Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Hard Truth

I was reading tonight in Smoke on the Water: A Swimmer's and Coach's Guide to Developing Mental Toughness (by Dr. Alan Goldberg) about what it takes to develop yourself to your peak. He has some very useful and important points about mental training--and why that is as important as physical training when it comes to competition. I have at recent meets been practicing what one of my coaches said to me recently, "No negative talk on the deck." I was tending to crack self-deprecating jokes before races, and he made it clear that in so doing I was only helping my competition. And Dr. Goldberg seems to agree with that, going on to point out how important it is to control the way you respond to potentially stressful things. The stress is only in your mind, not in the situation, he rightly says.

But after those chapters, you get to Chapter X (kind of like Chemical X, I reckon). Chapter X comes down to this: "SPEED = PAIN AND FATIGUE."

Oh great.

He says, and I fear he may be right, "Pain and fatigue are NOT the enemies! They are the allies on your quest to become a winner. Start today to use them that way."

Oh great.

I guess I know what I need to do at practice tomorrow.


Joe said...


There's someone wrong with the formula! I have the pain and fatigue but I don't have the speed!

Seriously though, "No negative talk on the deck" is a good tip. I'll try that one.

Joe said...

Err, someTHING not someONE. LOL!