Inspiritional Advice and Quotes

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 Davis

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 focus.  

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 goals are. 

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 your life. 


Hard training, easy combat; easy training, hard combat.
Marshal Suvorov, famous Russian General

Superficial goals lead to superficial results.
Attila the Hun

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
Vince Lombardi

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 inner doors.
Al Oerter - 4 times Olympic Gold Medalist in Discus

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 competition.
George F. Will

it’s a dream until you write it down, and then its a goal.

Vision without 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 work.
Thomas Edison

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.
Emil Zatopek

Training is 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.
Franz Stampfl

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.
Margaret Thatcher

Risk more 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 or nothing.
Helen Keller

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

If you believe in yourself, have dedication and pride and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high, but so are the rewards.
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 decide.
Rolf Arands

Habits are cobwebs at first; cables at last.
Chinese Proverb

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
Abraham Lincoln

"We may affirm absolutely that nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion"
G. Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Bodily exercise, 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.
Thomas Paine

Everyone has the desire to win, but only champions have the desire to prepare.
Overheard during the 1997 Boston Marathon

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.
Theodore Roosevelt

The heights which great men reached and kept, Were not attained by sudden flight, They, whilst their companions slept, Were toiling upwards in the night.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There’s No Easy Way
Allan Wells (1980 Olympic 100m Champion)

One 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 it.
Olympic Gold Medalist Oksana Baiul

All men 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.
T.H. Lawrence

Everything unpleasant is developmental
"Kaikki vittumainen kehittää" translated from the Finnish

Progress 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 mind.
Paavo Nurmi

If not you, who? If not now, when?
Garry Herbert - 1992 Olympic 2+ rowing Finalist

If you race merely for the tributes from others, you will be at the mercy of their expectations.
Scott Tinley

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 dog.
Author unknown

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 indomitable.
Sir Roger Bannister

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
Thomas Jefferson

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal, nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong attitude.
Thomas Jefferson

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.
Herb Elliot

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.
Yuri Vlason

Obstacles are those frightening things that become visible when we take our eyes off our goals.
Henry Ford

Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
William Faulkner

Life does not require us to be the biggest or the best, it asks only that we try.
Author unknown

Success isn’t permanent and failure isn’t fatal.
Mike Ditka

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Albert Einstein

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.
Brutus Hamilton

A certain amount of opposition can be of great help to a man - Kites rise against, not with the wind.
John Neal

Good judgment is the result of experience and experience is the result of bad judgment.

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.
Sir George Picketing, often quoted by Albert Einstein

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
Albert Einstein

Significant problems you face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.
Albert Einstein

Man cannot discover new oceans until he has the courage to lose the sight of land.

Man is not cut out for defeat. Man can be destroyed but not defeated.
Ernest Hemingway

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

Even the strongest have their moments of fatigue.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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 do.
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.
Art Turock

The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence.
Vince Lombardi

Practice + Effortless Intention = Coherence of Function and Entrainment of Interactions

On the 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.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Use the talents you possess -- for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except for the best.

They can because they think they can.

Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.
William Feather

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
Robert F. Kennedy

The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.

The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundation be laid.
Thomas Kempis

Efficiency is intelligent laziness.
David Dunham

What does not kill me makes me stronger.

You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.
Henry Ford

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

Make no 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.
Daniel Burnham

It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.
St. Francis of Assisi

Be humble, 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.
Nicholai Velimirovic

There are no traffic jams when you go the extra mile.

The greatest 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.
Marilyn Ferguson

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.
John Schaar, futurist

Courage conquers all things.

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.
Friedrich Engels

No man is free who is not master of himself.

Without 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.
Emerson (1803-1882)

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.
Vince Lombardi

By three 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. 

Excellence is 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.

The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.
Arnold Toynbee

Whatever the struggle continue the climb it may be only one step to the summit.
Diane Westlake

Keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final.
Roger Babson

All that we are is the result of what we have thought.

The shortest 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.
Socrates (BC 469-399)

Honor isn’t about making the right choices. It’s about dealing with the consequences.
Midori Koto

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Edison

Nothing happens unless first a dream.
Carl Sandburg

Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems.
Anthony J. D’Angelo

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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.

"The greatest 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."
Balthazar Gracian

Only those risking to go far will ever know how far they can go.

The road to success is always under construction.

If you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.

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." Albert Einstein

"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 cannot." Eleanor Roosevelt


"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
W.B. Yeats

Don’t be afraid to take one large step; you can’t cross a chasm in two small leaps.

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.

"The service you do for others is the rent you pay for the time you spend on earth."
Mohammed Ali

"Even if you’re on the right track; you’ll get run over if you just sit there."
Will Rogers

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.

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."
Helen Keller

"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."
Thomas Edison

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 challenges.

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.

"Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."
Albert Einstein

Everyone is self-made; but only the successful are ever willing to admit it.

"When 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’s relativity."
Albert Einstein

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 like it.

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 wisdom.

Liberty is the right to choose. This is our one fundamental right. Freedom is the result of the right choice.

"Promise 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 with talent.
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 human race.
Calvin Coolidge

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.