Habit, like genius, is merely a matter of doggedness and deliberate practice. Which brings us to the second part of that Aristotle quote
‘Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit’
The new year is traditionally a time when we resolve to do better, do more, work harder, improve ourselves. But realistically unless there is a doggedness, a relentless approach too these resolutions they are destined for failure.
Highly successful people habitually perform behaviours that breed success, they have learnt to develop good habits, it takes discipline, courage and hard work on a daily basis to keep those habits in place. Everything from eating well to spending time completing tasks (training) requires habits that make these things are part of our lives.
As athletes at the start of your career it makes sense to adopt habits that facilitate success.
Take a leaf out of the books of some sports stars
Michael Jordan – spent his off season taking hundreds of jump shots a day
Roy Halladay (baseball) – does a 90 minute workout before team practice
Serena Williams – put in hours of extra training before school
Unfortunately there is no magic length of time to form a habit, but if you want 2017 to be a success you do need to start
Making the decision to set your sigets on a goal and press forwards towards its achievement is the start. It won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.
There are 3 phases of successfully forming a habit
Phase 1: THE HONEYMOON
At the beginning when your motivation is fresh and your feeling inspired the feeling is that this is easy
Phase 2: THE TESTS
When inspiration fades and reality sets in and it feels easier to slip back into old routines the key to making it to phase three is to win these fight thru’s.
To win these internal arguments try this
RECOGNIZE: Recognition that your are being tested is vital to passing each test. When you face these tests, simply say to yourself, “this is a test, and I am going to pass it and move on” passing each test will make it easier to win the next. Conversely, when you choose to stay in bed, you make it easier to always choose to stay in bed
ASK 2 QUESTIONS:
“How will I feel if I do this
“How will I feel if I don’t do this?”
Bring EMOTION into the equation. Let yourself feel the positive in getting out of bed and going to the pool and the negative in rolling over for more sleep
LIFE PROJECTION: If the above 2 techniques haven’t moved you to get out of bed, then imagine in great detail how you are going to feel on race day if you don’t achieve your goals. Be totally honest with yourself, and allow yourself to feel how your are going to feel if you don’t make the effort to achieve YOUR goals
Phase 3: SECOND NATURE
Often described as being ‘in the groove’, there is still the danger of interruptions sending you back to testing times
THE DISCOURAGEMENT MONSTER: Results won’t always go your way, there are going to be poor races or disappointments the risk is that you allow these to discourage you and start thinking
DISRUPTIONS: A change to your daily pattern (e.g., vacations, holidays, illness, weekends) can cause a spiral into the easier ‘just start in bed today’ choices
SEDUCTION OF SUCCESS: The contrast of ‘1’ can also cause a disruption to the being ‘in the groove’, if you start to focus on positive results and begins to think,
These interruptions are a part of life, and when they come you need to be ready to pass a few more tests
What separates the successful from the less so is the ability to pass the tests with regularity and limit the interruptions as much as possible
I KNOW that you all want to achieve your goals I know you all want to swim fast. But let’s be serious here….BEING GREAT ISN’T EASY, it requires sacrifice. It requires doing things other can’t other won’t do
This sport requires consistent commitment – its relentless!
We all want the same thing, 2017 to be a great year for #teamlarne🏊 and all its members collectively and individually, so together, let’s make the new years resolution to train more, train harder, train smarter, to get past the tests when they come (no matter how many times we are tested) and reach those new levels of success in 2017
Over the last 6 weekend Larne Swimming Club athletes have competed in 6 open meets, 1 schools meet, 1 club meet and 1 club time trial.
A lot of racing in anyone’s book
What better way to prepare for Christmas than with Ulster Championships?
A team of 21 swimmers competed for the club over the 3 days of racing in Bangor Aurora.
26 swims in the 1st session and 20 best times and 4 club records were set this morning
Anna Campbell 11-12 800 free
Chloe McKay 13-14 100 free
Giulia Allen 13-14 200 back (mairead O’Mahony was also under old time)
Lui Hurson 15 & Over 400 IM
The womens 100 free saw Danielle Hill continue to show how to swim fast 1st thing in the morning qualifying for the final in 3rd place with a very easy looking 57.3. D also easily qualified fastest for the 200 BC. So another busy night for the fastest female swimmer in Ireland ☺
Chloe and Amy Campbell both also chipped away at their PBs
The 400 IM next and Lui Hurson knocked over 10 seconds off his best to just miss out on the final. He did however make up for this disappointment in the 100 medley qualifying into 2 nights final in 2nd place with another great personal best.
