February 19, 2015
“The Importance of Being Punctual”
By Coach Andy and Coach Tomoko
Making a Cultural Shift
Vince Lombardi was famous for a great deal of accomplishments on the football field, but it was more than just X’s and O’s that made him a great coach. Lombardi was known best among his organization for changing the culture of the Green Bay Packers down to the very last detail. On the field and off the field, Lombardi built a disciplined mindset within his team that spread to every employee from the GM down to the ball boys and janitors. It started before every practice with a mantra, which later became known as Lombardi Time:
15 minutes early is on time.
On time is late.
Late is unacceptable.
At Asphalt Green we are striving to be the best and create an environment where championship swimming is not just likely, but inevitable. In order to do that though, we can make afford to make some seismic shifts in how we operate. We can start by coming to a collective understanding of how important it is to be on time… in the Lombardi sense of the term.
When I (Coach Andy) first moved to the Cayman Islands I was taken back by the lack of punctuality that gripped the entire team. They called it “island time,” where evidently, being 20-30 minutes late was not only acceptable, but considered the norm. Not only was it normal but parents (including board members) told me it would never change. Low and behold, within three months, every swimmer was showing up 15-20 minutes before training ready for stretching and activation exercises. The island swimmers quickly learned how important it was to be prepared and ahead of the curve in such a competitive sport, and so can AGUA.
The Practical Application for Swimmers
Growing up in Japan (Coach Tomoko), being early meant that you respected the time of those you are meeting (coaches and teammates), it is also proved you are truly invested in your training and understand how critical every moment is spent at the pool. Punctuality is a simple habit that is contagious and will drastically help our swimmers to become disciplined, detail-oriented athletes destined for success.
At swim meets we are assigned a certain amount of time and lane space for warm-up and in this situation, it becomes even more critical to be punctual and prepared. Warming up is one of the essential elements which can greatly affect how swimmers perform in races. With so many swimmers in such a small space, our athletes need to be ready to go physically and mentally. The warm-up truly is the beginning of the swimmers race
Yes, sometimes it is truly difficult to make a commute from school and arrive exactly on time for an early afternoon session, but for the most part it is doable. All across the country swimmers travel long distances for quality training environments much like the environment we strive to provide at AGUA. No matter how near or far you travel though, it is important we change the culture here at Asphalt Green and make that collective movement toward Lombardi time. 15 minutes early is on time, on time is late and late…. Well, let’s eliminate that.
Let’s just call that… AGUA Time! Go Green!