Wednesday Wisdom

Swimmers Live for Getting Faster BY Olivier LeRoy

Being able to go faster than we ever have is what fuels all those early mornings, the long, bordering-on-endless swim meets, the uncertainty and doubt over the season.

But for a lot of swimmers, improving feels like a bit of a mystery.  Which it absolutely doesn’t need to be.  Improvement is super simple…

When approached in the right way.  Here are three things I challenge you to start doing in the water.  They are things you can start doing today.  Don’t require a big ramping-up period.  And will help you no matter where you are at in the season or in your process.

Let’s go.

Focus on little bits of improvement each day.

Elite swimmers didn’t wake up elite.  But they do wake up each day and chase small chunks of improvement.  An extra dolphin kick here. A faster interval there. An extra hour of sleep over here.  These little chunks of improvement are barely noticeable on a daily basis. They seem so small, so insignificant, that they are dismissed or procrastinated upon.

But they add up to something incredible over the course of a few months, a season, a career.  Today at the pool, chase a couple of meaningful bits of improvement.

Be clear about your process.

Average swimmers have a vague and abstract idea of what they hope to do at the pool today. I want to swim fast.  That kind of thing.  Elite swimmers have a specific and clear process for improving. I am going to give a 9/10 effort at practice today.   Clarity boosts motivation and boosts effort.

If you can’t be specific about what you are going to do to be better, how can you expect to be up to the challenge when opportunities for improvement come your way?

Today at the pool, walk onto the deck with a specific and clear idea of what you are going to do to be better.

Reward the process.

The medals and records get all the attention and the glory.  There are no news stories about how a swimmer went to practice each day for three months straight and worked their tails off. It’s on you to recognize your moments of excellence.  In your logbook. In a text file on your smartphone. Wherever.

Your moments of excellence, where you take note and reward the process, is the foundation of your confidence on race day.  Don’t let all that excellence and resulting confidence go to waste.  Reward how well you execute your process on a daily basis.

Today at the pool, when you are done and toweling off, recognize the things you did well.