The womens 100 breast was a little hit and miss with 3 PBs out of 5 swims. Most notably Mairead O’Mahony knocling over 4 seconds off her time. While in the men’s event Jan staked his claim for a relay place with a solid swim.
The men’s 50 Fly provided no shocks as new Irish Record holder dominated the heats setting up for hop0yefully anther cracking at his own record later with Ryan Lewis making it 2 Larne athletes through to the final. ZJ then lowered her time by 1.5 seconds in the same event making 2 PBs from 2 swims for bambi after the 100IM.
The 200 BC and again Giullia Allen led the way with an impressive 8 sec PB
The 800 Free and all 4 girls swam impressive best time Amy Campbell and Erin Barr both lowering their times by over 13 seconds.
Ryan and Jan brought the morning session to a close with 2 more best times in the 100 IM, Ryan joining Lui into the final session 2 night.
The Finals session on day 1 got underway with the 100 FS and Danielle continued her improvement in this event taking her time down by over a second to 55.81 picking up a silver medal.
Conor Brines continued his dominance of the sprint fly event with another Gold making him the Ulster, Irish & Scottish open championships. He also lowered the Irish senior Record by 0.05 to stand alone as the fastest Irish flyer. Also in this final was Ryan Lewis who, having posted a best time in the heats, showed that given an evening swim he can go faster again. Something he backed up in his 2nd final of the night the 100 IM.
It wasn’t long before Danielle was back in the pool in what some consider her best stroke, the backstroke, and again she swam to a lifetime best lowering the time she set at Irish Championships 2 weeks ago.
The last individual event was the 100IM and joining Ryan in the final was Lui, who having just missed out on the Junior title in the 400, made up for it with a huge swim of 60.1 to claim a bronze and the Junior title – his 1st medal since winning ‘best rainbow’ painting in PB
The 2 relays brought the session to a close with a Bronze for the Girls and a 4th for the boys.
Chloe McKay – 13-14 50 FS (Erin Barr also under old record)
Adam Mahood – 13-14 200BRS
The 2nd day of the Ulster Championships kicked off with the 200IM, and in her ‘fun event’ of the day Danielle qualified for the final, a feat she would match by qualifying fastest for bothe the 50FS and 100BC later in the session – a great mornings work.
Mairead and Amy Campbell continued to improve both recording best times.
The 100 Free next and Lui & Finn picked up where they left off last weekend by continuing to improve on the times the set in Edinburgh and Qualify for the final in the process. Finn doubled up on his finals with a new best time in the 50BC as well.
Jan, Adam and David all produced life time bests swims in the 200BrS while the girls had a mixed bag in the 50 with PBS from ZJ, Amy and Cher. ZJ getting in 2 a swim off for the evenings session but just missing out on a final place.
Arguably the best swim of the morning belonged to Conor Brines in the 100FLY recording another Irish senior Record to easily qualify fastest for the final. PBs for Ryan and Lui saw them just miss out on evening swims in the same event.
The 100 BC and joining Danielle in the heats was Mairead who finished off her day withe a solid race in the fastest heat.
The last swim of the morning belonged to Amy Barr in the 400FS, having PB’d in this event 2 weeks ago Amy swam to within 1/2 a second of her best.
A record stans for 13 years them falls twice in a week!!
Danielle got the finals session off to an incredible start with another Irish Senior Record in the 50FS winning her 1st Title of the night. She later backed it up with another PB in the 100BC to bring her titles count to 3 so far.
Finn and Lui continued their development into real competitors at this level with their 3rd final each of the weekend in the 100FS Finn stopping the watch under 54 for the 1st time.
In the very next race Finn is back again with the 50BC again posting the 2nd best time he has ever swum.
Conor Brines continues his incredible rise to the top of Irish swimming with a 52.08 Irish senior Record in the 100FLY.
