College & High School

The SwimBrain Podcast: Brain Food For Competitve Swimmers

Denaj Seymour: Swim Nerd | Sports Science Aficionado

The Underwater Classroom

Episodes

Handling Disappointment At The Olympic Level Like A Champion
40:32
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 40:32
Handling Disappointment At The Olympic Level Like A Champion

dustin tynes bahamian olympic swimmer

“I think success comes with a lot of sacrifices.”

When I sat down to chat with Bahamian Olympian Dustin Tynes a few of my questions were targeted at dealing with failure. I wanted to see what we could learn from the way Dustin handled disappointment and I had no idea I would get the opportunity to find out just one week later when he competed in his first ever Olympic race.

Listen to the beginning of this episode to hear how Dustin dealt with a disappointing first Olympic swim. We can learn from him.


Resources:

Dustin on Twitter

Dustin on Facebook

 

The post Handling Disappointment At The Olympic Level Like A Champion appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Finding Value and Identity Outside of The Pool
24:03
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 24:03
Finding Value and Identity Outside of The Pool

“Whether you’re bagging groceries in a supermarket or the CEO of a company, you have irreplaceable value.” — Melissa Dayton


melissachipWe’re back with Melissa Dayton to continue our conversation, but this time in a different direction. Today’s focus is on ideas that are more important than a swimming performance. We are sharing ideas about building an identity that’s not hinged on a performance or it’s outcome. Building a group of friends that they can depend on in real life. Building a community of trusted adults that a child can turn to when they have screwed up.

I hope that the last part of this conversation inspires you to not only think, but also to talk about these concepts and begin to share the message that no swimmer can be replaced. I know discussing these ideas can often be uncomfortable, but remember that prevention is the name of the game.


 Conversation Timeline

  • The most important message Melissa has for teens (1:44)
  • Brain chemicals/self-medicating/drugs/nutrition in the role of mental health 4:06)
  • The book that all teenagers should read/finding identity (8:57)
  • The three levels of friendship (11:34)
  • How to reach out for help when you need it (15:42)

Resources

Victor Frankl – Man’s Search For Meaning

You Cannot Be Replaced

Favorite Quotes

“A really good friend will not lie for you.”

“You are not broken. We all have pain in life. We all have insecurities”

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Finding Hope When Parenting Becomes Difficult
55:33
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 55:33
Finding Hope When Parenting Becomes Difficult

“Sometimes the kids just become a master of hiding what they’re going through. They want everyone to think they’re still perfect, but we want them to be safe enough to admit they’re not. So we want to strengthen the adults so that they can do so.” –Melissa Dayton


Swim Parents

Chip & Melissa Dayton

Today our guest on the SwimBrain podcast is Melissa Dayton, author of the book “Crushed: When Parenting Is Hard.” I reached to Melissa because I thought that she would be able to share some insight and encouragement to all of our SwimBrain Parents. I was right.

But that’s not the main reason I invited her. My not so secret agenda is for us to begin approaching our sport from a much more holistic perspective and to make all of our efforts more swimmer-focused. Talking to people like Melissa is great because it remind us that though it’s easy to, we shouldn’t lose focus of the bigger picture. 

I hope that you enjoy our conversation. Personally, I found it refreshing to shift from the typical perspective of sports psychology and sports science and have a conversation that is very practical for parents all around the globe.


Conversation Timeline

  • How a suicide cluster inspired a movement (2:52)
  • The story of Melissa’s 8 children (9:08)
  • The parenting rollercoaster and raising children with different needs (10:24)
  • Finding time to pause and why a busy family doesn’t always equal success (13:23)
  • The side effects pushing our kids towards this one definition of success (15:56)
  • Recognizing the pressure we inadvertently place on young athletes (20:02)
  • Finding the balance between mediocrity and excellence throughout the experience (23:02)
  • How to avoid parenting teens out fear (28:09)
  • Types of parents: helicopter, mower and zamboni (29:37)
  • Dealing with guilt after a teenager screws up  (32:55)
  • Extending forgiveness in the face of repeat offenses (37:08)
  • True or False: Parenting becomes easier as children get older (44:18)
  • True or False: trying to control a child means they are less likely to go wrong (44:58)
  • True or False: Is it good to compare your family to others and learn from them (45:40)
  • True or False: Allowing risky behavior at home decreases chances for risky behavior elsewhere (48:28)
  • The genius of having small rules for teenagers to rebel against (49:50)

Resources

Favorite Quotes

  • “We have to be really careful because our kids perception is: you only value me if I’m successful at this. You only will think I’m successful if I get that D1. We may not feel that way, but that’s what they’re interpreting by us signing them up for everything and making sure they’re with the best trainer and the best this and the best that…”
  • “I think that sometimes those kids who get stuck on those patterns aren’t forward thinking. We want them to be thinking about the kind of adult they want to be, not just the kind of adult we want to raise.”

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Accelerated Learning: The Competitive Advantage of 21st Century Swimming Pt. 2
44:34
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 44:34
Accelerated Learning: The Competitive Advantage of 21st Century Swimming Pt. 2

“It’s really unlikely anymore that, especially in the 400 and down events, that just training hard you’re gonna win a gold medal. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I don’t think it’ll ever happen again. There’s always an anomaly, but I really think that just going and swimming 80 100s, you’re not going to win a gold medal in the 100 freestyle. It’s just not going to happen because you have to be so good technically at so many things.” — Sean Hutchison


Olympic Swim Coach Sean Hutchison

If you don’t have the physics right you’re not gonna have a chance.

Today I’m continuing my conversation with former Olympic swim coach Sean Hutchison and right off the blocks we are diving deep into the role of physics in winning an Olympic medal. Sean puts it succinctly: “If you don’t have the physics right you’re not gonna have a chance.”

This episode is loaded with actionable insights and I encourage to listen, take notes, apply and relisten.

Enjoy!


Conversation Timeline

  • Why the athletes who win always get the physics right (6:37)
  • Why hard training won’t get you an Olympic gold medal (9:20)
  • Using sound frequencies to calm the brain for learning (11:23)
  • The amazing science behind visual learning (13:35)
  • How IKKOS helped a pro golfer improve his swing from the couch (19:32)
  • The problem of using “coaching language” to teach young swimmers (24:05)
  •  How to become really good as a coach and set yourself apart (29:46)
  • A strategy for coaching mastery (33:30)
  • Two character traits the elite athletes have that make them successful (35:57)
  • The hard sacrifices on the road to mastery (41:12)

Resources

IKKOS Website
IKKOS on Facebook
IKKOS on Twitter

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Accelerated Learning: The Competitive Advantage of 21st Century Swimming
35:39
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 35:39
Accelerated Learning: The Competitive Advantage of 21st Century Swimming

Listening to my podcast will not make you better. It might make you feel better, but feeling better and being better are two very different things. It’s easy to feel better when you consume information, but knowledge itself is not an advantage. It’s only when we begin to apply knowledge that we can truly say that we have learned and if learning is essential to improvement then it makes sense that the swimmers (or anybody for that matter) who can learn faster and more deeply than others will have a significant competitive advantage.
Olympic swim coach

“The general idea that whoever is fastest is doing it right is foolish. There’s got to be something right about it, but it’s not necessarily the best.” — Sean Hutchinson

We are living in the 21st century and thanks to utilities like Google, filling our mental pools with knowledge has become almost effortless. The difficulty we now face is teaching our brains to swim efficiently in this information economy.

