Race to Win
The water is cold
but you’re pumped.
You will stand and swim,
Not lie down for people to beat you.
You will not give in.
The race goes on,
You’re not tired,
Not even out of breath.
You will not give in.
They might be faster,
Might be ranked higher,
But that doesn’t matter.
You will not give in.
You will race your fastest,
You will not be able to walk when you’re done,
You really will give it all you have.
You will not give in.
By: Christine Butcher
Good advice from U.S. Team Member, Josh
1. Finesse -
strive for the best technique possible. Pay attention to how you
hold your head, shoulders, and hips in finding your balance and
achieving the perfect streamline. Always use a high elbow
underwater - in every stroke - as this puts your forearm in a
position to push against the water. Do all drills with great
2. Fitness -
improve the 3 energy systems - endurance, power, and speed - to
improve your "engine". You can keep going in aerobic sets
(endurance) when what you really want to do is stop and catch your
breath; you can keep pushing strongly against the water and keep
kicking strongly (power) during anaerobic sets when your arms feel
like they’re going to fall off and your legs burn with the
effort of fast kicking; you can keep your tempo up (speed) in
sprint sets and maintain great form even though you feel
you’re on the edge of losing your technique. When the coach
asks you to do "extra work" by swimming double practices, adding
surgical tubing workouts to gain strength, biking or running, look
at this as an opportunity to do more than your competitors might be
willing to do.
3. Flexibility - stretch out lightly several times a day.
Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds. Always stretch until
you’re just starting to feel discomfort - DON’T stretch
so much that you feel pain. The best time to stretch is after
you’ve warmed up or after you’ve finished your
practice. Consider stretching out on deck for 5 or 10 minutes after
practice. Only stretch when your muscles are warm.
4. Fuel - It
is so easy to just "snack" instead of eating real meals. Consider
eating 4 or 5 small or medium meals every day. We need to eat as
much fresh, raw (uncooked) vegetables and fresh raw fruit as
possible. Don’t go for the convenient "processed" foods like
packaged cookies or chips. They may taste good but they have very
little nutritional value. Whole grains are very important - whole
wheat breads, pasta, oatmeal, brown rice. Eat several helpings of
these foods each day. Get into the habit of choosing vegetable
protein instead of the "higher fat" animal protein by eating
legumes - all kinds of beans (soybean products like tofu and miso,
navy beans, pinto beans, etc), nuts, and seeds. When you do eat
animal protein, make sure the source is a "lean" cut of that meat,
leave off the skin of chicken for instance, choose fish like tuna
and salmon, eat small portions of pork, etc. Drink as much pure
water as you can throughout the day, breathe slowly and deeply
several times a day (before practice, after practice, before sleep,
etc). Increase the amount of quality sleep you get each night (you
probably need 8 to 10 hours and perhaps even a nap during the day).
You need to reduce the stress in your life so that your immune
system can be at its best. Avoid caffeine, too much sugar, added
salt, etc. Of course, smoking and drinking are both illegal and
dangerous as well as counterproductive for athletes. Don’t
give in to the BAD kind of peer pressure that says alcohol and
drugs are "cool".
5. Focus -
Set medium and long term goals with very specific and achievable
times and maintain a positive attitude about achieving your goals.
Be patient with your own progress. Be thankful for the gifts you
have (Have an Attitude of Gratitude) whether those gifts are
mental, emotional, or physical.
6. Family and
Friends - Serve others so that you don’t get
completely wrapped up in your own "story". Listen to your parents -
they know you better than anyone else. Do what they ask in terms of
chores around the house so that you begin to build a good "work
ethic" from an early age. Choose your friends carefully; those
around you can greatly influence your thoughts and actions. Listen
carefully to your friends and learn what they value and what their
7. Trust -
Listen to the suggestions of your coaches. They are some of the
most influential adults in your life. At some point you may spend
more time with your coach than you do with your parents. Learn
everything they’re trying to teach you. There are many
lessons involved in our sport that will prove valuable throughout
training, easy combat; easy training, hard combat.
Marshal Suvorov, famous Russian
lead to superficial results.
