Motivation – How To Get Them To Do More Than They Want by Eddie Reese (2001)


I ask those questions because I don’t know and I’m at the stage, you know there are a number of stages that you go through, one is where you think you know the other one is they are numbered I probably left out a couple, but you end up getting to the stage where you know you don’t know and what worked as I said yesterday, what worked last year is not the answer for this year.  Well I’ve got a joke that I told every year for 20 years and normally I don’t remember jokes because I’m so normally funny as opposed to strange, this swimming coach went to the doctor and said doctor my wife and I have had all the children we want to have, what should we do about that and the doctor says well you need to get a vasectomy, the swimming coach says fine how do I do that the doctor says you take a cup light a cherry bomb put it in the cup and hold it up to your ear and the swimming coach didn’t think that that applied to the right part of the body which was highly intelligent anyway and he said well doc I don’t know if I agree with that do you mind if I get a second opinion so he goes to another doctor, so he goes to the next doctor and he says, doc I know I need a vasectomy my question is the methodology and the doctor says, you get a cup you light a cherry bomb, put it in the cup and hold it up to your ears and count to ten and the swimming coach says alright give me the stuff I’m ready to go so he takes the cup lights the cherry bomb puts it in the cup, holds it up to his ear and goes one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, I think that is the longest delay I’ve ever had with an American audience and I usually judge I.Q. by the length of the delay, when I told this in Finland and it had to be translated into four languages and there is about a 20 second delay I was real worried that people might not get it.

I’m going to talk on motivation today and the way I see that, me talking on motivation is I’m asked to do it often and I do not have a clue, and the worst thing is I was eating with my wife yesterday and she said talk to me about what you are going to say on motivation and I just went like that and she said you don’t have a clue how you motivate your swimmers and I’m married to a rather amazing woman and I say that whether she is in here or not this is a woman that mentor’s about eight kids, visits the prison, we have people that stay in our house for a month or a couple months that don’t have places to stay and in 1994 she went to India and spent two weeks working in Mother Theresa’s house over there, so it is truly a woman in touch with life and she spent about fifteen minutes telling me how I motivate and I told her, I said well your through with the talk and she said there is no chance, so I will do it.


There is a belief out there for the athlete to do well they must believe that they can do it before they can do it, I approach it from a different direction because I don’t see that very often, I see them trying it, I see them doing it, whatever it is, going fast, I see them going fast then I see them believing it and then I see them having to do it again to believe it again some of the most insecure swimmers I’d ever seen are in the top echelon.


There is a young man that broke a world record in a preliminary swim in the nationals a long time ago and he had to come back that afternoon two hours before the finals and swim the event again, a little bit slower to make sure he could still do it and he had broken a world record, it is not what you think with those swimmers they just got to be willing to go for it, now how do you get them to do that.  I had something that I think has worked and my swimmers are tired of hearing about it but if you think something is good for them to know or good for them to do you don’t tell them one time a semester you tell them until they can recite it verbally and I tell them a story of a dual meet we had with another college team and it was in January and I wanted to make a point with my swimmers, because I thought we were at a cross roads we could either be real good or we could continue the way we were going and talking was beyond talk.  I had a distance man in that meet went 9:09 in the 1000 and twenty five minutes later he went 1:48 in the 200 fly, four minutes later he went 1:52 in the 200 back, four minutes later he went 4:26 flat in the 500 free, fifteen minutes later he went 2:12 in the 200 breast and three minutes later he went 47.2 on a free relay.


It is not a normal order for dual meets, normally you can swim three events obviously these were in the true sense of the word exhibition swims or survival swims.  My IM’ers the guys that were going to, breaststrokers that were going to swim IM’s at the end of the year swam the medley relay, the breaststroke leg of the medley, they swam a 200 Individual Medley, swam the 200 back, had a diving break went the 200 breast and got right up for the free relay, so it was a mental toughness thing, I was going to get them to do it or make them do it.  We go to a relay meet in October that is a conference relay meet and there are 16 relays and I, we average over 13 relays per man in that event, never have had anybody go all 16, but I’ve got people swimming breaststroke as I said yesterday shouldn’t do it in public, but they have to do it and one guy I’d left out cause we only had two guys for a three man relay and he said there is an open lane it’s alright if we get in so we checked with the started and of course they were in like heat believe it or not and they got up and swam, it is an attitude and you’ve got to convince them physically and emotionally to try, that is the biggest thing in our country nowadays.  Nobody wants to try without a guarantee.