The relays gave an opportunity for some of our younger girls to post a best time in lead off legs and Amy McCullough did just that as Danielle anchored the team to a close run 4th in the 4 x 200FTR
Ryan Lewis did the same in the 4 x 100 FTR with a 4 second PB as the boys split the Ards teams to win silver
The last race of the night, the Mixed Medley FTR saw the team of Finn, Danielle, Chloe and Conor double the silver medal count.
One day left. Surely it can’t get better
16 swims, 9 PBs, 3 club records, 7 finalists
Adam Mahood – 13-14 200 IM
Adam Mahood – 13-14 200Fly
Erin Barr – 15& Over 200 BRS
The last day of racing and the Men’s 200IM is up 1st with Ryan and Adam swimming lifetime bests, both boys would rep eat this feat in the 200 FLY later in the session.
Ryan continues to improve with 2 more finals meaning he has finaled in very event he has entered.
The womens 50 BC and once again Danielle was to the for posting a time 0.01 outside her own Ulster Senior Record qualifying for the final in both this and the 200FS.
Some of the younger girls stepped up to produce huge best times in the 200BrS especially Mairead and Giullia who each knocked over 10 seconds off.
Lui finished in a creditable 6th in the 400FS and finished the morning off with a PB in the 50 FS to make the final in this, a fun event for him.
1 more session 2 go and this run of 9 meets in 6 weekend will be over.
A 30 minute flight out of Belfast and the team are in Edinburgh to race at the Scottish Short Course Nationals. This is a notoriously fast early season meet and the whole purpose of travelling is to race faster in the heats than in the Irish Nationals last week.
1st up on the 1st day is Conor Brines in his 1st competitive outting of the season. The 100 fly produced some incredibly fast swimming and Conor swam a solid race to place 4th going into tonight’s sessions.
Then Danielle produced her fastest ever morning swim in the 50 Back to qualify for the B final.
Finishing off the morning heats Danielle raced the 100 Free swimming a time half a second faster than this time last week.
The swimmers outside the top 40 entered athletes complete their heat swims in the afternoon session. Lui Finn and Ruairi all started their meet off with the 50 Free. both Lui and Finn swam PBs and clocked times that would have placed them in the mornings faster heats.
Lui’s second swim of the session was the 400FS and a huge 10+ second PB saw him once again post a time that placed him 29th overall, an improvement of 15 placeso.
Session 3 (finals day 1)
What a 1st night of finals this was, Danielle recovered from a slight error in her 50 BC to post a very respectable time. Then Conor Brines stole the show with an incredible Irish Senior Record in the 100 FLY becoming the 1st Irish person to break 53 seconds.
Danielle continue to show progression from last week’s Irish short course in both her events qualifying for the 50 Free final and the 200 BC within 10 minutes of each other.
Conor swam his ‘fun event’ the 200Fly producing a best heat swim and Qualifying for the evenings session in the process.
Finn, Lui and Ruairi were back in action again with the 100 FStreet for them all and Finn in the 50 BC & Lui in 200 IM.
The forward momentum Lui has experienced in recent times continued with the 200 IM entered on a long course converted time of 2:15.6 Lui produced a huge PB to swim to a 2:13.1
The men’s 100 free was next and both Lui (53.9) & Finn (54.5) improved significantly to continue the steady progress they have shown this season
Session 6 (finals day 2)
The Finals session on day 2 and, after taking on the advice from the sport NI physio we only had Danielle’s 50 free to look forward to.
It was worth the wait.
In 2003 Julie Douglas (now johnston) set the Irish Record for the 50FS making it one of the older records on the books. (It is also the 2nd oldest Ulster record) putting together an almost textbook swim D.iesel got her hand on the wall in 25.64 seconds shaving 0.01 off Julie’s mark and in the process becoming the fastest Irish female in history.
What a swim!
The last day of racing and Danielle (200Fly & 100 BC) & Conor (50FLY) both back in the pool.
Conor picked straight up fromantic here he left off in the 100 with comfortably the fastest qualifying time for tonight’s finals smashing the Ulster Senior Record in the process posting a time of 23.6
Danielle was next up in the 200FS and she didn’t disappoint posting a time of 2:02 nearly 4 seconds faster than the heats this time last week qualifying for her fourth fin all this weekend.