In part 1 of my conversation former Olympic coach Sean Hutchison and I delve into how his attitude towards learning allowed him to become a world class swimming coach. In part two we’ll hear how he is using neuroscience to encourage accelerated learning in swimmers and many other athletes.


Conversation Timeline

  • How Sean’s Olympic coaching career started (3:50)
  • Reflecting on the factors that made him successful (9:06)
  • One of the smartest things Sean ever did as a young coach (14:05)
  • The inevitable future of technology and sport (21:53)
  • Future threats to coaching (27:32)
  • Identifying and learning worthwhile skills (29:08)

Resources

Mastery by Robert Greene
IKKOS Website
IKKOS on Facebook
IKKOS on Twitter

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ISCA – A Game-Changing Conference For Sports Scientists and Swimming Coaches
38:53
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 38:53
ISCA – A Game-Changing Conference For Sports Scientists and Swimming Coaches

“Anybody that is successful talks to a lot of other people that are successful and also other people that are successful in other fields besides the field that they’re in. I think that makes you really successful.” — Doug Fonder


Pro tip: whenever you are considering going to a large conference like ISCA don’t make your decision solely on the cost and the lineup of speakers. Think also about the hidden value like creating friendships and partnerships with other attendees. It will be those friendships and conversations that spark your creativity and outlast your memories of the speakers and their topics.

Before we get to today’s episode watch this video to see what others are saying about the conference:

On the podcast today to give us a clearer idea of the ideas behind the conference and what makes it different from other swimming associations is ISCA director Doug Fonder. I know you’ll enjoy listening to Doug and if you listen to this and still have a few questions, feel free to contact me or head on over to their website. 


Conversation Timeline

  • Reflecting on Doug’s relationship with Vince Lombardi and his coaching style (2:30)
  • Mixing different coaching styles and the art of coaching  (4:33)
  • The ideas behind the formation of ISCA and its emphasis on sports science (6:16)
  • Answering the question: What did Michael Phelps do to become an Olympian? (9:17)
  • Who should attend the ISCA conference(10:57)
  • Getting certified with ISCA (12:41)
  • What new coaches should learn first to get their career rolling (15:14)
  • The crucial importance of continuing education for coaches (16:09)
  • The real value of the ISCA conference (17:34)
  • The dates and location of the conference and the reason behind them (19:57)
  • The cost of the conference and discount prices (21:03)
  • 2016 Lineup of speakers (22:04)
  • The cost of ISCA yearly membership and benefits (23:32)
  • Maintaining an open attitude even in the face of new evidence (24:47)
  • Key ideas and different approaches to successful coaching (26:38)
  • ISCA’s effort to ethically push the sport of swimming forward (32:00)
  • What keeps Doug busy outside of ISCA (33:18)
  • From adoption to Olympic trials (34:17)

Show Notes

The post ISCA – A Game-Changing Conference For Sports Scientists and Swimming Coaches appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 2
35:59
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 35:59
Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 2

Swimming technology researchLast week I shared a really interesting conversation that I had with with Dr. Rod Havriluk of Swimming Technology Research. I received good feedback from a few listeners and it really does make me happy when you enjoy the show. I really appreciate it when you take time to respond and give me feedback. Thank you!

If you happened to miss part 1, no worries, here it is: Part 1

In this episode I’m continuing my conversation with Dr. Havriluk and the second part is just as good as the first. As you listen to the research that Dr. Havriluk presents in this episode don’t fall into the trap of just thinking that this is some “cool/shocking research” and then forget about it after this episode ends.

Instead think of ways to use this new information to make your practices better and your times faster.


Conversation Timeline

  • Shocking results about the change of force production during a training season (1:44)
  • The problem of fatigue in learning technique (6:50)
  • The proper attitude of coaches toward new research (8:20)
  • Research isn’t written for coaches (10:30)
  • Encouraging a discussion between scientists and coaches (13:40)
  • Deciding which scientific principles to implement (18:33)
  • Seeing the rewards of his work (23:51)
  • Thoughts on the current state of research in the sport of swimming (26:15)
  • Speculating on the future of competitive swimming (29:05)
  • Thoughts on the elite swimming and changing the definition (30:17)
  • What Dr. Havriluk finds satisfying (and gets a kick out of) (31:35)

Show Notes

 

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Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 1
31:14
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 31:14
Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 1

As a kid with nonexistent backstroke skills the only thing I swam into more than the lane ropes was differing opinions on swimming technique. I hated the feeling of both, but at least the lane ropes ran parallel to each other.

My teenage mind reasoned that the only sure way to validate my technique was to copy it from the swimmers that I considered to be elite. I had no doubts that copying fast swimmers would give me the best possible chance at having great technique. I was wrong. 

Swimming technology research

Dr. Rod Havriluk

To point us in the right direction I asked the president of Swimming Technology Research, Dr. Rod Havriluk to share some of his insights with us. Dr. Havriluk’s work transcends borders as he travels to various countries speaking at conferences and hosting swimming clinics. It was at one of those clinics that I met him and I have been a follower of his research ever since.

I think that you’ll enjoy listening to our conversation and I’ll share part two in the next episode. Here’s Part 1:


Conversation Timeline

  • The individuals who have influenced Dr. Havriluk’s work (2:36)
  • The important role of deliberate practice in swimming mastery (6:20)
  • Shocking practice habits of high school swimmers (8:26)
  • Why we can’t completely discount the traditional approach to swimming. (10:58)
  • How our view on fast swimmers impedes our progress as a sport (12:54)
  • What the data says about the technique of the fastest swimmers in the world. (14:46)
  • Understanding how Aquanex works (17:15)
  • Why Dr. Havriluk uses technology to calculate the force production of swimmers hands (18:00)
  • Why more swimmers need to practice by themselves (20:04)
  • The side effects of a conditioning focused approach (23:20)
  • Why age is not the real impediment to better swimming technique (25:00)
  • How Dr. Havriluk developed an app to improve swimming technique (26:27)

Show Notes

The post Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 1 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Crazy Talk For The Misfits
13:52
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 13:52
Crazy Talk For The Misfits

This episode is the last in a series of episodes talking about The Online Swimmer. In the last few episodes you can find previews of what can be expected in a Lane 5 & 6 membership, but for this episode about Lane 4 I decided to switch things up.

Since Lane 4 is a completely customized program I figured it was better to share the ideas behind what I’m doing since an accurate preview would be virtually impossible. Sometimes it helps to know the mind behind an idea and I hope this helps to give a clearer picture of what we’re aiming for here.

It’s difficult knowing which episodes to create because I want to address concerns and topics that I believe swimmers and parents need to hear about, but at the same time I want to keep it interesting and diverse with new guests.

