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New Year - A Fresh Start

Hello Blue Wave,

With the new year here and the conclusion of the decade, it's time to set some new goals and resolutions! Make this the year that you keep your resolution. The one where you don’t just talk about the rad stuff you want to accomplish in the pool, but actually stick to your word and follow through with it.

With that in mind, listed below are a few ideas for helping you craft resolutions that you keep this year:

1. No pulling on the lane lines. Yes, we watch you do this! We all could not be more guilty of this one. I have cut my fingers numerous times on lane ropes that were chipped and jagged, and yet, I go back for more. I’ll learn, maybe, someday. But probably not.

2. Complete each set. Don’t stop at the other end and pretend to fix your goggles/cap. Everyone watches you do that. But what about yourself? If you give yourself permission to stop or back off in practice, are you training yourself to back off during a race? I’d say that is exactly what your preparing for.

3. Be less of a grouch during practice. Each swimmer has their own facial expressions and demeanor when they are neck deep in a difficult set. Some get angry, some get hysterically giddy, while others resort to cursing under their breath at the end of each repeat. “Think positive” isn’t just an overused cliché—the way we phrase our thoughts has a real effect on how you actually feel. Have a positive attitude any make it contagious! Help each other. That is the strength of a team.

4. Sleep more! Now this is a resolution that I am sure a lot of you can get behind. Sleep plays a huge factor in helping you recover from your workouts, and, well, it’s easy and it is totally free! Just lay there, and close your eyes and stuff. The hard part is finding time to do it, and requires you making a commitment to going to bed a little earlier and ignoring the bedroom eyes your cell phone, tablet, and Netflix are giving you. Your body responds best to keeping your sleep schedule the same as much as you can.

5. Start journaling your workouts (I know you’ve heard this before!). Recording your workouts is a good time. You pick up valuable intel over the course of your training, it provides a few therapeutic moments of reflection after your workouts, and also gives you a record of progression that should pump your tires and keep you motivated to return to the pool each day.

6. Each day encourage a youngster on the team. Believe it or not, the younger kids look up to you. Seriously. You’re older, cooler, and you get to swim in the faster group. You don’t need to be a world record holder to influence the swimming and the lives of younger swimmers on your team. Each day spend a few minutes working (or just talking) with a younger athlete on the team. Not only will it remind you why you fell in love with the sport to begin with, it will make their day.

7. Finish the warm-down. Wow, this is a great idea coach! Beyond the active recovery aspect of warming down, I’ve always found that once you start cutting corners in areas of your workout that seem trivial it becomes easier to cut corners on the main sets as well. You should be committed to being an absolutist in this regard. Do the set as prescribed and execute as best you can. Remember that the way you do anything is the way you do everything.

8. Lead the lane more often. Don’t be afraid to rise to the occasion. Cruising in the middle of the group, or even towards the end of the lane might be comfortable (in the energy saving draft) and safe, but it’s not going to help you swim any faster. Stepping up and taking responsibility for leading the lane means you have to pay attention to the set (a good thing) lest you lose count of laps or repeats, and the little bit of pressure of knowing the rest of the lane is trying to chase you down will push you to give a good effort.

9. Reward yourself. Marking the small victories that litter our respective journeys makes the long haul of the season exceptionally more enjoyable. You don’t need to wait until you drop ten seconds in your 200 IM to recognize that what you are doing is awesome. Make every practice that week? High five! Did 7 dolphin kicks off every wall for a full workout? Boo-yeah! Didn’t use 6 arm pulls into each wall during the kick set? I can respect it! Celebrate the victories and treat yourself, and you will find that you will become ever more eager to seek out continued improvement.

What are some of your new year’s resolutions?

See y’all at the pool!

Coach Corley