Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When the lights come back on...

Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens from winning Superbowl 47. Baltimore Quarterback, Joe Flacco played a hell of a first half. But this post is not about the Baltimore Ravens, it's about what happened just after half time when the power in the Super Dome went out. 

Going into the half, the San Francisco 49'ers trailed 21-6 and right after halftime, Baltimore returned the kickoff for a touchdown, making the score 28-6 (which also kept the Baltimore offence off of the field for the start of the second half). Then, the power went out for 40min, halting the momentum that the Ravens had. It also kept the Baltimore offence off of the field for another 40min. Added together the time they had been off since the first half, halftime, second half and now a 40min power outage, the Baltimore offence had now been inactive for about 80min. San Francisco took stock of the situation and decided that the 22pt deficit they held did not mean that their game was over and they snapped into action. Most of you who watched the game know what happened from there, but the game ended with a Baltimore victory... but only narrowly. Final score 34-31. 

Congratulations to the 49'ers for not giving up and allowing the game to slip away from them. They took advantage of something that could have ruined them even further and played the game of their lives.

As a coach, I think I've seen it all; power outages, fire alarms, actual fires, weather, etc. All of these things could be used as excuses. I remember being in Nepean and having the fire alarm go off just before one of my swimmers 400IMs. The swimmer (and many others, to my recollection) gave up from that point, citing that the situation wasn't ideal for a great swim. I don't think I've often seen young swimmers take advantage of an extra break or a change to the "normal circumstances" - in fact, in Ontario swimming, I often see the opposite. I hope that as many swimmers as possible learned from watching that game and understand that sometimes odd or unfavourable circumstances are a gift; not a sign that you should pack it in. How will you react when the lights come back on?


With the meet season here, many athletes are feeling the stress of performance and axiety that comes with racing. Although the following files are to be used by my club swimmers, I will allow anyone who needs these exercises to go ahead and stream them from my Dropbox account.

Sit somewhere where you can be undisturbed for a while and sit with both feet on the floor. Click on the following links, listen and follow the relaxation exercises. Hopefully these will help.

Relaxation: This is a good one to listen to when you need to get your mind off of everything.
Mindful Breathing: Helping you calm down.
Acceptance of Anxiety: Dealing with your anxious feelings.

Remember: relaxation is a skill and needs to be practiced like other skills. Bookmark this post and visit regularly.