What has happened in six months?
Since my last post it has been a long time. There have been many a hard training session, many a training weekend and many a few good meets. Most notably have been the three most recent competitions (ND Development, Scottish Open and Scottish Summer).
Although my attendance was not there at the ND Development meet, I did manage to see the PB rates in quite a few of the events. It struck me by surprise about how quickly swimmers are transferring those skills learned in training into the race environment. The Scottish Open and the Scottish Summer meet were displays of the older and experienced athletes transformation over six months into regular high performing athletes who are now understanding where there standard is, at present, and where there potential can take them. Again, PBs and finals were not just regular but almost normality.
However, having said all of this, this was not where my focus on assessing HST has been. Performance will play a key part in my role as Lead Performance Development Coach of HST, however, the true principles of technique, mindset and teamwork are the key foundations I view as essential to this program. We must get these elements right so that performance is inevitable, not just striven for.
In the past six months, I have been impressed:
- with how athletes are now dealing with feedback and setbacks alike in a positive and constructive manner.
- That skills such as efficiency in the water and lower stroke counts have now taken centre stage in training, rather than that of “how much, how quickly”.
- That, most importantly, it is refreshing to see a HST TEAM who warm up together (both on land and pool); a HST TEAM who cheer on each other at meets; and a HST TEAM, in the most part, are respective and empathetic to those around them.
THIS IS WHO A HST ATHLETE IS.
Unfortunately, I am not in business of accepting where we are. I truly feel there are rooms for improvement within our team and always will be. To be better we must strive to be better.
As we will now be entering a new season, in August, I think it vital that you, as athletes:
- Strive to understand strengths and weakness’ alike and learn to deal with the feedback that seems hard to take;
- Strive to improve your technique for next season and question EVERY element of your stroke to assess where you can make small adjustments.
- Most importantly, question how you can be a better team mate and look out for fellow swimmers either in HST or in your home clubs.
We have travelled a long way in six months, but the party journey has just started.