Attila the Hun
Perfection is not
attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch
To exercise at or
near capacity is the best way I know of reaching a true
introspective state. If you do it right, it can open all kinds of
Al Oerter - 4 times Olympic Gold Medalist in
Part of the
beauty and much of the moral seriousness of sport derives from the
severe justice of strenuous play in a circumscribed universe of
rules that protect the integrity of competition. Records are worth
recording, and worth striving to surpass, because they serve as
benchmarks of excellence achieved under the pressure of
George F. Will
it’s a dream
until you write it down, and then its a goal.
action is a dream. Action without vision is aimless. Vision with
action will achieve.
You never fail, you
simply produce results. Learn from these.
Failure is the path
of least persistence.
I have not failed
10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not
When a person
trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a
thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has
developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That
doesn’t matter. Am I tired? That doesn’t matter,
either. Then willpower will be no problem.
principally an act of faith. The athlete must believe in its
efficacy; he must believe that through training he will become
fitter and stronger; that by constant repetition of the same
movements he will become more skillful and his muscles more
relaxed. He must be a fanatic for hard work and enthusiastic enough
to enjoy it.
There are some who
can run the fastest, jump the highest, or lift the heaviest, but no
one has the corner on ambition, desire, and hustle.
Belief is the
thermostat that regulates all success.
The desire to win
is born in most of us. The will to win is a matter of training. The
manner of winning is a matter of honor.
than others think is safe ~ Care more than others think is wise ~
Dream more than others think is practical ~ Expect more than others
think is possible.
If you love
what you do, you won’t work a day in your life.
Security is mostly
a superstition. It is not found in nature and children of man do
not as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the
long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure
If one advances
confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live
the life which he has imagined, he will meet with the success
unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau
believe in yourself, have dedication and pride and never quit,
you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high, but so are
Paul "Bear" Bryant
There will come a
point in the race, when you alone will need to decide. You will
need to make a choice. Do you really want it? You will need to
Habits are cobwebs
at first; cables at last.
Things may come to
those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
affirm absolutely that nothing great in the world has been
accomplished without passion"
G. Wilhelm Friedrich
when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is
acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Plato, The Republic
That which we
achieve too easily, we esteem too lightly.
Everyone has the
desire to win, but only champions have the desire to
Overheard during the 1997 Boston
The important thing
in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, the important
thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential
thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. To spread
these precepts is to build up a stronger and more valiant and,
above all, more scrupulous and more generous humanity.
Pierre De Coubertin
Far better it is to
dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered
by failure . . . than to rank with those poor spirits who neither
enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight
that knows not victory nor defeat.
The heights which
great men reached and kept, Were not attained by sudden flight,
They, whilst their companions slept, Were toiling upwards in the
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
No Easy Way
Allan Wells (1980 Olympic 100m
shouldn’t be afraid to lose; this is sport. One day you win;
another day you lose. Of course, everyone wants to be the best.
This is normal. This is what sport is about. This is why I love
Olympic Gold Medalist Oksana
dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty
recesses of their minds wake in the day to find out it was vanity:
but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act
their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.
unpleasant is developmental
"Kaikki vittumainen kehittää"
translated from the Finnish
stops upon satisfaction
"Kehitys loppuu tyytyväisyyteen"
translated from the Finnish
Mind is everything:
muscle-pieces of rubber. All that I am, I am because of my
If not you,
who? If not now, when?
Garry Herbert - 1992 Olympic 2+ rowing
If you race
merely for the tributes from others, you will be at the mercy of
It is a sublime
thing to suffer and be stronger.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It aint the size of
the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the
The view from
the summit is worth the effort
We run, not because
we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot
help ourselves. The more restricted our society and work become,
the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving
for freedom. No one can say, ’You must not run faster than
this, or jump higher than that.’ The human spirit is
Sir Roger Bannister
I find that
the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
Nothing can stop
the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal,
nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong
If a man does his
best, what else is there?
George S. Patton
DO or DO NOT.
There is no ’Try’.