Next episode the interviews begin again and we’ll be taking a look at the impact of science on the sport of swimming. It’s a good one, but for now, here’s a look at the thoughts behind The Online Swimmer. Let me know if you like these kinds of episodes.


 

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Push 3 Times For Better Races: A Sneak Peek at Lane 5
12:26
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 12:26
Push 3 Times For Better Races: A Sneak Peek at Lane 5

In today’s episode you’ll get an inside look at a course I created that that teaches swimmers about the path to mastery. The first lesson that I share talks about programming the body to respond to certain triggers. This is one of the common traits that we in elite athletes of all sports and it’s no doubt necessary for duplicating excellent performances.

The second lesson speaks briefly about the price of attaining mastery. All of the great swimmers you hear about have paid a price to reach the levels that they have. Since everybody has to pay a price the important to ask yourself is, “What price am I willing to pay?”

There is much more to lane 5 than is revealed in this episode and if you still have questions at the end of everything, please shoot me a message.


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Lane 6 Sneak Peek: Are There Limits To Swimming World Records?
12:20
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 12:20
Lane 6 Sneak Peek: Are There Limits To Swimming World Records?

This episode is a sneak peek at Lane 6 on theonlineswimmer.com A lane 6 membership is designed to have research delivered to you a couple of times per month in a format that’s very easy to understand. The ideal person for a Lane 6 membership is a coach who wants to stay abreast of swimming science, but doesn’t have the time to go looking for it.

In Lane 6 the research is interpreted and delivered so that coaches can spend their time focusing on what they do best. Have a listen and let me know what you think.

 

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Want To Switch Swim Clubs? 6 Questions To Help Avoid Regrets
11:58
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 11:58
Want To Switch Swim Clubs? 6 Questions To Help Avoid Regrets

 

In this episode you’ll find six questions to help you make better decisions as it relates to choosing swim clubs. Some of these questions are very blunt, but I prefer honesty over tragedy. If you have good information then you can make better choices and it may be uncomfortable to give in-depth answers, but trust me it’s worth the headache.

Have a listen and if after you listen you feel there are more questions that should be asked, feel free to list them in the comments below.

The post Want To Switch Swim Clubs? 6 Questions To Help Avoid Regrets appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

How This Mermaid Is Helping To Save Lives on Her Birthday
37:41
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 37:41
How This Mermaid Is Helping To Save Lives on Her Birthday

I truly want to give back… that’s what i love, that’s what I wanna do and I go for it. If people like it or not I don’t know. Who cares? I wanna go and do it.” — Merle Liivand


Merle Liivand Finis Rep

“The one thing I always say: Just keep swimming and trust the journey, it’s takes you to a better place.”

It was a pleasure interviewing Merle Liivand the Estonian mermaid for episode 32 of the SwimBrain podcast. I have a soft spot for entrepreneurs and trailblazers who have enough courage to step up and pursue their dreams. These kinds of swimmers are always welcome here at SwimBrain. Swimmers who remain role models no matter what life throws at them.

This year for her birthday instead of asking for gifts Merle is giving back to the sport that gave her so much.  She is raising funds to help teach children how to swim and you can find out more details and info on how you can get involved below. Have a listen, check out the links below and don’t forget to show Merle some love.

Conversation Timeline

  • Life lessons from a mermaid (3:00)
  • Why Merle travels around the world (4:43)
  • How a mermaid celebrates a birthday (5:42)
  • Why swimming is the cheapest life insurance (8:48)
  • The conditions of the 10k (9:20)
  • Where Merle’s birthday funds will go (10:17)
  • How to get financially involved with Merle’s project (12:47)
  • Representing Estonia @ the Olympic Trials (14:10)
  • Defining success for yourself in the pool (16:41)
  • How Merle decided at the age 14 to make a difference in the sport (19:56)
  • How Merle opened her swim company on a train (21:21)
  • Lessons from her mom about being a female in business (22:18)
  • Dealing with a childhood injury on a daily (24:17)
  • Advice on what to do when you’re not feeling it (28:18)
  • Why she listens to her mom now, but didn’t as a kid (30:06)
  • Why she Merle embraces all strokes even her weak ones(32:46) 

Links Mentioned

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Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 2
29:39
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 29:39
Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 2

You’ve got to take your sport seriously and be obsessive of course, but at the end of the day it’s about being fair. It’s about competition. It’s about absolute preparation and being the best you can be as yourself. Taking drugs, it’s not you. Even if you win, if you take something, some substance, it’s not you, it’s the drug. — Dr. Martin Hagger


champion athletes

“There are a lot of very talented swimmers that never make it because they don’t have that work ethic.”

 You may have heard the Time’ allegations of systematic doping in the Russian Swimming Federation. You may also have heard about the six Chinese swimmers that have recently tested positive for banned substances.

I know something you may not have heard about however. Have heard you heard about parents and coaches taking the time sit down with young athletes to chat about the the dark side of their competitive edge?

You may have, but I know that I haven’t and I’m ashamed to say that this was never a priority for me as a coach. It’s time to change this.

It’s easy to look at Russia and see three of their sports, swimming, wrestling and track & field, facing the possibility of not representing their country in the Olympics and shake our heads, but do we look at our failure to prepare athletes for the temptation of illegal substances and also shake our heads?

In today’s episode Dr. Martin Hagger speaks about avoiding the lure of performance enhancing drugs. As you listen, whether coach, parent or swimmer, you have a role to play in creating a clean sport.


 

Conversation timeline

  • Why the best swimmers are geeks (2:17)
  • The dark side of a competitive desire and performance enhancing drugs (5:45)
  • Talking about the future of athletics and deception (10:06)
  • Embracing new technology with a healthy skepticism (14:41)
  • Advice on beginning to build mental skills and becoming a geek (18:00)
  • Teaching swimmers to be their own coach (22:25)
  • What separates the best swimmers from the amateurs (23:52)

Resources

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Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 1
34:14
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 34:14
Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 1

champion athletesOne of my favorite things about the SwimBrain podcast is that we have both swimmers and researchers on the show. This allows us take what the researchers are saying, compare it to what elite swimmers are doing and chose the best method based on the evidence.

Just taking somebody’s word that a technique works is never a good our guest on this episode, Dr. Martin Hagger encourages swimmers to experiment to find which psychological techniques work best for them.

 Listen in as Dr. Hagger explores the research to see how swimmers can hone their minds tobecome better in the water


Conversation Timeline

  • Why athletes are now leaning more on psychology (2:36)
  • Discussing which ages swimmers should begin psychological training (5:35)
  • The best predictors of confidence in an athlete (9:51)
  • How swimmers should build confidence before the race (12:34)
  • Why a swimmer should try different race-prep routines (16:00)
  • How to build confidence by practice simulate a race (18:41)
  • Should young swimmers copy successful athlete’s mental strategies (20:43)
  • What state of mind you should have bore you hop into the pool (24:29)
  • Practicing mental skills in practice (26:28)
  • What triathletes get wrong about their training (28:28)
  • Surprising strategies for getting familiar with race day conditions (30:49)
  •  The concept of total sport that prepares you for everything (31:17)

Resources

The post Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 1 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 3
45:05
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 45:05
The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 3

We often see elite swimmers performing and standing on medal podiums and wish that we could be like them.  We try to copy their stroke technique, their workouts and their racing strategies, but there is so much more that we don’t see. Without an understanding of the sacrifices they made to stand where they stand

This is why at SwimBrain we don’t focus much on swimming technique or physical conditioning.  Instead we place emphasis on what makes all of that possible: the athlete’s mind.

