Did you know that swimming can provide you with the tools you need to be successful in life in the future? I’m not talking about time management or sports spirit, although they are also extremely important. Nor did I mention superhuman abilities like Clark Kent, or figuring out how to get rid of goggles and swimming caps before taking the yearbook.
The following valuable lessons are not something you can add to your CV. Nor are they taught in school, but drawn from bloody experiences. And if you are dedicated enough throughout your swimming career, you can unlock those lessons to achieve success in whatever goal you choose.
Here are 5 valuable life lessons, drawn from how many hours of our practice together with years of struggle and hard in a “giant water tank”, filled with the smell of chlorine:
Patience is never something I feel I can do well. Whenever I decide to do something, if it doesn’t really matter and gives quick results, I tend to get bored easily. I always want to have great results even though I plan out 5 minutes in advance. Based on the emails I receive every week and watching my swimmers over the years, I realize that I am not alone in this regard.
The result often results in you making a list of unrealistic expectations and a desire to fulfill them. Like every training session has to end perfectly, or see visible improvement after every training session. Or push yourself too quickly, too quickly, and easily lead to injuries. Long-term progress requires patience, persistence in the short term.
Having great goals is essential to achieving success in swimming. You need to guide and guide the way, set goals to help you through long training sessions.
Sometimes, however, those lofty goals are our greatest enemy. The overwhelming excitement of the desire to reap great results floods every blood vessel, urging us to venture recklessly. Overcoming all with passion, we think it is possible to skip the basic steps, because we deserve it, because we are talented, or simply because we don’t have enough time to go step by step.
Step by step can be frustratingly slow for some people. But successful swimmers all know that this slowness brings accumulation, making huge changes in the medium to long term.
One of the fastest ways to test a person’s reaction to the top or bottom of his life is to watch him perform after a bad game.
He pouted at the audience, took a sullen step and gave up on the next match? Was he furious, out of control frustrated? Or will he step up to the coach, head down but determined to return?
Throughout the long haul of your swimming career, there will be times when you will shine on the podium. But many times you will have bad matches when you could have won, but the timing of the game did not reflect the hard work and your aspirations.
I must admit I have put on my perfect cover many times over the years. I mistakenly told myself that every exercise should score 10/10. And overestimate me from the things I get on the swim.
The truth is: not every training session is perfect. Not all races went according to plan. Mistakes, violations, even the breakdown of swimwear can occur. And you shouldn’t let your self-esteem depend entirely on swimming matters.
As we learn to pursue greatness instead of swimming and life perfection, we find ourselves more resilient to failure by creating realistic goals. By chasing an 8 or a 9 in practice, it helps to improve more than chasing the difficult and impossible scores – point 10. Chasing challenging but realistic goals, accomplishing it a stepping stone for us to go further.
Swimming and other sports both provide you with a great playground to test your will, test your mental limits.
Can’t remember how many times I looked at the coach when he wrote the lesson plan on the board. “Oh my… and will he give that much more homework? I just wanted to curl up, confused with the thought of how pathetic I would be after all this exercise.
But what happened after that? I joined, at the beginning, I thought to myself: “Hey, it’s not that bad”. After a while: “Oke, it’s been halfway.” And finally: “I’ll take care of the last round well!”
The truth is you don’t know what a formidable hand you are until you get stuck. You were ready to “crush” that lesson, even if you were shaking in a swimsuit a few minutes ago. And that is really great when you have to face the challenges in life. For example a powerful university essay. Or take on a big project at work, or get married.
We always think we can’t, that swimming or life has assigned us a certain number. But believe it or not, you’ll always be as powerful as you should be.