Another new season is upon us, and with it comes a fresh opportunity to achieve some awesome stuff. No matter how things went down this past season, September provides us a new chance to chase down swimming awesomeness.
Here are 6 less than glitzy facets of achieving success in the pool that you can take into next season:
1. Your timeline for success is off. Sometimes by a country mile.
We like to think that we know precisely what we are capable of. Or that we think we know exactly what it will take, and how long it will take, for us to achieve a certain objective. With smaller goals this is possible, because the time-frame is much smaller, and the variables are a lot easier to control. But with goals that are spread out over the frame of a year, things get a little more complicated.
We imagine that as long as things go absolutely perfectly that we will achieve our goals. You and I both know this isn’t possible; setbacks, injuries and illness will occur, and this is something you should be aware of when you get started. An easy way to account for detours in the road is to allot for a 10% leeway in time needed to achieve your goal. This should help defray and setbacks that occur during the course of chasing your goals.
2. It’s going to be uncomfortable.
The process of achieving excellent stuff isn’t easy or always that fun. In fact, there will be parts where it is downright miserable. Where you would quite literally be rather doing absolutely anything else.
It’s the discomfort that discourages most people. They feel that success should be easy, instant, and without friction or difficulty. Those who are determined to see their goals through will put their head down and plow through the moments of discomfort, knowing that those moments are exactly what is going to separate themselves from the rest.
3. Sacrifice the stuff that is getting you nowhere.
If you continue to get the same old results by doing the same old things it is time to take stock of your current situation. We live in an age of distraction, where everything and everyone is just a text or mobile device away.
Separate the activities that serve your goals from the ones that don’t and be willing to axe those that run counter to what you are trying to achieve.
4. Be willing to do more, and to do it better.
Following the herd only insures that you will earn the same set of results. To set yourself apart from the pack you need to be ready to steer off from the ordinary, and step above and beyond.
Doing extra core work after practice. Doing what is more of expected of you in the pool. Being the first in and the last out of the water.
Sure, doing a little bit more each day might not seem like a lot on a day-to-day basis, but the cumulative effect of doing a little bit more consistently can have astounding results.
5. You will fail at some point.
This is one of the hardest things to accept, that at some point, maybe on several occasions, you’re going to fail. It may be on the biggest stage the sport has to offer, or at a local regional meet, but it is inevitable. Large or small, these setbacks, failures, whatever you want to call them, are going to happen.
For some swimmers they cannot accept this. They mistakenly believe the path to success and their swimming goals should be smooth and without failure or struggle.
Be willing to face the struggle and to brave through the storms.
6. Routine beats inspiration every time.
Keeping the motivational fire burning is difficult, especially over the course of a long season.
There will be those early morning practices, towards the end of a laborious training cycle where the snooze button will be whispering sweet nothings to you, telling you that it’s okay to skip a workout, that it’s okay not to give it your all.
It is precisely these moments during training where routine and good workout habits take over, insuring that you are still putting in the work even when you don’t feel like it or you are too tired. Where motivation lapses, routine and your habits take over.