As you listen to this last segment of Roy’s story I hope his fighter mindset is contagious and it inspires you to fight through whatever circumstances you may face during your swim career.



 

Listen to Part 1

Listen to Part 2

Conversation Timeline

  • The accident that left Roy Burch in a wheelchair (3:35)
  • How he mentally worked through a physical disability  (12:34)
  • The surprising benefit of rediscovering his body in the water (15:47)
  • How Roy balanced pushing through his injury without pushing too far (20:51)
  • Who influenced Roy and taught him how to be a fighter (24:51)
  • Why Roy is thankful looking back on his injury (27:55)
  • The stories behind Roy’s tattoo (30:17)
  • Roy’s recovery status (34:26)
  • Roy’s favorite cartoon character (36:40)
  • Roy’s favorite quote (37:19)
  • Parting words of wisdom (40:19)

Links

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The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 2
35:16
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 35:16
The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 2

“Maintain the perfection or as close to perfection as possible so that when you get to that point, when you get to that big moment, everything is done. You can just shut your brain off and go on autopilot and be fast and strong.” — Roy Burch


Roy Burch Bermudian Olympian SwimmerFirst things first: if you missed part 1 you need to get caught up here.

The reason this podcast exists is to provide an inside look at the strategies that elite swimmers use and this episode doesn’t disappoint. In our conversation today we take a glance behind the scenes at Roy’s training as well as the mindset that allows his training to shine when he needs it the most.

In part 1 I jokingly mentioned Roy’s life  being a movie, but as I’m publishing part 2 I’m becoming more convinced. So i guess this isn’t part 2, but scene 2. Action!


Conversation Timeline

  • Pushing through rejection to train with elite swimmers like Cullen Jones, Ryan Lochte, Arianna Vanderpool Wallace (2:26)
  • Learning and adjusting to a new training environment (10:15)
  • The famous team elite climbing rope and its mental benefits (11:37)
  • Why Roy was upset after winning his heat in the London Olympics and breaking a national record (15:27)
  • Practically dealing with the pressure of performing at the Olympics (18:40)
  • An inside look at the mental preparation of an Olympic swimmer (21:15)
  • Practicing shutting off and engaging your brain during practice (26:26)
  • Ideas for adapting coaching styles to short attention spans (29:44)
  • Embracing a new generation of learning styles (32:13)

Links

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The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 1
29:47
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 29:47
The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 1

“It just became second nature to compete and win against the kids that I was around mainly because I wanted to win and I was competitive, not because I was more talented or faster.” Roy Burch


Have you ever met somebody and thought: “Your life should be a movie”?

Roy Burch Bermudian Olympian Swimmer

“Plenty of those kids were better and much more naturally talented than I was. I just had the will to win and train and win in training.”

That’s how I felt when I spoke to 2x Bermudian Olympian, Roy Burch. The more we spoke the more I knew that his story would inspire swimmers all around the world. Throughout his journey you’ll find rejection, injury and great loss, yet in each of those setbacks you’ll find that Roy has always emerged the victor.

Today, I’m excited to be releasing the first part of my conversation with Roy. This is a three part series and in part 1 we take a look at the early stages of his swimming career.

In Part 2 of Roy Burch’s Story we’ll take a look at how Roy overcame rejection on his Olympic journey and then we’ll finish with part three and learn how he battled an extremely rare injury that left him in a wheelchair.

Part 2

Part 3

Listen in to Part 1 of our conversation.

Conversation Timeline

  • Roy’s early start to swimming (2:15)
  • Feeding the desire to compete and win (4:30)
  • Why success for Roy was never about talent (7:00)
  • What motivated Roy to train hard as a young swimmer (8:40)
  • Adjusting to the international swimming scene (10:30)
  • The swimmers who influenced Roy Burch (13:05)
  • Roy’s training environment (15:30)
  • The benefits of training with the top elite swimmers in the world (17:35)
  • What Roy looks for in a great training environment (18:55)
  • How Arianna Vanderpool Wallace influenced Roy’s swimming training (20:25)
  • Understanding your body to gain a competitive edge (22:08)
  • The secret of increasing your power by engaging your big muscles (24:00)

Links

 

The post The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 1 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Cultivating A Growth Mindset: Practical Advice For Parents and Coaches
38:04
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 38:04
Cultivating A Growth Mindset: Practical Advice For Parents and Coaches

As parents and coaches we know that finding the rights words to say to a swimmer after a bad race can sometimes seem impossible. Even worse is that the right words don’t matter if the timing isn’t right. Sometimes silence seems best.

coach reed

Coach Reed

In this final part of our chat with Coach Reed we bring some practical advice for both coaches and parents on creating the right mindset in young swimmers. Listen all the way to the end to get a personal challenge from Coach Reed.

Topic Timeline

  • Should we teach girls differently than boys (1:40)
  • How to shift a swimmer’s perspective after a bad race (5:15)
  • Dealing with failure by encouraging process thinking (7:00)
  • The dangers of a fixed mindset (8:30)
  • The common mistake parents make when speaking to young athletes (11:05)
  • Why sarcasm shouldn’t be present on the pool deck (17:25)
  • Coach Reed’s favorite coaching movie (20:54)
  • Coach Reed’s top book recommendations (21:40)
  • The leaders that coach Reed looks up to (22:55)
  • Coach Reed’s upcoming book Echo (26:55)
  • A challenge for parents (30:29)
  • A challenge for coaches (30:45)
  • A challenge for swimmers (31:25)

Resources

The post Cultivating A Growth Mindset: Practical Advice For Parents and Coaches appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

What Happens When Hollywood Coaching Meets Real Life
32:44
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 32:44
What Happens When Hollywood Coaching Meets Real Life

I won’t even bother naming the titles because I’m sure you’ve at least seen one of them. You know, the sports themed movie with the intense coach that puts his athletes through hell to win the championship.

 

They all end in similar fashion and everyone leaves the theater inspired, but I’d like to raise a question: what happens after the credits stop? What takes place in an athlete’s head right after the championship? What about 20 years later? What happens when that athlete becomes a coach?

The shortsightedness of our approach to building the sport of swimming is betrayed by our lack of satisfactory answers to those questions. We need answers not just for the sake of knowing, but for the well being of the millions of young swimmers and athletes being coached every day.

Join us and let’s raise the bar for coaches all around the world to leave movie-star coaching for the movies…actually scratch that. Why not aim to portray a realistic and healthy example of coaching role models that our kids can follow?

