January 31, 2013
Improving One Stroke At A Time
by: Jarrod Marrs (former USA National Team member)
So often you hear swimmers frustrated with their lack of seeing improvement. So often you see parents express the same concern. Most of the time, this comes after mid season meets. They say they are working hard. They've been going to practice. What's the deal?? Don't panic! Not to worry. It is easy for newer, younger, or even more experienced swimmers and their parents to start questioning things when a new best time isn't on that clock. Or a plateau hits on improvement. Don't get upset, stay with the plan.
Swimmers at the most elite level, MIGHT see a best time maybe one or two times a year. This happens usually at the meet that they are focused on or rest for. Sometimes, they will go a couple of years before seeing a best time. Or maybe four years later at the next Olympic games. They don't panic after a slow swim mid season. They know that tons of factors are at play. Successful swimmers stay focused and are confident that their work will pay off when the time comes!
It happens one stroke at a time. One kick at a time. Every streamline, every stroke, is making you better. Whether it be swimming, dryland, nutrition, staying hydrated, whatever your focused on, it's making the difference. The point is, all those little things add up. All those little things will eventually pay off. All those little things will eventually make a BIG DIFFERENCE!! Weather you are shooting for B champs or Olympic trials, stay focused and positive!
Parents, in your job, did you get to where you were in a week? A month? Probably not. You had to work your way up and be patient on your goals. If someone is trying to lose 20 or 30 pounds, is it going to happen in a week? A month? Probably not. But over a few months, a year, much more likely. That person will not see a drastic change if they step on a scale every day. If they expect that, they will become frustrated and a lot of times give up. But every time they eat right, every time they exercise, it makes a difference. The little improvements they make every day will add up to that BIG weight loss later on!
So don't sweat it! It's the same concept with swimming. Trust in your training. Trust in your coaches. Keep your eyes on the prize. Be patient and stay focused. Swimmers, keep up the hard work. Parents, keep up the positive encouragement. You will get there, one stroke at a time!