Yup, adding time sucks. There’s no two ways about it. It doesn’t get much worse than feeling like you trained the entire season for no reason. Hold on a minute, though. Before you beat yourself up about it for three weeks: that bad championship meet is going to turn into something much bigger and better than what it seems to be.
- Sparks personal change
As human beings, we are growing and changing. Swimming last year’s practices, verbatim, won’t work this year, right? Without training at a higher level, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to perform at a higher level. A lack of improvement signals a need for change.
- Evolves the sport
As our bodies require different sets techniques, the technology and ideas used in the sport of swimming continue to advance around us. Look at it like a science experiment- it’s a type of trial and error, so to speak. Eventually, we find what works and we use it.
- Enables improvement
Reflect back on your race and find out your points of weakness. Was it your underwaters? Your tempo? You can’t get faster if you don’t know how, and bad races show us just what to work on.
- Builds mental strength
Swimming is undoubtedly one of the most challenging sports in the world. Bouncing back from disappointment is such an important skill in our sport. If your first race doesn’t go well, and you have two more that day, you have to find a way refocus your energy into having a positive attitude in your next race. This is essential to being an athlete and facing the inevitable challenges that life presents.
- Develops perspective
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my ten years of swimming, it’s that swimming is not the end-all-be-all. It’s important, and maybe it’s a large part of you are, but it doesn’t define you. You will realize that bad races suck, but life goes on.
- Teaches hard work
Success doesn’t come easily. It’s a simple fact of life, a reality that everyone all faces at some point in their lives. The sooner we learn this, the sooner we achieve the things we want in life.