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Are You A Righty Or A Lefty?

Last month, I re-posted an article I wrote a few years back about your relationship with swimming. It can be found here.  This post, which I have posted in the past as well, is a way in which you can examine that relationship in a more structured manner. I hope it is helpful to our athletes as we get ready to finish one phase of the season and head into another.

Are You A Righty Or A Lefty?

There is a lot that goes into becoming a fully committed athlete. Our Levels System is an attempt to create a sound developmental path for athletes, parents and coaches to follow throughout their growth as a swimmer. It is a comprehensive approach, but it can be daunting. To make things easier, here is a quick and easy way to gauge your current commitment level as an athlete.


Our program is based under the principles of Passion, Preparation and Performance. I have broken up those three elements into four additional areas. On the top of the chart are four columns entitled. “Exploring”, Beginning”, “Deepening” and “Centered” Under each, you can see where you fit into each category. The further you are to the right of each, the more committed you are as an athlete.


Most athletes will be stronger in some areas than others.  I hope that this quick and easy method will help the swimmers understand their strengths and help them identify areas in which they can improve. The more championship behaviors and attitudes are at a swimmer’s center, the better they will perform in the pool.  They will also find they have more enjoyment in the sport and beyond the competitive arena as well.  


Here is another way to use this chart.  Once you have identified some weaknesses, why not find a teammate who falls to your right in some areas to either mentor you? If you are to the right of a teammate, why not volunteer to mentor them? If you and a friend on the team are at the same stage of your journey, why not commit to take the path to the right together? Keep in mind, your coaches are always here to help as well.  


We are trying to implement programs, like the Levels Systems, to make your journey easier. If you can think of a way that I can help you get a little more centered, just ask. Your input may not only help you, but your teammates and others who will take the journey in the years to come.


So, what are you? A righty or a lefty? ( I know, last post was about going left....but go with it) Keep in mind, it is not where you start, but how you finish. Here is to all of us finishing “right”.


You can download a cleaner, easy to use .pdf copy of the chart by clicking here  


Becoming A Centered Athlete  


A Life Committed to (1) Passion (2) Preparation (3) Performance

 

 


Exploring


Beginning


Deepening


Centered


Mindset (1)


There are times when I see myself as an athlete.


When people ask what I do, I tell them I swim.


I think of myself as an athlete and try to make choices accordingly.


I am an athlete. I live my life in a manner that helps me meet my
goals.


Technique (1)

I admire people who do the little things right.


I try to understand what the drills we do are trying to improve.


I actively try to make stroke improvements during practice.


I am a student of the sport and am focused on doing my technique
perfect every lap.


Attendance (1)


I go to swimming when it is convenient.


I go to practice a few times a week, but know I should go more often.


I try to go every day, but there are times when I have other commitments.


I attend every practice. Unless there is a family emergency, I am there.


Practice (2)


I do what I can when I am at practice, but sit out when I get
tired.


When I am at practice, I try to make every lap.


I know the energy zones and how they “feel”. I try to hold my prescribes energy zone paces and do it most of the time.


I constantly hold my proper paces and understand why it is
important to meet my season ending goals.


Nutrition (2)


I eat what I want, when I want, but know I should do a better job
with my diet.


I try to watch what I eat at home and school, but I can get
distracted when I am dining out or at a friend’s
house.


I eat well most of the time and want to learn how to eat even
healthier.


I understand what to eat and how to fuel my body for success. I
consistently eat the right food.


Time Management (2)


I know I should get more rest, but there is so much to do.


I try to arrange my schedule so I can fit in school, family and
swimming.


I can balance the demands placed on me most of the time, but there are times when it gets tough.


I have complete control over my life and can meet the demands
placed on me and still get the rest I need to excel.


Race Prep (3)


I see people warm up and stretch before a meet and wonder if I
should do so as well.


I try to get to meets on time and warm up with my team. I bring
healthy food and drinks with me as well.


I take an active role during meet warm ups and team stretches. I
try to eat the right food at the right times.


I know what I need to do pre and post race and always prepare
properly for each event. It has become automatic.


Racing (3)


I may miss an event now and then and know I should focus more on my swimming at meets.


I get my events, heats and lanes for each event in advance and get
to the blocks on time.


I take the time to warm up before I swim, I get to the blocks on
time and do my pre race routine before each swim.


I am well fueled, mentally prepared and have a complete
understanding of my race strategy. I can get into the “zone” on command.


Communication (3)


I keep to myself at practice and meets, but listen to what the
coach says.


I ask my coach for help when I do not understand what is asked of me.


I communicate my goals with my coach and let him or her know when
something is wrong. We speak pre and post race.


I feel that I have a partnership with my coach and parents. We work together to find ways to meet our shared goals at both practices
and meets.

See You At The Pool - Rich