Topic Timeline

  • The side of coaching that hollywood doesn’t show you (4:00)
  • Viewing youth sports as a marathon (7:23)
  • The most effective way to change coaching styles (11:22)
  • 3 powerful communication channels for coaches to influence athletes (17:25)
  • What really matters for coaches at the end of the day (25:15)
  • Do athletes really respond to negative talk? (26:20)
  • The lasting physical damage of verbal abuse (27:35)

Resources

The post What Happens When Hollywood Coaching Meets Real Life appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Transforming Swimming Performances Through The Power of Words
48:09
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 48:09
Transforming Swimming Performances Through The Power of Words

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”


That’s what I would repeatedly say to my primary schools friends whenever they said mean things to me. I my mind I could see the effects of sticks and stones and to me they seemed much more painful, but the truth is far from that statement.

coach reed

“Silence is not a primary communication channel. We can’t convey total meaning in silence. Sometimes silence conveys the wrong meaning.”

Words are very powerful and their effects can last a lifetime, and instead of pointing fingers we are starting with the swimmer. Join me and Coach Reed Maltbie as we take a look at the swimmer’s internal conversation and see how words, verbalized or not, can keep a swimmer from reaching their potential.

If you’ve ever noticed that your mind is racing before you even hop onto the blocks then this episode is for you. Make sure you listen all the way to the end when Coach Reed provides a clear outline of how to form a partnership with your mind and channel your self-talk.



Topic Timeline

  • How coach Reed started coaching at age 16 (2:38)
  • Why Coach Reed talks to himself/what is self talk (7:00)
  • Is self-talk verbalized or is it internal? (7:56)
  • Why race visualization is self-talk (9:10)
  • Why we should remain silent when swimmers fail (10:14)
  • How to start becoming aware of our own thoughts (12:36)
  • How embrace performance anxiety(15:28)
  • How to channel your thoughts before a race (18:39)
  • The power of visualization (19:56)
  • Experiencing a flow state partnering the mind and the body (23:37)
  • The downward spiral of negative self talk (28:27)
  • The American Idol Syndrome and false praise (31:53)
  • Why we should be learning from failure (34:57)
  • Being wary of contagious negativity (36:11)
  • What the culture of a winning team looks like (38:11)
  • Specific steps to taking control of your mind (41:11) 

Show Notes

Coach Reed’s TED Talk

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For Love of The Game movie clip

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Study says: The Swimmers You Call Your Friends Are Likely Not Your Real Friends
7:00
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 7:00
Study says: The Swimmers You Call Your Friends Are Likely Not Your Real Friends

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10


I’m curious, how many friends do you have on Facebook? Hundreds? Thousands? However many “friends” you have on Facebook, I’m willing to bet no more than 5 of those are your real friends. Don’t believe me? Read the research for yourself:

http://www.engadget.com/2016/01/25/facebook-friends-dunbar-study/

Think about that for a second. Out of all of your social media friends, in an emotional crisis you can only count on 4 of them…maybe 5 if you’re lucky. That’s kinda scary isn’t it? It makes me pause and wonder who my friends really are.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Prov. 18:24

What about you? Are there people in your life that you can count on when things get rough? Is anyone holding you accountable to the goals and dreams that you’re aiming for?

If the answer to those questions is no then I want to warn you: develop those friendships! You will need them when things get tough.

This is the who of setting great goals. We have to put measures in place to really increase our chances of making our goals. One of those measures earlier was a deadline. Another measure is close friends who will give you a push when things get tough and life gets dark.

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As you listen to today’s episode I want to encourage you to find great friends. Don’t follow the trend of quickly calling someone your friend. Instead, spend time developing friendships that you can rely on when everything else fails.


Show Notes

  • http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/3/1/150292#sec-4
  • Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Prov. 13:20

  • Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared. Prov. 22:24&25

  • Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. Prov 17:17

 

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How Some Swimmers Achieve the Impossible: Setting Powerful Goals
6:09
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 6:09
How Some Swimmers Achieve the Impossible: Setting Powerful Goals

Find your why, and then you will find your how. As the old saying goes, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” For me, finding my will made finding my way possible. Without the will, the way would have been way too hard.

— Robert Kiyosaki


 

This was one of my favorite episodes to record just because of how deep and important this topic is to every human. We all set out achieve something. Even the person determined not to set goals has a goal. We can’t escape it.

 

We all do it, but some of us do it a lot better than others. Some athletes never set goals. Other set goals and never really make them. The elite athletes however, set goals and achieve things that seem impossible to their competitors. Why is that?

A big part of the answer lies in one three letter word: WHY.

Take a look at the video below before you listen to the podcast.

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This will give you goosebumps..If it was easy everyone would do it.

Posted by Soa “The Hulk” Palelei on Friday, 29 January 2016

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The post How Some Swimmers Achieve the Impossible: Setting Powerful Goals appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

How To Set A Specific Goal that Turns Into A Mission
5:41
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 5:41
How To Set A Specific Goal that Turns Into A Mission

A goal without a deadline is an option. A goal with a deadline is a mission.

Today we’re talking about goals and we are keeping it short and simple. This is episode comes in short around 5 minutes long, but it is full of practical advice to help swimmers be a lot wiser when setting goals.

As we are entering a new year it seems fitting to take some time to talk about setting goals. When I swam nobody ever really spoke to me in depth about goal setting. I always just picked a random time to aim for and hoped for the best. If I made it I made it, If i didn’t…I didn’t. Life went on.

Don’t be like me!

Any swimmer that even listens to this episode will be much further ahead than I was during my swim career because they’ll understand the what and the when of great goal making.

Enjoy!

The post How To Set A Specific Goal that Turns Into A Mission appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

If You Have A Smartphone Your Chances of Swimming in College Are Now A Lot Higher
1:00:45
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 1:00:45
If You Have A Smartphone Your Chances of Swimming in College Are Now A Lot Higher

“You are a student, you need that education. That’s the most important part. Don’t be looking at what team necessarily you want to swim for if you’re not gonna get a valuable education that’s. gonna work for you for the rest of your life. You need to go to a school where you’re gonna have a degree that is gonna get you to where you want to go.” –Eric Knight, Co-Founder of LemonAid


Finding a great college can be difficult. Finding a great college with a great swim team that really wants you in their pool is near impossible. Well, at least it used to be. Thanks to Nate Boyle and Eric Knight, finding the right college swimming program for you is now as simple as swiping right or swiping left.

These gentlemen created an app called LemonAid that makes finding great college programs fast and as painless as possible and they are on the SwimBrain podcast to tell you all about their app. If you are a swimmer in high school right now this podcast is for you whether or not you believe that you are fast enough to swim in college.

To learn more about the minds and the story behind LemonAid have a listen to the episode below.