In swimming, there are no guarantees.  I think it is a very honest sport, you do, get back what you put into it, for the most part, unless I make the mistake and I get somebody that works too hard, and I don’t rest him or her.  There is a book out there it has been out there a long time, it says leadership is an art by a guy named Max Dupree he is a CEO or was when he wrote this book for the furniture company in North Carolina, it is a company where people, I think it is Herman Miller furniture company, it is not a big one, but it is a company where people go there to study, to study middle level management and they go there to see them and they can’t find them because they are working, they are right in with every body else working.  It is one of the more popular places to work, one of the top ten places in the country where people want to work because of the attitude, everybody participates it’s like I tell people that help us on the deck on occasion, when I’m doing lane lines, like everybody else, I said whatever got you here you can never leave behind, if you had to do it, there is never a time where you sit back and take yourself out of that picture, and it is boring doing lane lines, the worst thing that ever happened to us was, I can say that.  The worst thing that ever happened to us were Olympic trials in March at least from the lane lines standpoint, we would change from short course to long course in the morning and then we would have to change back after the morning workout, then we would change from short course to long course in the afternoon and change back after that, we figured we got some degree of black belts in lane line changing.  What did I learn from that; we’re not supposed to talk about 50 meters vs. 25 yards are we.


Alright, motivation, golly, the unusual, the way I start the year, I start with a team meeting with everybody then a team meeting with freshman and I tell them what to expect, I tell the freshman it can be difficult for them to ever win anything in practice and I, occasionally I get the freshman that you know I’m lying to them they are going to do it anyway, but generally speaking, if you’ve got a good college team and you get good freshman in and you make them better the second year, better the third year you don’t want your freshman coming in, it would be nice if that happened, but it doesn’t.  I try to prepare them for what is going to happen, tell them we are going to shave twice, and shave at conference we’re going to shave again at NCAA’s and that you will be faster on the 2nd shave.  We know that if someone does something and they don’t know what the results are going to be, the results won’t be as good as if they know what the results are supposed to be so you tell them what you expect in a positive sense is going to happen you let them know what to expect if there is a change as soon as you know it.  One year I changed something it was the meet we were supposed to do X at we changed and did Y and we were terrible, we were terrible so I never try to surprise them, I want them to be able to handle surprises, but I don’t want to be the one to surprise them.  If we lose the medley relay they thought they were going to win the can handle that, but if they thought that they were going to be on the medley relay for the week before and they are not on it when they get up there and I show them to card that they are not on that medley that is too late to let them know that.


If I’ve ever got a decision and I had a decision this year at the NCAA’s on what to do on the medley, and I told the two guys I said look at this point I don’t know what I want to do, here or what I’m going to do, here’s what I’m thinking about and why I’m thinking that way.  So we have individual meetings at the beginning of the year I start those next week and we’ll talk about swimming goals which they all want to talk about and most of them want to be unrealistic at it, about the swimming goals don’t let them be unrealistic, if you’ve got a 16:30 miler long course that wants to go 15:30 you can’t let them put that goal down if they want to put it down and they fight you on it then you got to tell them what it takes to get there, but it takes in terms of dedication, coming to practice and what you’ve got to do in practice, what you’ve got to be able to do in practice and that is hard for me, because if they want to do it I want to be right there supporting them, but I have had people that have gone to far and I try to fix that.


