Let’s Talk About that Word…

Let’s talk about that word…

The majority of swimmers who seek me out for coaching want one thing: speed.  When they tell me they want to be faster, I think “That’s great!  They are willing to work and expand their knowledge to reach for new heights”.  At this point, I’m excited because I can certainly help if they are willing to do one thing.  But, once I say the word, the mood in the room changes as if I just said a swear word.

Let’s talk about that word…CHANGE.  It isn’t a dirty word, honest.

So, you want to be faster but you don’t want to change your stroke?  Is that really going to work?  Probably not.  Or maybe you subscribe to the school of thought that says “Maybe if I just get my arms going faster, I can swim faster”.  Again, that’s probably not going to work and you will most likely be more tired and possibly even slower than before for many technical reasons.

If we keep our stroke the same, nothing will change, nothing will improve, nothing will bring the results we want.  What we need to do is be open minded and trust our coach because they probably see something we don’t.  The coach probably has a trick or two up their sleeve that we haven’t tried yet or that we haven’t even seen yet.  Who knows, maybe the new technique will make the stroke easier so there is less work involved, we are less tired, and we get the outcome we wanted: going FASTER.

So, this is what I’m asking you to do – Just Try!  Try the new technique, try the visualization, try to relax, and trust your coach.  Then communicate the results and/or frustrations you experience to your coach.  But be careful, when you change you may just get what you wanted – SPEED.

There are many sayings about change out there but I particularly like this one from C. JoyBell C.:  “The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”

So, throw yourself into the water today with an open mind and make the change to be a better swimmer.

Originally posted November, 2013