Timeline of Topics

  • The college recruiting story that inspired Lemonaid (2:15)
  • Identifying some problems in modern college recruiting (5:03)
  • How Nate and Eric’s paths crossed (7:26)
  • The initial rejection and adoption of Eric’s idea (10:25)
  • What Lemonaid can do (16:07)
  • Explaining the benefits of video feature of Lemonaid (22:50)
  • Why athletes are not great at promoting themselves (23:45)
  • Highlighting some drawbacks or current methods of college recruiting(25:40)
  • The recommended age to begin using Lemonaid (29:27)
  • The dating rules of Lemonaid (33:11)
  • How lemonaid removes obstacles for all levels of swimmers globally(37:13)
  • Why using lemonaid is a smarter first move than filling out a college application is $41 (41:00)
  • Advice to swimmers who think they are not college material (44:25)
  • Top mistakes that swimmers make going into college (49:24)
  • The social aspect of Lemonaid and recommendations (54:45)

Show Notes

[iframevideo] [/iframevideo]

The post If You Have A Smartphone Your Chances of Swimming in College Are Now A Lot Higher appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Understanding How Elite Swimmers Perform In Spite of Sweaty Palms
57:02
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 57:02
Understanding How Elite Swimmers Perform In Spite of Sweaty Palms

swimming when nervous

“Teaching swimming without teaching how to live is lacking perspective.” — Jan Homolak

Want to know if you’re an elite swimmer? Answer the following question: How do you handle being nervous before a race? Everyone gets nervous before a big race, but the elite swimmers are the swimmers that understand this process and know how to use different techniques to swim through their nerves.

If you’ve never been taught how to race like an elite athlete then a great first step for you is to listen to this episode with our friend Jan Homolak. Jan is a med student hailing from Zagreb, Croatia with an expertise in the fields of neuroscience and exercise science.

Although Jan is an expert compared to you and I he is quite humble about his knowledge which is proven by one of my favorite quotes from this episode: “I think that we’re still too stupid to understand it.”

Enjoy this wisdom of this episode, but more importantly, apply it and always remember: Great races take practice.



 

Timeline of Topics

  • What percentage of a race is mental (7:25)
  • Mental preparation in practice and different types of talent (9:00)
  • Exploring the concept of associative thinking (14:15)
  • Examples of negative associative thinking (17:32)
  • One main trait that differentiates elite athletes (18:48)
  • How distance swimmers can use dissociative thinking (20:15)
  • How focusing on air inhalation makes swimmers faster (21:50)
  • The benefits and dangers of racing routines (23:15)
  • The age to begin learning mental skills, which skills to learn and why these skills are important (26:50)
  • Why swimming should teach life skills  (28:40)
  • How lack of psychological skills can lead to an athlete quitting (31:35)
  • What’s happening in your brain before you race (33:20)
  • Two major differences separating elite athletes from the rest (36:31)
  • Different mental techniques  you can use to have a great race (38:26)
  • Anticipating obstacles and overcoming them–the if, then approach (41:20)
  • The psychological benefits of Brett Hawke’s famous puke session(42:30)
  • The power of negative thinking (43:34)
  • The mystery and “luck” behind a perfect race (45:45)
  • The single, most-effective, last-minute technique for becoming relaxed for a race (49:30)
  • How to stop sweaty palms in a few seconds (50:30)
  • Why you should own your sport (53:15)

Resources:

Brain over Brawn

My Favorite Quotes

“Psychological traits are practically inseparable from every other trait of the person.”

“I think that we’re still too stupid to understand it.”

“Teaching swimming without teaching how to live is lacking perspective.”

 

The post Understanding How Elite Swimmers Perform In Spite of Sweaty Palms appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Swimming Nutrition Ideas For Every Moment of A Swimmer’s Day
1:02:50
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 1:02:50
Swimming Nutrition Ideas For Every Moment of A Swimmer’s Day

Swimming Nutrition

“As long as you have a base of a healthy diet then you will perform well. It’s all about that nutrient timing that’s gonna make you perform better.” –Steph Saullo

In this episode (#18) I had the pleasure of chatting with Steph Saullo, a performance dietician based out of Charlotte North Carolina. One of my favorite parts of this episode is Steph taking the time to break down the entire day of a swimmer and explain the nutrition they need at the crucial moments during their day. Instead of just rambling on about carbohydrates and proteins Steph highlighted dozens of tasty food options. that swimmers can choose from.

I know that often times swim parents take a guess at what’s best for their swimmer, but Steph is taking the guessing part out of the equation. If you like what you are hearing in this episode you can get more nutrition information at the link Here.



Topics Timeline

  • Experimenting to find the ideal nutrition plan (4:00)
  • Why your nutrition plan should be unique and some important factors in planning (6:40)
  • Googling fad diets (8:15)
  • Why multivitamins are an insurance plan (9:00)
  • How parents can navigate “expert” nutrition advice on the Internet (12:45)
  • General guiding principles for all athletes (13:52)
  • Practicing good nutrition habits (16:30)
  • How to decide what to eat before morning practice (18:30)
  • Finding great lunch options at a school cafeteria (22:20)
  • Deciding on meal/snack options after school (26:20)
  • How to get in tune with your hunger cues (28:05)
  • Refueling during a workout (30:50)
  • What makes a sports drink a sports drink (32:24)
  • Homemade gatorade and alternatives (34:25)
  • Crucial refueling after a workout (36:10)
  • Telltale signs of poor nutrition (38:05)
  • The timing of dinner and bedtime snacks (38:50)
  • Routine race-day meals and snacks (40:00)
  • Monitoring hydration levels (42:50)
  • Eating properly during taper (46:00)
  • Hacks to simplify cooking (47:00)
  • Carb loading for swimmers (50:10)
  • Nitrates and beet juice (51:50)
  • Rapid fire questions (54:15)
  • Parting words of wisdom (59:05)

 

References

NSF

USP

Get more nutrition advice

 

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The Intersection of Faith, Swimming and The University
55:02
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 55:02
The Intersection of Faith, Swimming and The University

Connor Bos swimmingToday’s guest is a man in search of an Olympic trials cut. He’s an NCAA Division 1 swimmer looking to make a name not for himself, but for Jesus Christ. In today’s show Connor Bos takes some time to give us a glimpse inside of his busy schedule. It’s interesting to see how he finds balance amidst the demands of being a student athlete.
If I had to guess I’d say this conversation will be most beneficial to high-school swimmers that are planning on swimming at the college level. As a club swimmer I know that I was clueless about the demands of college swimming and an interview like this might have helped me be a little more informed.
As you listen, remember that this is not typical for a student athlete. Connor chooses to be very active and goes beyond the call of duty. As he also points out, college athletes have significantly more control over their schedules than high school athletes. Crazy schedule or not though the key is finding balance.

Conversation Topics

  • The factors at play in choosing s swimming university (5:40)
  • Adjusting to the demand of swimming at the university level (10:00)
  • A typical college day schedule (15:20)
  • Squeezing in video games and Netflix (17:20)
  • Choosing to stay very active on campus (17:35)
  • Using gifts to bring God glory (19:00)
  • Recharging in the middle of busyness (21:00)
  • What fun looks like (21:45)
  • Continuing to train hard when there is no motivation (24:50)
  • Staying focus on goals and enjoying the results (27:40)
  • Converting failures into positive enjoy (30:20)
  • Evaluating the role of Christianity in athletic success (32:20)
  • The benefits of having mentors in your life (36:50)
  • Being unashamed of your faith in the pool (41:00)
  • Using worship songs to get in the zone (44:30)
  • Rapid Fire Questions (45:40)
  • Being thankful to your supporters (52:00)

Leave a Review


Show Notes:

Gardner-Webb University

30-day Mental Challenge 

The post The Intersection of Faith, Swimming and The University appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

The Crucial Role of Failure in Shaping A Successful Olympian
1:07:39
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 1:07:39
The Crucial Role of Failure in Shaping A Successful Olympian

“My career has probably been mostly failures more than successes really when I look back at it, but regardless of that when I did this interview you still introduced me as…this is Vereance, he’s been to the olympics, he’s a national champion. Never once have I been introduced as, “this is Vereance, he lost Carifta back in 2008”. I know who I am. Failures have never defined me, only my successes.” –Elvis Vereance Burrows

 

Honest question: When was the last time you saw an Olympian winning medals and wondered what it took for them to get to that point? It’s not a question that we often consider, but it’s one that needs to be asked if only for the benefit of the kids that idolize them.