The more I
talk to athletes, the more convinced I become that the method of
training is relatively unimportant. There are many ways to the top,
and the training method you choose is just the one that suits you
best. No, the important thing is the attitude of the athlete, the
desire to get to the top.
At the peak of
tremendous and victorious effort, while the blood is pounding in
your head, all suddenly comes quiet within you. Everything seems
clearer and whiter than ever before, as if great spotlights had
been turned on. At that moment, you have the conviction that you
contain all the power in the world, that you are capable of
everything, that you have wings. There is no more precise moment in
life than this, the WHITE MOMENT, and you will work hard for years,
just to taste it again.
Obstacles are those
frightening things that become visible when we take our eyes off
bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.
Try to be better than yourself.
Life does not
require us to be the biggest or the best, it asks only that we
isn’t permanent and failure isn’t fatal.
be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
It is one of
the strange ironies of this strange life that those who work the
hardest, who subject themselves to the strictest discipline, who
give up certain pleasurable things in order to achieve a goal, are
the happiest men. When you see 20 or 30 men line up for a distance
race in some meet, don’t pity them, don’t feel sorry
for them. Better envy them instead.
amount of opposition can be of great help to a man - Kites rise
against, not with the wind.
is the result of experience and experience is the result of bad
Not everything that
counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted
Sir George Picketing, often quoted by Albert
Great spirits have
always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
problems you face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we
were at when we created them.
Man cannot discover
new oceans until he has the courage to lose the sight of
Man is not
cut out for defeat. Man can be destroyed but not defeated.
We will go to the
moon. We will go to the moon and do other things, NOT because they
are easy but because they are HARD.
John F. Kennedy
strongest have their moments of fatigue.
Thus I urge
you to go on to your greatness if you believe it is in you. Think
deeply and separate what you wish from what you are prepared to
Percy Wells Cerutty
Judge your success
by what you had to give up in order to get it.
The Dali Lama
There is a
difference between interest and commitment. When you’re
interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances
permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no
excuses, only results.
of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their
commitment to excellence.
Practice + Effortless Intention =
Coherence of Function and Entrainment of Interactions
mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will
reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers
so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.
Use the talents you possess -- for
the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except for
because they think they can.
to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.
who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
Robert F. Kennedy
the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.
The loftier the
building, the deeper must the foundation be laid.
What does not
kill me makes me stronger.
can’t build a reputation on what you are going to
A journey of
a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and
probably will themselves not be realized. Make big plans; aim high
in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once
recorded will not die.
It is no use
walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our
St. Francis of Assisi
for the worst thing in the world is of the same stuff as you; be
confident, for the stars are of the same stuff as you.
There are no traffic jams
when you go the extra mile.
revolution in our generation is that of human beings, who by
changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer
aspects of their lives.
There are two
rules for success. . .
1) Never tell everything you know.
Roger H. Lincoln
The future is
not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the
present, but a place that is created--created first in the mind and
will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are
going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found,
but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker
and the destination.
conquers all things.
An ounce of
action is worth a ton of theory.
No man is
free who is not master of himself.
ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The
prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it. The man who
knows how will always have a job. The man who also knows why will
always be his boss. As to methods there may be a million and then
some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can
successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods,
ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.
difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of
strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of
methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is
noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by
experience, which is the bitterest.
an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly
because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those
because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.
struggle continue the climb it may be only one step to the
Keep in mind
that neither success nor failure is ever final.
All that we
are is the result of what we have thought.
and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality
what we would appear to be; all human virtues increase and
strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them.
isn’t about making the right choices. It’s about
dealing with the consequences.
is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and
looks like work.
happens unless first a dream.
Focus 90% of
your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems.
sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the
opportunity in every difficulty.
Sir Winston Churchill
The height of your success is
determined by the depth of your belief.
Challenges are put in our way, not
to stop us, but to call out our courage and strength.
If you do not consciously form
good habits, you will unconsciously form bad ones.
service you can render someone else is by helping him help himself.
If you see an opportunity in his path, point it out, but let your
hand guide, not push him. Remember the risk is his, and that he who
takes it must make the decision."
