In a rut? Become a sponge…

Posted on August 25, 2009


Athletes are always searching for the extra steps that will take them over the edge in their training. Athletes, businessmen and women, and anyone really, continue to grunt it out, work extremely hard at what they do, but oftentimes find themselves in a rut. If you find yourself in such a place, you have two options: 1) Continue to tread water, or 2) Find a new path.

There are many ways to find a new path, and one of the most common is simply switching up your training. Try a new variety of training methods, cross training, yoga, doing different dryland, all will all make your body react in different ways and keep you in top form. (If you are in the business world, try a training class, pick up some books on your subject to get the latest tips, or even look online at your competitors and see what they are doing!) Even a new high school coach (versus your club coach) can be an asset if you try to find the positives he or she brings to a practice.

Speaking of different coaches and methods, I grew up with Harry & Kevin Meisel’s swim benches, then went on to the senior group with Skip Foster & Don Prokes (both crazy hard trainers!) at Winter Park High, Frank McElroy (mega intense yardage) in New Jersey, then Randy Reese & Skip Foster (omg–baskets, running, vertical kicking, thermometers in weird places–that’s another blog–stadiums, sleds, etc.) again in college at the University of Florida. Yes, I had the opportunity to train under world class coaches who demanded and received the best. But most of all, I learned many things from all these different coaches. I even learned valuable tips and techniques from coaches I visited on vacations, at training camps, and the like. All of these training techniques still live with me as a coach today.

Why am I telling you all this? Your mind has to be a sponge looking for the secret ingredient that is going to make you the best at what you do….stop at nothing to get there, never tire until you reach it. Be a detective in search of speed, knowledge, and a better way to be great at what you do. I happen to specialize in helping swimmers get better. Even as a coach I refuse to remain in a rut. I am always experimenting on new things I dream up daily (sometimes my kids dislike me in the short term; however, they will be happy down the road), whether it is dryland or in the pool….and other things I can’t yet reveal. (I have to maintain a little edge you know!) 

However, what I am stressing is this: Break up your training or daily life with items out of your comfort zone, believe in your coaches, train hard, never tire, be relentless, and never, ever let anyone get in the way of your dreams….follow no one! Find a new path to your goals…whether you find it yourself or someone else reveals it. Try getting better now…why wait?