We have strength goals and that is the tough one in college because if you’ve got a guy like Tommy Hannen who works out with 225 or 230 for sets of 6 on the bench and you’ve got Ian Crocker that works out with sets of 135 on the bench and you’ve got to convince them that they are not competing with each other they are competing with themselves, because Tommy’s been 52.8 bench pressing 225 Ian’s been 52.2 bench pressing 135 they both get stronger and in theory they should go fast and that’s the key.  So you set all this up, we do academic goals also; my meeting with my freshman I tell them is there anybody in here that is going to make less than a C.  No hands go up so I said you need to know that it never happens that way so if somebody doesn’t either doesn’t understand what is coming down the road in terms in studying or test taking or they are not being realistic, so this group better not make less than C’s.  So I try to believe in them realistically believe in them because coming out of the whole thing the key to their willingness to try something is tied directly to their self image how you set the whole thing up, how open you are with them, when I define motivation for my program and I say and I do keep things very simple when it comes to stroke drills or physical stuff, I keep it real simple I do that for me, but when I define motivation in my program I talk about how you treat people everyday.  I’m not a believer that you must have mountain top experiences and I know those are good, but a mountain top experience means you reach a real high peak and you come off that peak, you would like them to learn something, so wherever they started they don’t come down as far as they were.  But it is how you treat them everyday, remember I mentioned yesterday about saying five positive things to people back when I was younger and had fewer swimmers every time I make a talk like this it helps remind me to do that, it’s so simple, it’s like simple in a relationship with my wife, we know we love each other but it helps to hear it.  Often.  Better to hear it often then not hear it often, so it is better for your swimmers also to hear the good things.


Once again, they’ve got to hear the criticism but there is not reason to change, there are no miracles out there, the only miracle is in the athlete, it is in the athlete, not with us.  We are just lucky to be in these jobs, it is not a pain free job at any level, wherever you are or wherever I am, wherever anybody else is, anytime you deal with people it is painful, but you’ve got an opportunity, see I think I’ve got the secret to life, I know why you’re here on earth I know why I’m here on earth, not for me, it’s to help other people you’ve got a perfect job for that, teacher’s got perfect jobs for that, we’re supposed to help them and we will help ourselves for whatever we want better by worrying about helping them then worrying about us.  I almost gave the finish to my talk a little bit early; I get a lot of help for my teams.  I had to go to them before I made this talk because they did something last year that was the key, I’m not going to tell you about now, but I will tell you about it.  What they do in practice and I have to remind them of this, what they do in practice as far as noticing how other people perform, and I tell them it’s not your position to comment on someone having a bad day, or saving up for the last set, I can’t stop those comments, I’ve got some guys that are very good at pointing out good and very good at pointing out bad but I see it and that is up to me, because as athletes as peers have so much power, not over each other but to enable each other in a positive manner, they have very little power negatively all that does is push them apart, that’s what I’ve got to do, I’ve got to take that part, you’re having a bad day in practice, is that because you don’t like the set or are you feeling bad, what, tell me what it is, they’re feeling bad I’ll move them out and put them in the diving well and let them kick and pull easy and that is acceptable to do, that’s my team and they will allow me to do that, now somebody tells me a story about why they need to do that then my team will get upset at them, because I’ve got to trust them and I’m going to believe them.  But we had our in the pool practice success and I love practice, I’d rather be at practice then meets, I love practice, we had young guys taking over their lanes as far as alright guys, I don’t let them do alright guys this is the last one, alright guys this is the last half, we are doing 8 something this is the last four we want to work hard on the last four, anybody can work the last one hard and they should but I wanted them to get used to working 5, 6, and 7 harder and still go an 8 harder and they did that and it is once again an unusual group because everything came from them, if the outside of the pool discipline comes from them it’s the miracle you want.  Anything that comes from them is stronger than that which comes from you but then you may have to trick them into doing it. I’ll meet, we’ll spend five minutes on supporting each other in practice, notice what they are doing we’ll do that every two weeks until they’ve got it.  It is great when it is occurring, it’s great for them, it enables them to go faster, longer more often.


