ways that cause DQ's?  If this next statement offends you, GOOD it should.  The only reason a swimmer does these things are; one, they are lazy, two they have no discipline, or three they just don't care.  Saying you care are only words. ACTIONS speak louder than words.  Mastering the techniques involved with this sport will get you nearer to your goals.

Mastering the process is more than a catch phase.  It's an outlook. An attitude.  A mindset that ensures you train smarter, better, and ultimately and more importantly, faster.

NEXT UP TRUSTING THE PROCESS


 

 

 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

ELITE GROUP

Calling all Mako swimmers.  Just want to let you know what a fantastic job you all did during warmups this afternoon and although it was crowded you all worked together and got it done like Champs. As we talked about with the group sometimes it is very hard to get everyone in the same lane especially at a meet like this one.  


An open warmup is just that, no assigned lanes so its important to move quickly and find a lane.  If you can't it's not the end of the world.  Take two or three other swimmers and scope out the pool, find some space, any space and jump in.

This is why we have a specific first warmup that you should all know by now, so here we go one more time.

200 swim

4x50 free descend to RED (3x50 for little kids)

200 kick (100 kick little kids)

3x50 kick descend to RED

OLDER KIDS 

8X50 DRILL/SWIM (4x50 for little kids)

8X25 (25 fast free/25 smooth choice) (4x25 for little3 kids)

Let's have a Great Day Tomorrow 

PEOPLE PLEASER

 

Are you a people pleaser?  Have you ever given any thought to that notion?  It's human nature to be a people pleaser and swimmers are human maybe a little freaky at times, but human none the less, so yes you are a people pleaser.

Swimmers have a lot of people watching them from parents, coaches, peers, friends and yes ourselves.  This one thought is probably always on your mind to one extreme or another, "I just don't want to let anyone down including myself."  

Dwelling on this adds another level of stress and anxiety as you step onto the blocks and may sabotage your performance.   It may serve you well to stand up, take a step back and look around.  Understand the power of racing the self fulfillment in accomplishing a goal that you put out there. All those people watching you are your support system, there to praise you after a good race and to pick you up with encouragement after a bad race.  I always giggle to myself when kids ask me what a cut is or what their time is and I always respond the same way which is I don't know.  If it's not important enough for you to know what makes you think I'll know.  Coaches have a lot of swimmers they are working with.  True story.  I coached my own daughters for most of their swimming career and I can honestly say I never knew their times, maybe I knew the neighborhood, but not the exact time.  What I think I am trying to get you to understand is that you need to let go of all the outside stress and anxiety and focus on what you do well and have FUN doing it or what's the point.  

At the end of the day you need to be comfortable and confident in YOUR skin and race because you enjoy pushing your limits to see how far YOU can go and understanding that at times you will come up short.  Even in failure you enjoyed the opportunity you had to chase that goal and you know how to pick yourself up and continue Your fight.


NEXT:  BOUNCING BACK

Sunday, April 10, 2022

OVERTHINKING

 

As swimmers we've all had those moments behind the blocks when you have all these voices in your head telling you what you are and are not capable of. Who do you listen to?

We have discussed before that when all the workouts are finished the mental side of swimming takes over.  Yes, this sport is physical and takes a certain amount of talent and dedication to move to that next level, but you cannot ignore the mental side of swimming.  

The mental side of your swimming needs as much attention and time that you dedicate in the water, if not more.  The mental side of your swimming starts each day with the way you talk to yourself as you go through your day.  If your conversations are always negative with yourself, what chance do you have maybe 50/50.  Now, how do we get to this where we are always felling good about yourself and get to that positive place in your swimming.


What's the first thing You do in the morning?  Of course everyone has to get out of bed.  What's the next thing you do?  If you don't already I would challenge you to make your bed before you leave your room. Such a small detail taking about a minute from your 24 hours of an already filled day of things to do.  If you can perform this simple task each day you are well on your way to that positive mindset.  Is that really necessary you wonder, I believe it does so stay with me for a second or two...   First off when you make your bed first thing in the morning, you have already completed a task, small as it may seem and 
you can start your day knowing you have already completed a positive task.  If you have a tough day at school, or maybe a tough workout in the pool, disagreements with friends, maybe even parents you will return to your room that evening and to a bed that was all made by you, a task for which you should feel positive about.

NEXT PLEASING PEOPLE

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

PREPARING for MEET

Hope You all are enjoying your spring break.  It was good to see so many of you Florida bound swimmers at practice yesterday.

STROKE SPOTLIGHT

  We thought we would take a break and touch on a DQ that in my opinion is very judgmental and really does not offer a advantage to you, the swimmer.  The backstroke finish.  


Has it ever happen to you?

MEET PREPARATION

Sometimes preparing for the meet is as important as the meet itself, but coach isn't that what we do at practice everyday?   Yes and No.  We try to take care of the physical, in the water stuff, working on techniques and going through actual race strategy but what about the mental side. A few things that mighty help you when preparing for a meet;

  •  know the events your swimming-- Simple enough you say but I am always amazed how many swimmers show up to a meet without a clue as to what they are swimming or the order of events.  How can you be mentally prepared to succeed without this basic information.  TAKE OWNERSHIP
  • familiarize yourself with the meet and the setup so that there won't be any surprises.  Meet sheets, timelines, boy/girl side, warmup/warmdown pools.  There is a ton off information that coaches put out for you to make it as simple as we can. Quick fact you are one but many times coaches have 20,30 or more of you, so again TAKE OWNERSHIP. if you have a question ask us.
  • Set some goals for the meet-- it's simple to say something along the lines of "I want to go a best time or I want to break the 57.00 barrier in 100 free.  That is all good but it is easy to say.  A better goal is to say how you are going to accomplish those 2 things.  It gives you specifics to work with and to follow through on.
  • Visualize your race-- close your eyes and walk through each 25 and 50 of your race.  From the start to the breakout, into your turns and finally the finish.  Play a game and time yourself and see how close to your time you can get to.
  • Remind yourself that you can do it-- too many times I believe athletes talk themselves down by thinking and repeating to themselves all the things that they can't do or that will go wrong.  You all do know that if you keep saying and repeating those things it will eventually become reality.  So, while we are down in Florida and as you step up onto the block, TAKE OWNERSHIP and say these four powerful words to yourself, " WHY NOT ME TODAY".
Sometimes things do go wrong and it becomes incredibly easy to become negative and it can put a damper on your attitude. We Get It.  Instead of throwing yourself a pity party seek out a trusted teammate or your coach and let them know you are struggling, often we can get you headed back in the right direction.  Have the courage to keep stepping up and trying.

Anyway Happy Swimming and here is a short video that might put all of this in perspective.  Enjoy!



POSITIVE VERSUS NEGATIVE

For all you Gold/Blue swimmers who came out this weekend to race, it was great to watch you.  As we watched you go through your events we we...