Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Posted on August 11, 2009


Working hard in practice….well, well, let’s see!   Where in the world do I start?

Most kids normally seem to waiting for the “hard set.” They know it is coming, so they cruise or go about 50-60% for the rest of the practice while waiting for the hard set. However, this gives them only 50-60% of the benefit.

The good swimmers, though, the really good ones, learned when they were age-groupers that they needed to work hard, extremely hard on every set that was meant to be worked. They worked hard during the entire practice; not just the “hard sets.”

So maybe you swimmers are thinking, “How do I do that?  I have trouble now with one little set….and in good form? Geez!”

Step 1 – Start small.

Start from the beginning and try very hard, in good form, for as long as you can.  You will probably last until just after warm-up or the first major set, but now we know exactly where we are.   Yes, this is a marker we can deal with!  What do you do with the rest on practice?  Try to recover, and go again when ready if you can.  If you can’t, at least maintain form and stroke count with your maximum effort…make sure your stroke and form doesn’t fall apart!

Step 2 – Get back on the horse.

Funny saying, don’t you think? (Especially for a swimmer!) Anyway, try again the following day and go again as long as you can with good form.  I bet you will be tired from the previous day, but you may go longer than the day before…especially if you want it bad enough! And, you might even surprise yourself.

Step 3 – Be consistent.

There’s that consistency theme again. If you do this on and on and build your tolerance for pain, the want and need to excel, you will prevail, and eventually build up to go the entire practice–honestly!  It may take a whole season, but who cares? You are still getting better!  Don’t be afraid; the athletes with no fear will see the most success.  That is absolutely a promise.

Hmm, who am I thinking of with all those traits?  Who seems to thrive on pain, never gives up, wants it bad, blah, blah……oh, I got it.  Lance Armstrong, Michael Phelps, Dara Torres and many other great athletes!  Point proven.

Now it is your turn. Start now…the rest of your career begins today!  Show people how great you really are.

Good luck.  Let me know your success as the season goes on.

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