We we ignore the journeys that produce Olympians we end up with a generation of swimmers trying unrealistically to mimic an end result. We copy the techniques and drills and diets, but we pay little attention to developing the mind that powers these results.

I really enjoyed talking to Vereance because of his ability to remain genuine through his successes. His authenticity gives us an inside look into some of the struggles of top athletes that we never see otherwise.

Some of the topics we cover are below:

Conversation Timeline

  • Planning for life after swimming
  • Training with the competition in mind
  • The importance of realistic baby steps
  • Being real even in the spotlight
  • The importance of being motivated from within
  • What to look for in an ideal training environment
  • Swimming unexpected best times
  • Going to Olympics at age 19
  • Looking at the Olympics as just a swim meet
  • Race preparation 
  • The danger of overthinking the race
  • Maintaining a focused attitude in practice
  • Trying to be macho and swim through injuries
  • The surprising benefits of distractions before a race
  • Funny questions about being from the Bahamas
  • The state of competitive swimming in the Bahamas
  • The Elvis Initiative
  • Changing Pain to Pleasure and embracing failure in practice
  • Fighting through the death
  • Not allowing others to limit you because of their fear

As you listen, I hope you gain an appreciation for the man behind the success. Enjoy!


Leave A Review 


Show Notes

Favorite Quotes:

  • “I’ve got to not think about racing because my body already knows how to race, it’s got that killer instinct already.”
  • “I’m intrinsically motivated so I know what I have to do to beat whoever I’m trying to beat or to get whatever goal I’m trying to get…winning becomes an obsession.” 
  • “I never thought I could make the Olympics until I made the Olympics.”
  • “You shouldn’t come out of the gates looking at the Olympics…like I said, I had to beat Denaj first…”

The post The Crucial Role of Failure in Shaping A Successful Olympian appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Exploring Key Components of A Great Strength Training Program For Swimmers
1:05:59
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 1:05:59
Exploring Key Components of A Great Strength Training Program For Swimmers

“Keep fighting! There’s always another way. There’s always another way to get better. There’s always a way to keep improving.” — Chris Ritter

 

Over the past 10 years+ Chris Ritter of RitterSP has been getting great results with swimmers of all ages around the globe. You may not be familiar with his name or his work, but you’re probably familiar with the name some of the athletes he’s had a chance to work with such as Cullen Jones and Mark Gangloff (2008 US Olympic gold medalists).

As I was talking to Chris one thought kept coming back to my mind: I wish I’d had this conversation 15-20 years earlier. That’s okay though. What’s done is done and I guess I’m now on my way to becoming an old fart. Hopefully you still have the opportunity to make a difference in your swim career.

Even though we cover a lot of topics briefly, give this episode a good listen and take the time to think things through and incorporate them into your training if possible.

Topics Chris Touched On

 

[one_half first=]
  • What you need to get right before you start training.
  • When to overthink and when not to think.
  • Having peace of mind and confidence during racing.
  • Channeling nervousness before a race.
  • Common misconceptions about strength training.
  • Avoiding injuries through durability.
  • The importance of athlete specific training programs.
  • Good goals for a dryland program.
  • Training movements vs muscles.
  • Pushing & pulling, squatting & hinging.
  • Why dryland workouts shouldn’t mimic a pool workout. [/one_half]
[one_half first=]
  • Commitment to accomplishing your goal
  • Great athletes and risk taking.
  • The importance of grit over talent.
  • Neural strength gain vs structural strength gain.
  • The importance of measuring progress.
  • An explanation of engaging your core.
  • A better alternative to crunches.
  • Why coaches should allow themselves to be questioned.
  • How elite athletes respond to difficulties.
  • Good strength training philosophy.
  • How to have a great warm-up on land.
  • Why you need to be better at pull-ups as a swimmer. [/one_half]


Show Notes:

“I think that if swimmers gave themselves a mental break when they need it a lot of them would last longer and do better and I wish that coaches would be encouraging of that as well and not look down upon that and not give the swimmer a hard time if that’s in the best interest of the athlete.” — Chris Ritter

The post Exploring Key Components of A Great Strength Training Program For Swimmers appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

SBP 014: Big Dreams through Baby Steps
4:29
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 4:29
SBP 014: Big Dreams through Baby Steps

“The way to do a great deal is to keep on doing a little. The way to do nothing at all is to be continually resolving that you will do everything.” — Charles Spurgeon


There was a time when I would get really excited about having conversations with people who had big dreams. We would talk for hours and I would leave feeling like I could walk on air. I kept having these conversations for years before I realized the problem…I never took action.
 
My excuse was always that I didn’t know where to start and that crippled me from running with my dream. I finally got tired of the cycle and I did something. I built a swimming website (not swimbrain). When I took that first step things were a bit shaky, but then I took another baby step and pretty soon I was walking.
 
Today I am running two successful swimming websites and a swimming podcast, but I’m only starting to pick up speed. The website you see now might look impressive, but it is a result of many baby steps. Why am I saying all of this?
 
I just want to share my story with you and hopefully provide some inspiration to you to not just talk about goals and dreams, but to do them. That’s what this episode is about. The SwimBrain podcast is taking a big step forward after this episode and I’m glad you are along for the journey.
Have a listen and I’d love to hear what you think about the upcoming changes.

The post SBP 014: Big Dreams through Baby Steps appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

SBP 013: Snapping Out of A Panic Attack in 60 Seconds
8:42
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 8:42
SBP 013: Snapping Out of A Panic Attack in 60 Seconds

Congratulations are definitely in order! You made it all the way to the fourth part of our series on focus. Now I know you might be wondering why I am so excited about such a small thing? Well, nowadays very few swimmers have the discipline to stick with anything for long and swimmers with discipline always achieve a lot in the sport.

This week I’m talking a bout panic attacks and breathing and staying in control in the present. This is by no means some sort of official medical or psychological procedure for treating panic attacks.  It is just a really helpful technique for swimmers who find themselves in the pool or in any other situation where they are finding it difficult to breathe.

Typically in that scenario a swimmer feels like they are not getting enough Oxygen and their breathing is frantic and shallow. Make no mistake about it…forcing yourself to breathe through your nose in the middle of a panic attack is extremely hard because you already feel like you’re suffocating. If however you begin to practice following your breath now, when a panic attack happens guess what…it’s already a habit to breathe deeply.