Probably the most important thing they did that I asked them about I could tell one of their secrets. They had a team meeting Friday afternoon after practice, personally for them to be good, they’ve got to give up something for the team each individual, Friday afternoon, 5:00 when we get out of the water, they went and sat in the locker room most everybody’s ready to get out of the pool go find supper and then wait until 11:00 to go out, I suggested 8:00 but that doesn’t work they said there is nobody out there, I said your out there, there is somebody out there call a group of friends, but it doesn’t work, they go in the locker room and sit around the locker room and since we’ve got 11 lanes with 25 yards apart in some places, not everybody knows what sets people are doing much less how well they are doing them, they sat around and they go around and each person would talk about one or two good things they had done that week so everybody would know and then they would all go eat together.  One way I would have never thought of that, I’m ready to get out of their Friday too, but that held us together, raised us higher than we could have been.  I believe swimming is a great part physical but you must have that mental commitment also, you can’t have somebody going through the motions.  So that and we’ve had team meetings in April and May after the season, what could we do better, what are you worried about for next year, what do I have to do for you to make you better, they were all concerned about that the chemistry on the team is changing.  I told them I said well you know two years ago it changed from then also.  It always changes, I said some of you may have to work harder to make this team as successful and I define success as going fast we don’t talk about winning the NCAA’s, we talk about if everybody on my team goes significantly faster that takes care of whatever we need.  But if everybody on the team goes fast enough to be happy with their season, we get fifth, we couldn’t have done any better, that is all that matters getting them to go faster.
One thing I wanted to mention about them eating together, you need to know thirty people deciding on a place to eat, there are people that are going to go eat someplace for the sake of the group that they don’t want to go and that is part of the game.  There is always people that must give more than others, they’ve got to be willing to do that, I’m aiming for perfection, I know that we are not going to get it.  But you need to aim fairly high, anytime you deal with the human animal there is going to be ups and downs, especially the male college animal there is going to be ups and downs.  Well back to this book Leadership Is An Art, my wife found this book we were at a non-denominational church retreat, over in the middle, right next to a crystal clear river and when we went in it’s just a place where you see turkey and deer and catch six pound bass, or two pound bass, it’s just a perfect place, and we were over there and there was no meeting going on we knew the guy that ran it and he let us come over for three or four days in May and that is one of the neatest things I’ve done and they’d always leave the library open for Eleanor because she is a voracious reader and she found a little book, found this little book, it’s about that thick, and at that time my glass was full, if you pay attention to practice and I’m a very sensitive person and I notice everything I notice who sleeps in my talks, not at school they don’t, but here and that is good and bad, but I notice who grimaces when I give them a workout for a set and it bothers me, and I’m not getting over it, you would hope that you would get over it, so I tell my guys I get from 100 to 200 negatives a day and at their age they couldn’t stand it, this was about fifteen or sixteen years ago we were over at this place and my glass was full I was fed up, I was emotionally burned out, in the sense of taken what they gave me, taken their negatives to heart, and they might have said don’t take it personally, big deal I do, you know it’s because I’m part of it I like to put out a workout or a bunch of sets that everybody loves I’m in the wrong business, you know because I say we decide what’s good for them by what they don’t like, if they like a set they never see it again, but if they cry and bleed from the face we know it was good for them, anyway I read this book and I just read protective cover and it said the leader should bear the pain and never give the pain, I was well, I’d been someone else, told me I was doing it right and then it goes on to say all you do the rest of the way is say thank you and please and make sure you know the person’s name, address them by their name because that is important to them, it’s all simple stuff but anyway I haven’t needed a refresher course in that in a while, I’m still getting my 100 to 200 negatives and some of them are much bigger than others, but I am not a motivational talker, there are a number of coaches out there that are successful at motivating a team because they’ll be real rough on the team, it will be the team verses the coach a little bit, I can’t stand that, that is purely personal, I see it work and sometimes I envy that, but that is just not the way I am, it doesn’t make me right or it doesn’t make them wrong that’s just the way I am, I can’t do that.


