Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Not All Things Are Equal

A few different random thoughts today:

1.) Attendance Matters: 

Not everyone is built equally and along those lines, life isn't fair. Guy LaFleur used to smoke heavily before hockey games and still had a great lung capacity and played better than most. If EVERYONE smoked before athletic events, I would argue that sports, in general, wouldn't be as good and performances would suffer (as would health). It worked for Guy, so good for him. It's not fair that everyone can't smoke before their event; and just because 1 person could, doesn't mean that everyone should or can.

With "Championship Season" on the horizon, we have to rest assured that we've done the work and that (ideally) we're not trying to scramble to improve with 1 week to go; that work should be done. Attendance is important and you have to be honest about the work you've done. If you've had to miss a large chunk of practice time for a specific reason (injury, illness, etc) or a non specific reason (you're lazy and don't like coming to practices) you'll have to make up that time somewhere. My rule of thumb is that you need to be about 90% attendance to get good results from training - and in my system, our workload is only about 90% of most larger clubs - so we're already working from a 10% disadvantage. Realistically to compete, attendance is a huge factor.

You can't expect your workload to go down if you're workload was never up to begin with unless your goal is to lose fitness. Will some athletes swim outstandingly well without having done much work? Yes of course anomalies will happen and physical athletic freaks will be there... but if you're not one of them (and in many cases, even if you are) you have to get the work done when it's work time.

Not everyone is created equal in sports. I remember Todd Schmitz (coach of Olympic Champion, Missy Franklin) using the analogy of having 2 cups: A talent cup - filled with the genetic advantages you passively inherited from your parents (height, body shape, eye sight, muscle density, etc). You also have your work cup - the cup that starts empty and you contribute to over time with the amount of practice that you do. The point is this: You cannot change the talent cup! You are always predisposed to certain things; but you can change the work cup and fill it to capacity.  Get your practice hours in when it's time to get them in. Don't complain if you have to don't get the same amount of time off as someone in the lane next to you. Not everyone is created equal*.

*Further reference to this is Dr. Greg Wells' appearance on #coachmikepodcast discussing taper and the individual aspects of it.

2.) Shaving??:
I overheard the Georgetown District High School swim team coach telling his swimmers the magical principles behind the "shave and taper" today and, while he may have overstated it, there is a benefit, although not totally physical. Anyone interested in the concept and the science behind it can read more here.

3.) Best Excuses From Swimmers: 

I started this on Twitter using the #bestnoH2O tag but I had a lot of good Facebook ones too. Facebook below followed by Twitter responses. Please follow everyone who contributed on Twitter.

  • My son was too hungry to come to practice 
  • My sister is in town and had to take me shopping 
  • My son/daughter pulled all the muscles in their stomach and couldn't get out of bed (used for soar abs after dryland) 
  • My son/daughter couldn't walk... I had to carry them to the bathroom. They couldn't make it down the stairs (after a hard practice) 
  • University swimmer could not do flip turns becuase he tasted cucumber!!! (Strangest & most original excuse I've ever heard!!!! )
  • I was making a cd and my computer wasn't working right. (the cd was for another swimmer) #noworkout
  • I didn't come back for finals cause my Brother didn't think I needed to... I made my time in prelims!
  • My mom doesn't like to wake up early 
  • I was still tired from last night's practice