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On Big Goals,  fear of failure and your journey.

This past year, I set a huge, seemingly impossible goal for myself. It took a long time before I shared it with anyone.   I was pretty sure it was going to be too much of a stretch to work…and who wants to make a grand announcement and then have everyone see you fail? And what if I worked really hard and it still didn't happen?  What if I failed?  I thought about this a lot and realized something important. Even if I failed, I would still have the same amazing, beautiful and sometimes messy  life...but in the process I would also learn so much about myself in trying to reach a BIG GOAL. Working through the doubt and fear would make me stronger and more resilient.  It would make me…
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10-Percent Challenge

The 10-Percent Challenge The key to success? Not necessarily doing something big or spectacular-- But perfecting the little things over time.   Consider this: Are successful swimmers 100 times stronger? Are they 50 times more ambitious? Do they work 20 times harder? Do they have more hours in the day? Not a chance.  In fact, I would argue that you have what it takes to meet your goals, and the secret is in this challenge: Just consider making small consistent 10% improvements. What if you were just 10% faster this year than last year? What would that look like? What if this week you made a 10% improvement on your breath-control over last week?  How would that affect your race times? Swimming is a sport where hundreths of a second…
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(Detailed) Practice makes perfect

Swim Hack-4 Easy steps to improve this Season--It's all in the details. The key to being successful is not necessarily doing something big and spectacular; but rather doing the little things extraordinarily well. Have you ever thought about "the little things"? Think for a moment, about how many little details go in to swimming just one stroke of freestyle correctly: head position hand position core position front arm press recovery hand entry depth of the pull angle of the pull breath head position breath timing, and so on. You get the point…there are many details that make up each and every one of your swim strokes. Many details become automatic.  You can do it with your brain turned off…hundreds of thousands of strokes every week, every month. But if even…
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5 Good Reasons to Log Your Season

5 Good Reasons to log your season   "I think most of us would agree that having access to data is important, but many times we may fall short of setting a priority to collect it. The data that may seem to be insignificant today could be the very thing that protects us tomorrow." Is this a coach talking about the finer details of a swim season? Amazingly this quote comes from an article on the importance of logging in the workplace. A simple search of the "importance of logging" will show you that keeping a record is important to many fields of business and activities. A logbook is defined in boating as "a record of important events in the management, operation, and navigation of a ship." Similarly, your swim…
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Your season is over. Now what?

Your season is over--Now what? 3 steps to get the most from your past season, and get the new season off to a great start! Look back--take inventory. After resting up, and taking some needed time off from the sport, use the time period at the end of the season/year to reflect, evaluate, and take serious inventory of your performance during the past season.  Do you feel you should have finished better? Placed better?  Had faster times? Was it worthwhile? Awards banquets offer a great opportunity for reflection—a symbolic bridge which covers the space between closing one season and beginning a new one.  One banquet I attended, a graduating senior was given time at the podium to address his teammates and gave a great example of reflection stating how in…
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3 Steps to Define YOUR Success this season

3 Steps to Define YOUR Success this season How do you define success as you start this season? There are many answers to choose from--Is it simply "to win" or improve in some way?  Is it simply to "go faster"? Your answer is important because it will define how you approach the season ahead.   Everyone's answer will be different. IMPORTANT: Have a personal definition of what success will look like, from the small items to the big ones. There are some DO's and DON'Ts when it comes to defining success: Do: Establish your personal definition. Don't: Let someone else define success for you. Allowing someone else to define what it means for you to be a "success" is the quickest way to become robbed of any sense of satisfaction or…
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Increase your chances of achieving your GOALs by up to 95%

The Odds Are In Your Favor! Swimming faster takes hard work, dedication and a drive to succeed. But did you know that according to numerous studies, there are certain things that can increase your odds of achieving your goals. Here is a breakdown on achieving goals based on how you approach them: Percentage chance of achieving your goal if it is just an idea in your head- 10% Percentage chance of achieving your goal if it has a deadline - 40% Percentage chance of achieving your goal if you write it down and have a detailed plan - 50% Percentage chance if you have all of the above and accountability - 65% Percentage chance if you have all of the above and set up regular appointments with your accountability person- 95%…
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Inspiration

Inspiration

Every day, when you get up out of bed, there is something that inspires you to start your day.  Most of the time, it is things that you have to do, like go to school or work. But even when your energy can be focused on something just for you, there can be times you may have to reach to find the inspiration to keep going. Reach outward and reach inward for inspiration! Getting the motivation to move forward in the sport can come in different ways.    For the Olympic swimmer, the inspiration that drives them may be making an Olympic team or attaining a medal.  As age group swimmers, you may see those Olympic athletes as inspiration to keep focusing on your goals. It may not even be a swimmer who inspires you,…
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Self-Reliance

“It’s the not the Destination, It’s the journey.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance “The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance “A man is relieved and happy when he has put his heart into his work and done his best.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance       Simply put; in the end it all comes down to you! Even though you have amazing support with coaches, teachers, parents and many other people in your life, when push comes to shove it comes down to the individual to be self-reliant and get the job done. The sport of swimming is a great example of individual achievement and the successes that can point to…
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DEPENDABILITY

“You can pretend to care, but you can’t pretend to show up.” George L. Bell (1927-2007); “A man who lacks reliability is utterly useless.” Confucius (551-479)   Dependability can be synonymous with reliability and responsibility. If someone is dependable, they usually can be counted on to do the right thing and be where they need to be when they are supposed to be there. As swimmers, the above three words can be described as cornerstones for the sport.  If you don’t have these traits, you will struggle with the harsh reality that goes along with swim training and competition and your success will be limited. What does being dependable have to do with swimming?  The answer is two-fold:  the swimmer  depends on many factors including coaches, family, health and all the other external factors that contribute to their…
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