Sharpen the Saw

Now that the season is fully complete, it is time to start gearing up for the 2012 season.  With only 252 days to go, there is a great deal to get done!  One of those things is to sharpen the saw.

Sharpen the Saw to me is to take the things that I am weak and make them into strengths.  Sharpen the Saw to me is to take the things that I am average at and make them great.  Sharpen the Saw to me is to take things that I am great at and make them OUTstanding!

This also includes getting a bit more rest along with making sure that I reconnect with my family.  Sounds strange, but when you are a stranger for 14 weeks, it is good to sit down on a Sunday night and not worry about a workout/lineup, but rather to introduce the card game Bullshit to your 4th and 6th grade kids.

It also means that I have bit more time to read.  Although I am not an avid reader like the rest of the family, once I do find a book or topic I tend to go over board.

The book I recently read cam from my friend Dan.  In fact Dan gave this to me during the swim season at one of the kids soccer games.  It came at a point in the season where I was struggling.  Wish I would have read the book when Dan gave it to me.

The book is Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life by Michael Lewis.  This is must read for all Middle School and High School coaches that are not sure if they are on the path to success in the new age culture of “keeping everyone happy” world of coaching.

The part of me that hits home in this book is that I think we are too worried about making everyone feel good and not worried about how much time and effort is really needed to succeed in sports, or in life.  There are no short cuts from hard work.  Some kids understand that now, others get it later in life.  My job as the coach is to make them realize it sooner.  It is a struggle.

We compete in one of the best, if not the best, conference in the state of Wisconsin for Women’s High School Swimming and Diving.  With the #1 team and #2 team and another top 5 team in the State in the Classic 8 Conference, there are no off days.  For us to be competitive, everyone on the team needs to make the next step up.  Everyone needs to get it.

What are you doing to Sharpen your Saw?  What are you doing to get ready for the 2012 Season?

Time to live in the Present, Reflect on the Past, and Look towards the Future

The 2011 Season has come to a thrilling conclusion.  5 Swims in the Big Pool in Madison this past Saturday afternoon.  The results are here.

The banquet has come and gone.  Team Awards and Varsity/Junior Varsity letters are all handed out.  Sad to see it end.

Time to live in the Present, Reflect on the Past, and Look towards the Future.  The season had its ups and it downs.  We received some bumps and bruises on the way, but together we survived the entire process, and did some fantastic things.  This is one of best group of young women that I have been associated with in a very long time.

Season Started with a Bang!  Over 74,000 Meters swam, Food Drive for the Food Pantry, Alumni Meet, a Painted Office, a great deal of Food Eaten, and over $6300 raised during Swim-A-Polooza.  Our first real fundraiser in 5 years that had planning started back in April of the year.  Exciting first month.

September started with the Classic 8 Conference Relays and ended with a dual meet with Catholic Memorial which included all of us wearing our Breast Cancer Awareness shirts.  We had a good progress report type meet at Nicolet at the Knight Sprints.

October came in with our donation to Stillwaters Cancer Support Services and concluded with our Conference Meet.  The thrilling dual at Waukesha West was a highlight.

During this time frame is when we secured a private anonymous donor to help us fund a new scoreboard for the pool.  That project is still on going.

Sectionals and State were a blast!  Fastest Medley Relay in School History.  Broke a record that was set back in 1995.   Overall, three school records with the highest finish at State in a good number of years.

Now is the time to capitalize on our good fortunes, but there is no time to rest.  Each day we need to be getting better.  Time to Sharpen the Saw.  Time to make the things that worked even better, and time to get rid of the things that did not work.  Why not start that effort for the 2012 season today!