Then there are great story tellers out there and I really want to be a great story teller, when my daughters were growing up I used to tell stories all the time, and then I started singing stories to them and at age three one turned three two years before the other one, both of them at age three said Dad please don’t sing, I’ve never gotten over that, but I do sing terribly.  Then I try to appeal on a intellectual too potent of a word, but I try to appeal on a logical basis, I’ve got to set it all out and occasionally before, we had one NCAA in 1981 that we had a morning, the first morning session we were terrible and I took them in after the morning session and yelled at them and I don’t yell very often and we came back to do very well the rest of the meet, I don’t know if they would have done that anyway they might have, but like this time we had two freshman, one with Olympic experience, one high Olympic trial finish experience and one Ian Crocker went to the Olympics said that the NCAA’s was more frightening for him then the Olympics had been it’s hard to defuse that.  So I just left him alone and he was fine, but that kind of fear can slow you down, and on occasion I do give emotional talks but I always tie it to something that we know, something that happened for our team, like two years ago at the NCAA we had a young man who had tried real hard for four years to make the NCAA team and he had done everything I asked and he hadn’t done it, and he had gone considerably faster and our system of picking the individuals that go to the NCAA’s is difficult, difficult to sit through, because send in your fastest times and then you have to wait until everybody scratches then you see how it fits in a formula with taking only 235 swimmers and then you know whether your going or not.  Well he had a flight the next morning to like Cancun and we find out that he is going and we never thought he had a chance, he went and he took over the team while he was there he was an inspiration to us and for us just by the way he handled it, and he hadn’t been in the water for 4 or 5 days before he found out he was going and he got up and swam one of the best swims of his life, but that was, he was not doing that for himself he was doing that partially for himself but for the team.


Swimming is an individual sport that scored as a team sport that the individual will be better if the team is behind the individual, not just at the meet but in practice all the time, once again there are not miracles out there, the only miracle is in the athlete, and you’re the ones that get done like that, there is a big physical part and a very important mental part, my wife said well have you ever motivated an audience, well I’m going to try and I tried earlier by reminding you how important your job is, what an opportunity you’ve got to help people, not to be Olympians to try things there are not guarantees for, to commit to something with no guarantee, not many of us will do that, to commit to something with no guarantee.  I think that’s the biggest problem facing at least swimmers on my college, is to try something, whether it’s commit to doing workouts the way that I want them to or trying to race the way I want them to.  I read a lot, I read a lot of fiction so I can hide and I read some non-fiction, but I really believe that the fiction writers have got a better grasp of real life if you listen to some of the lessons they have in there.  A long time ago I read a couple of sentences by a guy talking about, the theory is that no matter well you’ve heard the one about the person who dies with the most toys wins the game and then even before that saying was, you know whatever you’ve got when you die you can’t take it with you, and one of these fiction books it was either by a guy named John D. McDonald if you haven’t read any of his books they are very entertaining.


A Guy named Allister McClain who wrote many, many books one of those two guys it was in their book and it was very simple it said the only thing you can take with you when you die is that what you have given others, and I think that is the whole crux, if you aim in that direction, you will succeed, difficult, the greater the task you try to accomplish the higher you try to go, the more pain involved the more problems involved.  There, the Peter principal that you get advanced one job beyond what you can do, I don’t believe that, we get advanced one job beyond the problems we are willing to handle.  That is how that seems to work to me, not skill level, what your willing to face, because it is painful, but you know that, Urma Bombeck was one of the greater humorous of our time and she spoke at a graduation of college students, she talked to them in a humorous sense, I wish I could have it here to read but the main deal with her talk was that young people that age are not getting ready to go into life, they have already been in life, and they have they face everything we do, they don’t face as much of it, but they do face the same things, the tragedies, the happiness all of that kind of stuff.


