People involved in the sport of swimming know that this is a common occurrence. Most coaches will argue that the swimmer is just a head case or mentally weak.
Just because you go to every practice, swim every yard, make every interval, and lead your lane, doesn’t mean you are working hard. Yeah…I said it. Great athletes take pride in what they do and they are meticulous about it. You need to ask yourself if you’re thinking about the little things that YOU need to work on. Technique work, putting more weight on the bar on your lifts, and specific mobility work are just a few examples of things that get overlooked but carry a lot of weight when it comes to improving.
Like it or not, Allen Iverson makes a good point (although in a ridiculous way). You’re lying to yourself if you think that winning warm-up everyday makes you the best. Start preparing yourself to be the best racer, not the best trainer. When I was in college at the University of Kentucky, I made it a point to always win the first of anything that was all-out. My theory was that when you go to a meet, you get one chance to win, so the first one is all that matters. If we did 10×100’s, I would treat number one like it was the only thing we were doing that day and I never lost. Even if I lost the next nine 100’s (which I usually did) I was still preparing myself the most effectively. When we go to a meet, my competitors won’t have nine other chances to beat me if they lost the first time.
The term sprinter gets thrown around VERY loosely in swimming. The truth of the matter is most swimmers are far from sprinters. I believe this is partially because truly fast twitch athletes are chased toward other sports by the traditional training program of swimmers.
Ever wonder why sprinters are always labeled as lazy? Some of you might think it’s because they are lazy but I disagree. If you found that the harder you worked at practice the slower you swam, would you work hard? This is often the case when you get a swimmer whose best event is the 50 freestyle but they train in a program centered on distance swimming. It’s not that sprinters don’t need to work hard to be great.
They need to work hard at swimming their event. If you really are a sprinter then all that hard work you’re putting in to the “3,000 for time” could be what’s holding you back in competition.
Until tomorrow: He who acts with a constant view to his own advantage will be much murmured against.