There is plenty of time to rest when your dear so 10 minutes later and Danielle is back in the pool in the 100BC, unrested, 10 minutes after her 2nd best 200FS and she produces her a lifetime best 61.6, qualifying for her 5th final of the weekend. #nornironlady
The whole reason for coming to Scottish Nationals was to step up and race hard in the morning session. I think this weekend, and in particular this last morning, shows that even tired, in full training #teamlarne🏊 athletes show they are ready, willing and able to do just that.
Lui and Finn completed their weekends racing with the 200FS & 100BC respectively.
Lui’s 200 free saw him break 2 min barrier or he 1st time destroying it posting a 1:57.0 while Finn also finished the weekend with a PB in his 100BC (63.7)
Session 9 (finals day 3)
Last session of the meet and again Larne had representation in the form of Conor Brines in the 50FLY and once again he rose to the occasion and produced a phenomenal swim to take the Gold in a time of 23.38 equaling the Irish senior Record held by Barry Murphy.
Unfortunately Danielle wasn’t able to compete in the last 2 finals of her weekend due to flight times home.
Thank you Scotland for a fantastic weekend of racing. so we’ll organised and welcoming we will definitely be back.
The 1st weekend in December has become the traditional weekend for the Irish National Short Course Championships.
Held in Lisburn each year this is the 1st opportunity for National level swimmers to sound out where they are in ralation to their end of season form.
With no qualification places up for grabs for either National age groups or International teams, the importance of this meet in the national calendar has deminished over the last few years making it a ‘swim through’ meet for the vast majority.
With their focus firmly elsewhere, a small team of only 12 athletes from Larne competed this weekend (21 had qualified)
Ryan Lewis opened up the proceedings with a PB in the 50 Free, a feat he matched half an hour later in the 100Fly. 2 PBs from 2 swims on day 1 cant ask for much more than that.
Chloe McKay and Amy McCullough both opened their accounts with PB swims in the 100 Free while Erin and Amy Barr got off 2 a solid start in the 100BRS.
Danielle, having complefed 45k in the pool this week and been in the gym last night, is truly unrested, but managed to make the final of the 50BC and the B Final of the 100 free.
Amy Barr rounded off the Morning session with another PB, in the 800 Free this time.
The Finals session on Day 1 and Danielle did what wmshe does best and raced incredibly well breakng her own Ulster Senior Record becoming the 1st female to go under 29 seconds.
She also swam a lifetime best on 56.99 in the 100 winning the B final comfortably.
The 2nd day of racing got underway with the womens 50FS and Danielle picked up where she left off the night before with the fastest time of the heats. Chloe McKay swam a lifetime best of 28.4 while Amy Barr repeated her best time again.
Ryan continues to progress in the fly with a 6 sec PB in the 200 just missing out on a final swim.
Sinead got her Irish Short Course up and running in the 100FLY qualifying for the finals session in the process.
Lorcan smashed his 50BC PB bypassing 29 seconds completely going from 30.e to a 28.8 and again just missed out on a final place.
Danielle completed her mornings efforts with a fastest qualifyer spot into the 200BC lowering her lifetime best in the process.
The morning session was brought to a close by Amy and Erin Barr and Amy McCullough who all produced best times in the 400FS.
Finals sessions and Danielle swims 50 FS and 200BC within 10 minutes of each other claiming a Silver and a Gold respectively, on both occasions matchingbher best times coming into the meet.
Sinead brought day 2 to a close with a PB in the final of the 100FLY
Last day of Irish Short Course gets underway with the 200FS. Amy McCullough and Amy Barr both produced small PBs and Danielle continued to show how competitive she is across a range of events even when racing (very) tired by qualifying for both the 200Free and the 100BC (posting the fastest hrat time in the later)
Amy and Erin Barr completed their Irish Short Course weekend with solid swims in the 200BrS whil Jan Manillili produced a 4 second best in his 1st ever meet at this level.
The last session in a tough week gets underway with Danielle deciding to compete in both the 200FS and 100BC.
If your gonna finish you may as well finish strong and that is exactly what Danielle did this weekend. 2 silver medals in the final session first a 6 second PB in the 200Free missing out on the Gold by less the 2 tenths of a second in a fantastic race with Lisburns Rachel Bethel then 8 minutes later a 2nd silver coming in the 100BC.
A fantastic weekend of ‘racing tired’ from the whole team.
Next week we travel to the Scottish SC in Edinburgh