So I motivated everybody in here to go take a nap haven’t I.  Once again, it is a simple process, it is like marriage when you are coaching swimmers, it is not give and take, it is give and give, just be ready for that, and if you have a real problem with it or you need some help, e-mail someone else other than me.  No I’m glad to help.  But, have you got any questions that I can talk about with you.  Come on, if not… I’m going to do something you should be doing, maybe I’m going to do it, if I don’t find them today you know I’ve lost it.  Oh yeah, I’m successful, I’ve been coaching college for over 20 years and over 30 years but I wasn’t going to brag about that, I started when I was 12, that is correct that is a lie, I’ve never repeated a workout, that is from being left handed, I blame it on my left handedness supposedly we don’t like to do the same things over and over.  In fact, I was rewriting what I wanted to say in this talk as you were coming in because I had some different angles that I thought about, but, are there no questions out there, oh we got them, yes sir.  To talk about team unity it doesn’t happen, we are the last team in the country to get together as a unit I think, it doesn’t happen for us cause I don’t force it, because I’m not good at that, or either that or it is easy for me to do, it doesn’t happen until Christmas training, when they go home for a week and come back December 27th, they don’t go to school for three weeks and they do everything together, I really believe this Friday deal, if they keep it up, and if they don’t keep it up I’m going to ask somebody to suggest it.  But there are some people that are real good at that and we do not force that issue but we come together naturally and pretty much on their terms somewhere in early January and it scares me.  Sometimes just going to meets help that, so I’ve got two meets in October this year to help that cause it is very important.  But if you do the little things in practice and you can get the athletes to buy into as a peer not doing the negative things, lets you do the negative things, then it is going to happen, I’m much more interested in that group, my group making it happen then I am making it happen myself, probably I could.  Yes sir; Well before we vote I give them my how to elect captains talk, probably about three or four days I said do not elect a captain that you think this is going to help them be better outside of the pool or in the pool, not true, it has happened but rarely has that happened, elect somebody that is going to help you and help me and we finish practice at 5:00 and I make it a point three days a week to just go sit in the office not to talk to anybody on the deck other coaches or anybody on the deck I just go into the office and sit down and they come out of their locker room through my office so if anybody wants to talk and I don’t force the captain issue I will check with them, I just say is there anything I can help you with, kind of like when you have roommate problems I think I’m a genius at putting roommates together, one year being the first semester everybody wanted different roommates and recently I’ve been better at that, but I told my freshman the other day, if you got a problem with your roommate I want you to handle it, that means you got to sit down and talk, here freshman come in and they want to do everything the first year, whatever everything is and they used to cause problems and they’ve got to get used to not having their way or not having their territory when they want it, and both roommates do and if they can’t solve it, I sit down and talk to them, the last thing I want to do is change roommates, then I have lost I have not done a good job, not just at putting them together but to keeping them together, it hadn’t been detrimental to the team or anything like that.  But the captains get in on that if there is someone that, not if, when there is someone that plays their music loud in the dorm captains are usually junior’s and senior’s don’t live in the dorm and they will come in and ask them.  I do worry about it but if I ask them not to do it, they know I’m not going to come up in their dorm room I’ll never know I’ll just hear about it again.  It’s all simple living skills.  But I want to, the reason I sit in the office is I want to be there if anybody wants to talk and occasionally not occasionally, a lot of swimmers are introverts and you’ve got to force the issue, so you got to have your questions that you want to ask that individual, cause they are not going to come up with anything they are going to give you the shortest answers that they can give you.  They’ll come out of that by somewhere around the end of their freshman year they’ll be better but when they first get there they are quiet.


What or who motivates me, hmm, well I really believe that I am there to help them, I mean you go into practice not feeling good, you know the normal work force in America today, if they don’t feel good they don’t go in, I gave my guys a talk maybe the beginning of the summer, I said your graduating in the easiest time in the world to get a job people don’t care, if they don’t feel good they don’t go in, you get to do that, we all do that, I don’t do it for money, I don’t do it for winning, if I go back a long way when I swam, I could have been a good swimmer, of course I could tell you how good I was and you wouldn’t know, but I would have a hard time being ranked top 16 11 and 12 girls and if they were using my yards times since meters and but I could have been a real good swimmer, and I didn’t have anybody.  Randy and I have talked about this, my brother and we both could have been real good swimmers and we didn’t have an opportunity to do that, and I think that is part of the drive but I’m also as easy going as I seem underneath I’m very competitive, but I can once it’s over I can give it up.  I played a lot of racquet ball in my life and I lost a lot, I played a lot of good players and lost a lot and when I’m in there I’m trying to beat them I think that I can beat them every time, when it’s over if I’ve played well or competed well I can live with it, when I play badly it is tough on me.  But I wasn’t a great racer, because when I came through age group swimming I won everything, I was first in the nation in a couple of events, at age 16 when I was 14 I was first in one, second in one, third in one, I mean real slow times.


