Many times athletes get in an area where they feel they aren’t improving like they should, or they are seeing others pass them by. Well, it could be a number of things. My dad always used to tell me, you have to do more than anyone else if you want to be the best. If you think about that for a second, it’s true.
Let’s take swimming for this example. The coach gives everyone a workout and the majority of the swimmers train hard and roughly swim the same throughout the different sets given. Did you take 2 extra kicks off of every wall? Did you not breathe off of every wall until the 3rd stroke? Are you fully concentrating on the drill given or just giving a half effort and resting until the next main set? How about sleeping more? Are you, and this is a big one, watching films, searching for tips, reading Splash magazine for the latest info on great athletes and being a student of your sport. I know what the answer there is. NOT MANY. Too bad, there is tons of stuff out there. There is no reason for mediocrity. If your coach isn’t paying attention to you, ask him or her questions, let them know your really care about your own improvement and share the desire for greatness. All of these things together will work. It may take time to form new habits, but it will work. Be patient, very patient.
So back to when I was a young athlete, after about the 5th or 6th time my dad kept telling me to do more than anyone else, I finally took action. More time in the weight room, concentrated more at practice, worked harder at my sport, watched other swimmers and athletes, learned how to be better at what I do. Do you think Michael Jordan did more than everyone? How about Michael Phelps? Dara Torres? How about Lance Armstrong? Ever heard or Ryan Lochte? Did you think these guys all just “tucked in” in practice (or out of the water) and maintained what everyone else was doing? Easy answer.
Have a desire to be great and the will to work for great speed in and out of the water is what you need to do.
So do more than anyone else for a couple months, whether you are an athlete, or have personal goals, or in the work place. It will work. Let me know how your life has changed for the better.
So maybe you’ve seen the dismantling. I have and I’ve heard about it too!
Being tired of losing will do that. Tired of second or third. Sick of it. Living with his talent wasn’t enough. Living with his incredible skills and gift in the water wasn’t enough. So he had to fix something. He was over it. A competitor that met the roadblock and kicked it aside to fix his issues.
What were they?
1. Eating! Being an avid fast food and especially McDonald’s abuser wasn’t doing the deal. The hamburglar yes, together with swimming, NO! He wasn’t getting the power and energy needed to control the world and own any event he trained for. Now he does—All-In!
From an article by Jason Devaney (Universal Sports) “Riddled with knee and groin injuries this year, Lochte decided to change up his habits. Gone are the days of constant McDonald’s runs; he’s eating better now. The Floridian also hits the weight room more and said he feels as strong as ever.”
2. More than weights! Yes, yes, working hard in the weight room with all the other swimmers is one thing, and even working harder than them is great, but doing more than the general population with innovative techniques and strength building is way over the top. What else does that type of training help? It strengthens the mind, the mental depth to succeed beyond the regular SwimmerJoe. I am a huge believer in this. Everybody I’ve coached with knows what I am talking about. Check this about Ryan Lochte–what a change, what a stud—All-In!
3. Sharpened focus! Ryan was tired of getting second and third. I don’t blame him, I can’t stand it either. Tired of working hard but not having the “total package” to get the job done. So he focused on ALL the elements his body and mind needed to get the job done of being the world’s number 1 swimmer. AND it worked, plain and simple.
Good for Ryan. It’s great to see him put everything together. Swimmers, triathletes and weekend athletes like myself: Words to you! Go “All-In” for a training season, in the pool, at the food table, and in the weightroom. Secondly, train with an uninterrupted razor focused mission, move all energy, mentally and physically to your goal.
So what happened? Check it out the result of Lochte’s training-it happened twice this week at World Championships!
Next time, I will see you at your best!
By the way, free World Swimmng Coverage http://MyPremium.tv go to right column, click British Europort
When I showed up this past Sunday for the Mutual of Omaha‘s Breakout Swim Clinic with Josh Davis and Ryan Lochte, I really didn’t know what to expect. I don’t think the kids did either.
I’ve seen many clinics, been a camp director, coached for years, and I was very impressed with the boys. Josh Davis was excellent speaker and tactician, who really engaged the young swimmers with his special ways of teaching. Ryan Lochte was a rocket ship who talked about certain things that kept him going, including his main point, “having fun,” which I agree!
150 young athletes listened to Coach Lochte and Coach Davis, swam for 3 hours, and ate mounds of pizza. What did they learn? They learned from incredible Olympic athletes and saw the way the big dogs do it. They saw starts (the launching pad!) and how to win it, streamlining, all four strokes and the drills that can make them great. The swimmers will keep this past weekend in their head forever. (Hey, I remember my first clinic….backstroker John Naber. It must have been 1978!)
