The great Seve Ballesteros (Golfer) once said ‘maybe I should go to a sports shop and buy a trophy. That’s the only way I am going to get one.’ Welshman Jamie Donaldson (who? He is a tennis player) claimed his first trophy after 254 previous attempts. The 36 year old when asked what kept him going said ‘It’s just being a case of keeping going, because I knew what I was doing was right.’ Andy Murray the Scottish tennis player who was the nearly man for years and now in a few months is Olympic and US Open champion. He is recognised by all at the top end of tennis as having an unwavering determination to get better and to put defeat behind him and to try to improve for the next opportunity.
The following are advice nuggets for all involved in competitive sport;
- Coaches should introduce the concept of post-performance reflection, analysing both strengths and weaknesses. This should be applied from an early age and parents are encouraged to do it too. This is a two way process but buy in by the swimmer is vital.
- Have a plan and have prepared to execute certain things to maximum performance.
- Maintain a realistic set of goals – understanding where an individual is in relation to their peers, can aid development.
- Get the balance right. Provide room for development. If strength and speed is well developed, work on Technical aspects, as this is the main limiting factor for further progression.