A blueprint


I hope your respective holidays are going well, that you are enjoying some well deserved time away from work and school, and eating to your chlorinated heart’s delight. (within reason):P

Below I have some questions for you. 

They will help you get a better grip on the year that was, and provide a quick and dirty blueprint for even faster swimming in 2016.

Crack open a Word file, grab a pen and paper, rock and chisel, whatever—and jot down your answers.

Where are you at in relation to the things you want to achieve this season?

Broadly speaking, are you on the right track?

While this time of year can be hard to know for sure how fast we are going to swim by the time championship season rolls around, you should have a broad idea of whether or not you are on the right track.

What were the wins this year?

Over the course of the first few months of the season you did some things right. Super right, even.

What were they? These little wins don’t have to be best time-related.

Things like:

  • Training consistency
  • Going to bed a little bit earlier
  • Having a better attitude in the face of adversity
  • Learning to race and push when you are tired and under a hard work load.

What are the things you are struggling with?

Our struggles are more deeply felt, and for this reason I have no doubt that you can think of a couple areas where the grind got the best of you.

What were they? Instead of dumping criticism on yourself (“I’m a slow swimmer”), write out why you got stuck or struggled (“I underperformed because I didn’t make enough practices”).

This isn’t an exercise in excuse-making, but about getting serious about why you didn’t represent, so that you can right the ship.

It’s about creating accountability and a path forward.

How on point was your mental game this year?

I would like to think that swimming is 60% physical and 90% mental. lol

All joking aside, continually refining your mental approach to training and competition will yield more consistent performances, keep you calm under pressure, and help you perform at your peak when you need it most.

Here are a few questions that can serve as a starting point:

  • Did you find yourself getting overly anxious prior to your races?
  • Were you frequently losing focus during practice, in particular main sets?
  • Do you find yourself getting caught up in what other swimmers are doing?
  • Was the self-talk you used in practice and competition mostly positive or negative?
  • Were you able to properly execute your race strategy at your big meets?
  • Did you find it challenging to pull yourself into “the zone” when necessary?

Answering the above four questions should give you a solid overview of how your year went, what is working, and what you can do to improve further.

Over the holiday's I would love for you to take some time and think about what you want to achieve next year. (Some of you have set goals already, It’s time to revise them)

Crush a personal best? Qualify for Nationals? Make the Olympic team?

Hit reply and let me know what you are going to do in 2016.

Enjoy your holiday’s.

Looking forward to seeing you poolside.