Sometimes learning from the great athletes themselves comes across better than from their coaches. Haha!
What an experience for everyone involved! Hopefully some of the young swimmers will be in Josh Davis’s and Ryan Lochte’s position one day. I can’t wait to find out!
Here is the video.
Hello, guys – I am back. I had a computer screen crash and I kept thinking, “Oh, I’ll get it fixed.” Well, I never did, and so I am on a “stand by” unit right now…
This weekend is the last weekend of this crazy-busy month. The Florida Swimming vs Florida Gold Coast Age Group Duel Meet is in Ft Pierce at Indian River State College. This meet is always fun for the athletes and a great way to meet other swimmers in the state and create life-long friendships. And, by the way, you can watch it LIVE on Florida Swim Network. (Be sure to check it out!)
If you check back here, I will be listing the results on this site and maybe showing a couple videos from the Annual 11/12 Boys Bellyflop Competition we have after warmups.
So stay tuned and check back often for the All Star Weekend events.
The following is a guest post from Courtney Wagner, a former swimmer, US swim coach and now stand out triathlete. Yeah, she knows what she’s talking about!
Lessons Learned While Staring at a Black Line:
1. Not every race will be a best time
No matter how hard you practice or how fast you race you can’t drop time every single race. Eventually you will hit a plateau that can last a month, a season or even a year. If you didn’t get a best time, try to figure out why and fix what you have control over. Did you have a slow start? Are you tired from a hard week of practice?
2. Swimming fast = 33% talent + 33% coachability + 34% hard work
Swimming fast boils down to this equation (stolen from Coach Charlie Rose). Talent is important but not the only component to swimming fast. Coachability means you not only listen to your coach but you make the changes in your technique, pace, etc; put into action what your coach is telling you. Lastly, notice how hard work is given that extra percentage more than the other two. Eventually, hard work separates out the good from the great swimmers.
3. Goals aren’t based on people
This is a difficult lesson when you are constantly racing against people. I remember being told to set our goals based on the clock and not the person in the lane next to you. You only have control over how fast you swim. Is it a failure if you drop 3 seconds off your 100 breast only to be out touched by your teammate by only 0.02 seconds? Not if your goal was a best time.
4. Big dreams, small steps
Go ahead and dream about competing in the Olympics! Now develop a plan to get there. What other meets do you need to qualify for first? What areas of your stroke need major improvement? There is a lot of planning and hard work in small steps to achieve any big dream; take it one step at a time.
5. It’s a mental sport
The biggest thing that held me back in swimming was me. I trained my heart out but when it came time to race I froze. I learned not to let my inhibitions stop me from RACING. Don’t hold yourself back.
6. Swimming is a team sport too
Everybody knows swimming is an individual sport but not many people see the team aspect. The camaraderie that comes from training with people day in and day out is a unique and important experience. Nobody understands what it means to look at a black line for hours, race the clock, or smell of chlorine even after two showers like your teammates do. Support each other, push each other, and have fun together.
7. Be on time, come prepared, and fuel your body right
Arrive early to the pool with all your equipment and be ready to dive in on time. This lesson will follow you to college, work, and almost everything in life. This is assuming you actually come to every practice. Whenever you think about skipping swim practice think about how your competition is in a pool somewhere else training and becoming that much faster than you. Coming to practice on time and training won’t be as effective if you aren’t nourishing your body with good fuel. Try to eat food that doesn’t come out of a box or wrapper and drink water every chance you get.
8. Have a role model, be a role model
My role model growing up was my swim coach, Charlie Rose. He believed in trying your best, testing your limits, going after goals and most importantly having a positive attitude along the way. By looking up to somebody, I worked on developing those same qualities I admired. Also keep in mind; you might be somebody’s role model because you are older or faster. So be a good role model.
9. Sacrifices and time management
Sacrifices must be made to accomplish our goals; not a new lesson. With good time management you can still have a life and swim too. Studying is NOT a sacrifice made for swimming. In high school I graduated second in my class with a nearly perfect GPA but never missed a swim practice. This wasn’t because I’m smart…it’s because I managed my time well so I could succeed in and out of the pool. Besides, academic scholarships pay substantially more.
10. Lessons in swimming translate directly to life
Swimming will help prepare you for life.
11. Always have fun
Don’t forget this is a sport and it’s supposed to be fun. Find joy in the process of achieving goals, training hard, and of course listening to your coach.
Class Was In Session!
