Friday, June 21, 2013

What Are You Practicing?

"The key is not the 'will to win'...everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important."

Coach Bobby Knight was all about preparation and held tight to the notion that practice is just as important as the game. 

Especially as Ontario & Canadian Age Group Championships and Senior Nationals (Selection for Junior World Championships) approach, practice becomes very important. Practicing the simple things and executing them precisely and properly should be of key importance the closer you get to your key competitions. Do you grab onto the wall with your last stoke or practice proper finishes. Are you sure that you know what your BK flag count is? Are you routinely doing the right number of strokes and/or kicks during your race pace work or kick outs? 

What indicators are there that you are going to achieve your goal? There needs to be something more than just: "I'm expecting a best time". What has changed since your last race to indicate that there is room for improvement and what have you been working on improving? It is my experience that if you cannot (or more likely are unwilling to) practice doing key race strategies correctly (or are unable to because you're not at practice), there is very little chance that you'll be able to do it in a race. Don't believe me? Try holding a 5 cycle breathing pattern for an all out 200 after practicing 2 cycle patterns every day. It's just not likely to work. 

Practice what you want to achieve and take every opportunity to improve very seriously; especially now... because time is running low.