My brother had a 13 year old boy go 200 meters IM in 2:12 and it had been a close race between us with my 200 yard freestyle time back in those days when I was 14, it embarrasses me my times were so slow, not enough to start training.  But I think it is a bunch of things, and I really enjoy it, like I said I love practice and I love the hard work they do, you need to know swimmers are the hardest working athletes in the world. The question is about preparing for surprises, generally speaking if I were, if I am not prepared for surprises I am average at that situation I am not very good in a surprise situation so personally I do a lot of scenarios that never can happen but some of them can happen, but you just want your team to have a purpose and know that there are going to be bumps a long the way I don’t think that you can prepare them for everything, it is part of the learning process, I almost wish that we could go to this relay meet and they didn’t know they were going to swim 13 or 14 relays, and just through that at them, it is alright to surprise them early. now if we get a relay disqualified the NCAA’s then that is beyond surprise, that would bother me, but I’ve seen, we haven’t had one yet, knock on wood and I’m not even superstitious, but we haven’t had one but I’ve seen other people seen it happen to them and they just keep right on rolling and that is the way it is supposed to be.  Do you ever have athletes arrived that are burned out by the sport and how do you motivate those, since I get to choose my athletes more carefully then you do, not very often does that happen because most of the people I pick are on a pretty fast or pretty steep improvement curve and I’m a firm believer that burnout doesn’t occur in practice or by what mom and dad say to them at home, it occurs when you don’t go faster that is what I see as burnout, or someone who has dominant at 11 and 12 and move up in an age group and they won everything at age 12, that is why I protect them and define success as going faster not by winning.  I talked to a group of people after the talk yesterday about maybe the most important thing we can do is educate parents because they have such a profound influence on the athlete when they come home.  An athlete comes home and sits down and their beat, oh the work out was so hard and if the parent says that is great that is just what you need to get better or they say that is too bad I’ll go talk to the coach, that athlete forms opinions that they carry back with them and we need all the help we can get.  The parent wants what we want from the athlete they want them to go faster it is real simple they want them to be better.  You got to tell them how to help.


There was a young man that came to our camp a number of years ago from a place that he went one a day even in the summer he was 55:0 0 for the 100 fly 55:00 for the 100 back yards, 1:51 for the 200 free, he got real excited by the sport and he came to me and says what can I do to have a chance on one a days, and I said you’ve got to run three of those days and get to where you can do sets of pushups he had an excellent stroke, he went from 1:51 to 1:41, he went from 55:00 to 51:00 he dropped from 4:35 400 IM to 4:03 but he ran three to five miles three days a week, got to where he was doing after each run he was doing 400 pushups and sets of 50 so I don’t want to mislead you by telling you that or making it look like everybody says that they want to go real fast super fast, I talk them out of it, I don’t I am a dreamer, I am an optimist and I let them go, but I mean if somebody comes in at 1:42 there 6’5 weigh 165 you can hold them up to a light and see their skeleton for them to go fast they’ve got to put on, they’ve got to eat right, they can’t sleep through, that is somebody in this room I told this to when they were in school, they can’t sleep through breakfast Sunday morning they can’t miss out on that 2500 calorie, they can’t just have two meals on Sunday, they got to get up and eat and then go back to sleep, but there are a lot of things they can do to help them.  This guy that was 142 was very logically said I wanted to go 1:39 this year and came in the next year, he said he wanted to break 1:37 he didn’t he went 1:37 flat.  He went out to fast, he got in the race he put his feet on the wall in 46:2 he looked like me on the last 50, tired boy is his title now, cause that is when he get’s tired, he’s got long arms and he has not got the strength to keep them moving when he gets real fatigued, it takes time to get there, 1:50 to 1:42 if the person has got a good stroke is reasonable that is a jump that can be made, it happens all over.


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