Was at practice last week for the club team, and talked to my good friend and coach that I respect in Dan Wohl. We were talking about the most recent championship meet. I made the comment that I think there is a direct correlation between Attitude and Success.
I am sure that there have been books upon books written on this subject, but my unscientific evidence indicates that the better the Attitude the better the Swimmer. Just wish that it did not take me 23 seasons as a Head Coach to fully grasp that as we start season 24 today.
Now when I say better swimmer, I do not always mean necessarily faster or conference champion or national qualifier. I mean that your chance for getting to that next level or next goal will be closer to your grasp with that attitude.
In retrospect, I think about the swimmers that I have coached, and the ones that succeeded in the pool and maximized their own potential IN and OUT of the pool, were the ones that had the right attitude day in and day out. When something went wrong, they did not dwell and get down on themselves or the team, but rather turned it into a positive.
All of these things came into greater perspective this past week when I was reading how one of my former swimmers was swimming in the FINA Masters World Championships in Montreal, Canada.
If we go back in the Swimming Time Machine, the year was 2000. We had finished 13th at the State Championship the prior year and everyone was coming back. Our star swimmers were all having great summer seasons, with one even going to Olympic trials. Break out season was on the horizon.
Then it happened. One of juniors, fell off a curb at a church festival and blew out her knee. A key piece to the relay gone. Key piece of someone that represented hard work gone. I was crushed on what it meant to everyone. In fact, I was worried that her college scholarship potential would go by the way side.
But this story has two great outcomes. Emily, our Olympic Trial participant, took the team on her shoulder. She willed us to things I have never seen before. She took everyone under her wing. She was positive about everything in life and everything to do with the team. She swam to two 2nd place finished at the State meet in the 200 IM and 100 Back. Then graduated in the Spring and then went to Harvard.
The second part of the story is about Meg. She blew out the knee and could have cashed in all of her chips and been done. Instead, she worked hard the following spring and summer and was ready to do what Emily did the season before. Her attitude was as if none of this had happened. 3rd place in IM and 9th in the 100 freestyle at the State meet. Scholarship to swim at West Virginia followed after graduation.
To this day, those two people have had such great attitudes that I know that has carried them to other great things in life.
Good Attitude == Better Swimmer == Great Person
Attitude works in swimming and in Life.