On deck thoughts for the young college coaches at their first conference championships seems timely. After 33 of these, you would think I don’t get nervous. First news flash–we all thrive on the tension. Here are five things I see that I think are important. Feel free to disagree.
ONE – You can’t fix it now.
On deck, during warm-ups, the athlete needs to feel invincible. You had all year to make stroke corrections. Here, at the big meet, they have to dance with who brought them.
TWO – They need rest.
I believe in getting them to bed early and letting them sleep in as much as possible. I know that a lot of coaches like wake-up swims at 6 AM before 9 AM warm-ups, but not me.
THREE – They need proper nutrition and hydration.
I have all our meals catered, no fast food, and I review menus to get maximal effect. I harp on constant hydration. These are long days. Stay hydrated.
FOUR – Speaking of which, take care of yourself.
Wear sensible shoes, stretch, make yourself get some sleep. Did I mention these are long days? You need to stay as fresh and sharp as possible under the pressure.
FIVE – Love the moment, and let your athletes know you love it.
Most of us are in this because we love swimming, and champs are our biggest thrill. Live it up, have fun, let it show. No luck involved, make it happen.