Courtesy of Brian Alexander and Champions Swim & Travel Experience
Often, the best question to ask is: am I making the most of this opportunity to become a better swimmer today? Many young swimmers have trouble approaching each practice with zest and joy for the opportunity they have in front of them. Lenny Krayzelburg may have been a gifted athlete, but when his parents migrated to the United States from the Soviet Union he learned that an opportunistic mindset was the key skill he needed to learn in order to mold his talent into Olympic excellence.
“I certainly appreciated the values my parents instilled in me and their sacrifices for bringing me over to the United States. I think the biggest thing was that the move may have given me new perspective on how valuable the freedoms of life are.”
A positive mental attitude shapes your daily perspective toward the grind of training. It may seem like an imposition to push through four to five thousand yard swim sets every day yet the greatest joys in swimming can be found once a deep passion toward mastery is developed.
If your career was interfered by injury, would your motivation and perspective toward monotonous training change at all? Much of Lenny’s swimming success (4 x Olympic backstroke gold medalist) is rooted in his personal experience of persevering through injury. “From the Sydney Olympics (2000) to the Athens games (2004), I injured my shoulder in ’01, then my knee in ’02, and then the same shoulder again in ’03. I knew I needed to bounce back in order to compete with the best in the world.” Lenny decided he wanted to work his way back up to the best in the world. He found joy in the challenge by falling in love with the sport again and won a gold medal in the 2004 Olympic Games.
Since the end of his professional swimming career, he has decided to dedicate himself to teaching younger swimmers the values and perspective changing beliefs which helped him rise to the top of the swimming world. He is doing that through his LK Swim Academy as well as a new swim camp venture called Champions Swim and Travel Experience with fellow Olympian Jason Lezak. Below are some of the valuable lessons young swimmers will learn during the upcoming Champions Swim and Travel Experience in Israel June 15th-24th:
- Develop a tremendous passion for the sport and never take it for granted
- Always study and learn from the best in the world who have molded their talent into greatness
- Look at practice and decide what you are going to get out of it that is really going to make a difference for yourself
- Persevere through the ups and downs by accepting that they will happen
- At the end of the day reflect back on your training and believe you put everything you had into it
- Don’t take opportunities for granted – if you dedicate yourself to something, do it with full passion and commitment
- Swimming is not necessarily about finding motivation but more about creating lifelong habits of success
Lenny Krayzelburg’s final take-away message that the next wave of youth swimmers can learn:
“You are what you do every day. Create positive daily habits and get the best out of the opportunities you have in front of you.”
Champions Swim & Travel Experience was founded by Olympic Champions Lenny Krayzelburg and Jason Lezak, giving swimmers a chance to spend eight days interacting and learning from direct under their tutelage, getting advice on improving strokes, receiving motivational guidance, video analysis, tips for pre and post race approach, nutrition, and more.
Out of the pool campers will take part in cultural and educational experiences touring one of the oldest and most historical countries in the world. This is truly the experience of a lifetime that aims to enhance the campers’ athletic and cultural knowledge. We believe that the experience of a trip to Israel can be a building block of their cultural identity, and that by providing this opportunity to young swimmers, we can strengthen bonds with the land and people of Israel and solidarity among swimming communities worldwide.
To sign up or learn more go to www.championsswimtravel.com
About the author: Brian Alexander is a mental skills coach who combines eight years of experience as an Olympic level water polo athlete, a master’s degree in sport psychology, and business leadership training and coaching from The Ken Blanchard Companies. He helps athletes and performers of all ages tap into their performance potential.
Swim News is courtesy of Champions Swim & Travel Experience.