5 Things I Wouldn’t Have Learned Without Competitive Swimming

6 months, 10 days ago

The sport of competitive swimming gives us a lot over the course of our careers.

We learn how to deck change like Clark Kent in a phone booth. The never-ending mileage dedicates us a physique the swimmers body that is the resentment of the sporting world.

And we learnto balancea training and academic schedule that makes a 40 -hour work week seem nearly pedestrian in comparison.

But there are other things that the sport teaches us over the years of swimming around the black line.

Here are five life lessons the athletic of competitive swimming “ve given me” 😛 TAGEND

1. Improving at something takes time.

We all fall for the illusion of instant outcomes at some phase( some of us repeatedly, as is the case of yours truly ).

Fired up, we decide on a objective, make a plan to achieve it and apply a explosion of effort.

But then what?

Things dont happen as fast as we would like. And when our unrealistic expectations line up with how progression actually happens, we get frustrated.

That moment we realize we have barely inched forward in pursuit of our goal is not a great one.

Swimming will show you that mastering something takes time. It takes patience. And it takes some humility to grasp that dues need to be paid.


2. Success comes from being able to bounce back.

You trained your butt off the whole season. You depicted up to every morning workout and dry-land conference. You even cleaned up your bad eating habits.

But when it came down to the big championship meet, things didnt go the way you hoped. You added time to your PB( personal best ). Or got disqualified. Or werebeaten by someone who you should have been able to out-swim.

Its in those next few moments that really separate the fast swimmers from the remainder. For the top musicians in the sport, that bad swim serves as high-grade ga for what comesnext.

While for others, its a reminder that success in the pond isntfor them.


3. Working hard can make up for a lot of things.

Within every group and team I swam with over the years, there were always a couple kids who were unbelievably talented. It was as though they were quite literally designed to swim.

This ease with the sport usually meant that they didnt have to work very hard. After all, velocity and success in the water came so easily to them.

Nearly without fail, these swimmers would peak young and fade fast. Without the work ethic to back up their talent, other less gifted, but harder working swimmers would eventually start out-swimming them.

Believing their talent has failed them, our gifted young swimmers leave the sport as a classic suit of, Ifonly they had worked a lot harder, they coulda really been somethin.

Outside of the fact that hard work is something you can take pride in and grow confidence from, it is the very thing more than talent or genetics that will ultimately choose your success both in the pool and in life.


4. Success happens by being good often , not perfect every once in a while.

All too often, I would catch myself thinking that practise had to go perfectly in order for me to attain the various kinds of greatness I wanted.

In my mind, I foresaw proving up on deck each day, doing my limb swingings with perfect precision, executing flawless dolphin kicks off of every wall and unleashing the most perfect swimming practice from beginning to end.

I believed I would be able to do this every single chlorinated day for the rest of the season.

Which seems hilarious in hindsight because this kind of perfection is impossible to sustain.

You probably recognize this swimmer from your own life: the athlete who shows up and bangs out a handful of astounding swimming workouts, and then falls off the face of countries around the world for a few weeks before the cycle starts over.

With no consistency, it is impossible to build a steady foundation of training behind them to truly compete at a high level.

Being really good at something comes down to being pretty good most of the time, instead of being perfect every so often.


5. The biggest combat is within.

Mastering yourself, your self-talk, habits and attitude provided a more formidable adversary than the swimmer in the next lane ever will.

A classic scenario that happened on deck( and continues to do so across your local pools) is of a coach writing up a particularly tough swimming workout.

To groans, eye rolls and sagged shoulders, he or she writes out a series of tight intervals, long reps and to top it off, writes brackets around it.

For some swimmers, the combat is already lost. You can just see it in the body language.

But for others, it was all about starting. They would commit to doing the first couple. And then one more after that. And then another. And eventually, they had not only survived the situate, but also haddone quite well.

This ability to be able to tackle apparently impossible chores by focusing on starting and taking it one rep at a time comes in supremely handy in every aspect of life: a huge newspaper that needs to be written, a month-long project at work, doing a couch-to-marathon, starting a family.

The sport of swimming teach me that limits are arbitrary. Limitscan be changed with a little prodding. They can be pushed, shattered and grudgingly nudged.

And theyalways make usa little bit better.

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