After two very long weekends at two fast championship meets, I have continued to learn as a coach and hopefully the young athletes did. I especially hope they were paying attention in the meet this past weekend with the likes of Ryan Lochte, Shaun Fraser, distance king Peter Vanderkaay, Omar Pinzon and many others in the pool. The ease at which these world-class swimmers looked and the distance per stroke they were getting looked incredible. Maybe I have been looking at the younger studs for too many years! However, these Olympians have honed their technique and turns over many, many years (literally practicing hundreds of thousands of turns, strokes, etc.) and the younger kids hopefully were paying attention.
This was probably the largest difference I witnessed this past weekend at the Senior Champs. The turns were extremely fast in and out and the speed and angle the elite swimmers came off the wall was much different from the less experienced athletes. Even the 16 year olds, who you would think would be proficient; however, the more horizontal the streamline, the less drag!
Another huge tip the younger kids could have picked up on was how the first 3 strokes off every wall were the elite swimmers’ best, being fast and efficient. Many times going into the turn the swimmers were even with the competition and coming off they were still even…until the first three strokes. (No breath by the way!) All of the sudden the four men mentioned above had a half a body length!
This just proves it’s paying attention to the details that make you faster and more efficient! Plain and simple.
I always tell my kids, “You are going as fast as you are ever going to go off of the start and turns.” My swimmers can recite this back to me whenever I ask them to… they just don’t always do it! Why would they “breath out” or not power up to keep that speed as long as they can? I guess it’s rocket science! haha
Swimmers, this is easy. Listen to your coaches and do what they say! Do it when you are fresh, do it when you are tired…and hold the stroke, period! The minute you get lazy or lack in concentration, the “bad stroke gremlins” come in and try to dismantle your stroke! I’ve seen it for years. Balance your stroke, geez! How? Ask your coach. Work on high elbows in freestyle and distance per stroke…you’ll thank your coach later.
Before you even take a stroke you come up a half body length behind, don’t you? Streamlining is crucial to a great start, especially in the sprints. Work your leg strength and quickness. Plyometrics, angle entry and streamline! Come up in first place, not last!
For some great videos on all of swimming, go to http://GoSwim.tv and check them out!
I actually saw Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay do the “Superman pose” behind the blocks before every event. What do you know? I guess it does work! Attitude is everything. If you think you are an “awesome stud” and you know you’ve put the work in, the rest is easy.
Try concentrating on the details this week!
Oftentimes in this incredible sport, the athletes that get up early, train harder than anyone, never get the respect they really deserve!
This weekend was an awesome spectacle that anyone could enjoy. The speed was blazing…many records were set, including National Swimming Records, that have never been achieved before….anywhere! Wow!
Starting with 10 & Under 500 freestyle winners, Christin Rockway & Lucas Kravchenko the meet got under way with great wins for TBAY and FSLA. After 11 & 12 Kendall Brent from Swim Florida won her 1000 free, up came CAT swimmer Matt Hirscherger. And what happened? He blew away Nicolas Caldwell’s National Record with a 9:38.50! Pretty quick for a 12 year old! Other great swims in distance events were achieved by Summer and Ariel Finke and Alex Katz.
Some of the other super swims of the weekend were by breaststrokers, Sydney Pickrem, Andrew Wojcik, Ingrid Wall and John Fulginiti. All very quick swims and awesome times. The premier sprint freestyler Caeleb Dressel, with his straight arm recovery, won his 50 in record fashion, breaking an old mark, as well as Zachary Poti, impressing the audience with a 26.58 in the 50 fly! The 11 & 12 Boys relays were dominated by Blue Dolfins, who almost broke their 31 year old ancestors relay from 1980, missing the old National mark of 1:41.79 by .02 seconds.
Speaking of Matt Hirschberger, he also broke the 11 year old 100 Freestyle record (50.33) by former Blue Dolfin standout, Alex Forbes (50.91), which I thought would last for quite a while longer. Other awesome swims were by Savannah Bowser, Michelle Turek, Wesley Olmstead, Tristan Sanders, Jeremy Rockaway and Sherridon Dressel (yes, it runs in the family).
For the entire results of the Spring 2011 FLAGs Championships, click here.
I saw a video “round up” like this on http://centralfltop5.com (my wife’s site) and thought it would be a great thing to do for swimming. SwimmerJoe’s videos will be a weekly list of videos, that are current and can teach you something about swimming, whether you are a competitive or recreational swimmer, triathlete, or even runner that needs some swimming for rehabilitation, etc.
I will list 5 or so videos that have been uploaded on the internet within the past week. I may even put some of mine from our swim team on there if they can help you all! What this will utlimately do is save you endless minutes or hours looking for videos on swimming or the previously mentioned areas.
So check it out once a week, I will try and keep it on the same day so you can count on it. So here we go with our first set. If you like this idea, let me know, if not, let me know. Have a great week and keep training hard and extremely focused on your goals!