"Winners must have two things: definite goals and a burning desire to achieve them."
Against the Wind by Bob Seger was playing over the lockerroom speakers as I got dressed after my swim today. Great song, it always makes me think of Forrest Gump running all around the country. Beautiful scenery on his quest to figure out what happened with Jenny and move on. Great movie. Anyway, I was listening to the lyrics and got to thinking about training, and more to the point, motivation in training. Training is tough, sometimes you feel like you are fighting the wind as you move forward towards your goals. Some days the wind is not as strong as others, but if you are training hard, no day is "easy."
As my triathlon season comes to an end the swim season is starting up for my swimmers. As a coach, I am pretty good at motivating people through an individual practice but my challenge is lighting that desire so it is with them as they go about their daily lives. In essence, that is the stuff that really matters. It's great to motivated one day in workout but an athlete has to motivated in all that they do because I think we all know that it's not just the training, it is the little things that you do to prepare for the training (eating right, sleeping, recovery) that make the biggest difference. And, all those little things amount to sacrifices on a daily basis. If you do not have that motivation deep inside, those little things are going to fall by the wayside and opportunities for gains will be lost. I am the first to admit that I did not make all the right choices in college. I mean, it was college, I wanted to have fun, but when it came down to it some things had to give. A lot of the time it was the social stuff because I had to go to sleep and prepare for training the next day. Sure I felt like I was missing something (I now know I was NOT) but I made that sacrifice for the goals that I wanted to achieve in the pool. Those sacrifices did not just come in the last 3 weeks of the season either. They were all year around. That is the motivation I want to tap into with my swimmers. Sometimes I think you either have or you don't. They all care, but some of them don't care enough to make the sacrifices that are going to help them achieve their goals (and maybe even surpass them).
If I can light that fire in just a few of my swimmers I will be happy. Maybe I can lead by example. Hopefully they will see that all the hard work and sacrifice is worth it for some amazing moments in the future. Those are my goals for this swim season. Go Flames 2009-10!