Only those risking to go far will
ever know how far they can go.
The road to success is always
If you can’t describe what
you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what
We are shaped by our thoughts; we
become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a
shadow that never leaves.
"I am enough of an artist to
draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than
knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
"We gain strength, and
courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop
to look fear in the face . . . we must do that which we think we
CONCEIVE - BELIEVE -
"Education is not the
filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
Don’t be afraid to take one
large step; you can’t cross a chasm in two small
Failure to prepare is preparing to
you do for others is the rent you pay for the time you spend on
you’re on the right track; you’ll get run over if you
just sit there."
That which we obtain too
easily, we esteem too lightly.
"I hear and I
forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
Let those who would enjoy a
good future, waste none of your present.
cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of
trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition
inspired, and success achieved."
one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."
It’s not how hard you
fall, it’s how high you bounce that matters. If you get up
one more time than you fall, you will make it through Life’s
How important is attitude?
Remember this: your ability is what you’re capable of doing;
your motivation determines what you accomplish; your attitude
determines how well you do it. If you want to swim well, you will
need a great attitude to do so.
attitude becomes weakness of character."
Everyone is self-made; but
only the successful are ever willing to admit it.
you’re courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When
you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour.
That which is static and
repetitive can become boring. That which is dynamic and random can
become confusing. Balance is the key to all things.
Great athletes are people who can
do their best at a time when they don’t particularly feel
Remember that we come to wisdom
through failure. Don’t be afraid to "fail". This is often the
result when you attempt to achieve that which you have not yet
mastered. Yet it is only through this continued attempt in the very
face of failure that we will ultimately succeed.
Wonder is the beginning of
Liberty is the right to
choose. This is our one fundamental right. Freedom is the result of
the right choice.
yourself - to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of
mind. To talk health, happiness and prosperity to everyone you
meet. To look at the sunny side of everything. To think of only the
best and expect only the best. To be too large for worry, too noble
for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the
presence of trouble."
"To work for
some high goal in the face of long odds; to keep on struggling for
it in the face of certain defeat; to believe in it in the face of
constant criticism; to keep spirits up in the face of
disillusionment; to hold fast to it in the face of peril - this is
the essence of an adventurous life. With such a spirit we can
accomplish great deeds." Anonymous
Whenever you feel as if a
door has closed in your face, quiet your mind and take a few deep
breaths. Become more aware of your surroundings. You just might
feel the breeze from the window of opportunity that has opened
right behind you.
No pressure, no diamonds. If
there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Remember - we all stumble at
times, every one of us. That’s why it’s such a comfort
to go hand-in-hand, to be part of a team. We can help each other up
and continue on.
The only lifelong, reliable
motivations are those which come from within, and one of the
strongest of those is the joy that grows from knowing that
you’ve just done something as well as you can possibly do it.
This is called intrinsic motivation. The great Brandeis
psychologist, Teresa M. Amabile said, "Intrinsic motivation is
conducive to creativity; extrinsic motivation is detrimental to
creativity" meaning that at some point you must follow your inner
muse, your inner voice, to truly bring forth the sum of your
creative powers. Ultimately, swimming, like all sport, is about
creating the perfect form, becoming one with the perfect movement
needed to go forward through the most dense medium humans ever
perform in - water.
The best way to predict the
future is to create it.
"It is not the critic who
counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or
where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit
belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is
marred by the dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who
errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort
without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do
the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who
spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end
the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails,
at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall
never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory
nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan
"press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the
The Five Expectations
1. Arrive on time.
2. Bring your water bottle and drink from it often.
3. Pay attention
4. Give your best efforts.
5. Encourage your teammates.
As coaches, we have daily expectations for each swimmer. This is
different from the short term goals we share with our swimmers that
help define their season or the long term goals that give their
career meaning. These daily expectations provide structure for each
practice session and clearly show what our team values:
punctuality, good health, the ability to focus mentally, a strong
positive attitude, and a commitment to help others, especially
those who we train with every day.