Category Archives: review

New year, New commitment to excellence

‘We are what we repeatedly do’ 

Aristotle
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

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Season review 2015/16

Where do I start with this season? 

Without any doubt the best season for Larne Swimming Club in a very long time. 

IN THE POOL

Our junior club competed in Aquasprint and while we did get relegated to division 2 we saw some real developments over the season in terms of skill level and team spirit. The future is very bright for these young athletes.

The PTL team also acquitted themselves admirably in a year when we decided that as many swimmers as possible should swim in this league.

In open competition we competed in the Ulster Age Groups and Qualifying Galas, had 38 qualifiers for Division 1 of the Irish Age Groups and while only 3 qualified for Division 2 they came home with some medals from Limerick.  There is more work to be done with our development squad to get them to a level where they can experience this 1st tier of Irish swimming.

The open championships again saw our club shine as we broke somewhere in the region of 75 records over the course of the season. At one point we held 8 Irish senior records and currently hold 10 Ulster Senior records. Not to mention all the Junior records our members broke including a medley relay record in April. 

We broke the 2 oldest short course records on the books, one of which wasn’t even broken during the era of the rubber suits!

We where the only club team to have two swimmers on the Irish team to the senior Europeans, the only team EVER to have 2 finalists at the same European Junior Championships, and we became the 1st club ever to have a male winner of a medal at European Juniors.

As if that wasn’t enough one of our guys also missed the Olympic Games by 0.05 of a second………that’s about 9mm 

We are in a position where we now have 3 Irish senior International qualifiers in our program – something that very few other teams can say.

Yes it’s true that in Conor Brines, Conor Ferguson and Danielle Hill we have 3 of the best swimmers in Ireland in our squads but they don’t do it on their own, they train in our pools, in our sessions, with our members. Without the support of YOU our members and their teammates none of this would have been possible. 

Without the dedication of the largely volunteer coaching staff we wouldn’t be able to function at all never mind achieve anywhere near the level of success above.

OUT OF THE WATER

A partnership with swimming specific kit provider Swimzi saw us launch a new corporate appearance with a radical new red and white (and green) kit……not to mention a mentoring relationship with Liam Tancock.

Behind the scenes the committee also raised the bar for not only themselves but all future committees with an increased level of professionalism and again without these volunteers none of this swimming stuff would happen.

Finally we have finished the season with an opportunity to work with an Irish company producing training aids for backstroke starts wedge.ie making next season even more exciting.

Congratulations to everyone enjoy your break ……. the hard work starts again all too soon.

P