by: Nolan Rogers
Swimming is not a sport of immediate results, and the quicker this can be realized by all parties involved the better. It takes months of hard work and focus to see the fruits of our labor. The technique changes must be diligently worked on over long periods of time to make them stick, and become second nature. The physiological changes we want to happen take weeks/months/years to ingrain. In a world where everyone wants immediate grati cation, it takes a special type of person to be a swimmer. If we plant the correct crops now, they will not be ready for a few months.
One can do everything right, and still be let down by the end result (race times) of the season. Sometimes if we only focus on the end result, it distracts us from all of the positive changes that have been made during the previous weeks and months; if this happens too often it can be de ating. Not to mention if a swimmer is making changes, they will get slower before getting faster in most cases.
A swimmer may add 2 more dolphin kicks in practice, increase attendance, work on better head position in their strokes, and focus on being a better teammate, but not drop time at the end of the season. That part of the season cannot only be evaluated on the nal outcome if they plan on sticking with this sport long term. If swimmers, parents, and coaches can learn to take pride in the steps it’s going to take to get where we want, we will see that there were 20 successful things accomplished on the way to getting the time you may or may not have desired. This is why every practice matters. The route to greatness is what gives us happiness.
Not only is swimming the best sport because it can be done from pediatrics to geriatrics, but it mimics life. You can be doing everything right and it might punch you in the face. Get up, wipe yourself off, realize you’re on the right path, and make changes where necessary. Take pride in the process.