This is the true power of focus. To control your inner state regardless of how you feel. Most athletes know that their mind controls their body, but only the wise athletes know that they can also use their body to control their mind.

Have a listen and let me know what you think.



 

 

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SBP 012: How To Know When It’s Time To Leave Your Swim Team
9:43
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 9:43
SBP 012: How To Know When It’s Time To Leave Your Swim Team

Have you ever considered leaving your swim team because you don’t like the way they do things? I know I have and I was the coach! It’s never an easy decision and sometimes leaving a club gets really messy and people get hurt and you lose friends and relationships come to an end. I’ve seen it happen and you probably have too. It’s not pretty and it doesn’t have to be that way though. There are other options.

In this episode we talk about knowing when it is the right time to leave a swim club and knowing when you should stick it out. The reality is leaving can be hard and staying can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. I also talk about a third option that is becoming more popular, but it’s not for everyone.

If you’re thinking about quitting leaving your swim team anytime soon. You should definitely give this podcast a listen and let me know what you think in the comments.



The post SBP 012: How To Know When It’s Time To Leave Your Swim Team appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

SBP 011: The First Baby Step To Being A Swimmer With A Killer Focus
5:35
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 5:35
SBP 011: The First Baby Step To Being A Swimmer With A Killer Focus

Do you remember your first steps as a baby? You probably don’t but wouldn’t it be amazing if you could look back and experience all of the emotion from that moment again? What about your first swimming strokes? Do you remember that?

I always wonder what I would say if I could communicate to myself as a baby trying to walk. Okay, maybe I don’t always think of that, but I have thought of it before. I think one of the things I would say is “It’s okay to be frustrated, that’s normal.” or “Be patient and keep trying. It will come.”

I am going to say the same thing to you as you begin your journey to developing a killer focus. It’s weird, I don’t quite feel qualified to give that advice because I’m still learning myself and I fall…a lot. Baby steps! One example is this podcast. It’s soooo hard to stay focused while writing this because my fiancé is messaging me on WhatsApp and even though you’re cool and all of that…I’d much rather talk to her than write to you. 

Staying focused is a battle we all face and to be honest, you will lose. That’s okay. The trick is not to focus on your losses (see what I did there?). 

If you try to “just start” being more focused you will fail. That’s not the way life works. You wouldn’t tell a kid who is learning how to swim to just start swimming butterfly right? When it comes to learning a complex skill whether it is walking or swimming or focus, the best method is always breaking it into segments and taking it one step at a time.

If you’ve never worked on developing your ability to focus (or even if you have), welcome to the first baby step. In this episode I lay out the first baby step that you should take to start becoming a swimmer with a killer focus.

I hope you enjoy this episode. (I made it all the way through writing this without picking up my phone! How’s that for focus.)


The post SBP 011: The First Baby Step To Being A Swimmer With A Killer Focus appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

SBP 010: One Camera Trick You Need to Master to be an Elite Swimmer
6:59
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 6:59
SBP 010: One Camera Trick You Need to Master to be an Elite Swimmer

I need to come clean and say that I stole the idea for this episode from Tony Robbins. Well maybe not the whole episode, but definitely the exercise I used at the beginning. Tony used it on stage to demonstrate the power of focus in a slightly different way than I use it in this episode, but hey, it still works. I don’t want to spoil it for you so I’ll let you listen to it for yourself.

This series mark the beginning of a deeper look into the role of focus in the success of swimmers at the elite level. You can think of this as the introduction to the series and my main goal in this episode is to bring your attention to the need for mental training especially in the area of focusing. I decided to do that because the sad truth is that many swimmers don’t even realize that they need mental training.

Here are a few quotes from this episode:

Everybody you know has the ability to focus, but not everyone knows how to use the power of focus to become a great athlete.

Focus can be as skittish as a wild animal and as elusive as the wind, but you can tame a wild animal and you can definitely harness the power of the wind.

There are a lot of distractions that will demand your attention and unless you’ve trained yourself to focus with a shallow depth of field your performances will be all over the place.



Thanks for listening, I appreciate you.

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SBP 009: Why Most Swimming Drills Are A Waste Of Your Time.
6:52
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 6:52
SBP 009: Why Most Swimming Drills Are A Waste Of Your Time.

Just in case you didn’t know, I dedicate every third podcast episode to answering one of your questions. This week Aaleyah asked a question about swimming drills. She wanted to know which drills and dryland exercises she could use to help her swim faster. My answer might shock you, but it is the truth and I’d love to hear your thoughts about swimming drills

To keep this episode short I focused on the drills portion of the question although you can apply the same rules to drylands exercises.

The rules that I share in this episode should be applied to any and every swimming drill.


Do you prefer reading? Click below to read the transcript for this episode:

SBP 009: Why Most Swimming Drills Are A Waste Of Your Time (Transcript)


 

The post SBP 009: Why Most Swimming Drills Are A Waste Of Your Time. appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

SBP 008: The One Simple Thing That Will Push You To Become A Great Swimmer
13:03
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 13:03
SBP 008: The One Simple Thing That Will Push You To Become A Great Swimmer

I’m finally back! I apologize for the 3 long weeks of silence and if you want to know what the problem was, I explain it in the first few seconds of this episode…but none of that matters now. All that matters is that episode 8 is finally published! #victorydance

A few weeks ago I sat down with a swim team and read them a short story. It was weird for a lot of them, but they seemed eager to do anything that would keep them out of the water for a few more minutes. The story I read to them was a well written insight into the success of a professional basketball player. It’s an excerpt from the book Mastery by Robert Greene where Greene highlights the road to success for many successful athletes, scientists, doctors, artists, etc… If you’ve never read it, I strongly encourage you to do so.


In this episode you will learn:

  • Why I missed 2 weeks worth of podcasting
  • The story of Bill Bradley
  • The mindset of a highly successful athlete
  • The importance of identifying your weaknesses
  • The importance of loving your sport
  • The difference between you and athletes that succeed

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SBP 007: Hard Work vs. Smart Work. A Better Training Strategy
6:20
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 6:20
SBP 007: Hard Work vs. Smart Work. A Better Training Strategy

I’m going to tell you right from the start that working hard will give you good results. You already know that. I will also tell you that working smart will give you good results as well. I’m guessing you know that as well. What you may not realize however is that there is a much better option than either of those strategy and that option is the one I discuss in this week’s episode of The SwimBrain Podcast.

The goal in this episode  is to show you that either working hard or working smart is a good training strategy, and good training strategies produce good swimmers. So if you want to be a good swimmer the go ahead and train as hard as you can or as smart as you can.

If however, you are not interested being more than good, that is, you want to be a great swimmer then you should listen to this episode. I this episode I’ll show you:

 

  • The question of working hard or smart is a false choice and many swimmers choose wrong
  • A better training strategy that yields faster and longer lasting results
  • A few examples that you can use in your next practice to begin seeing results

 


Do you prefer reading? Click below to read the transcript for this episode:

SBP 007: Hard Work vs. Smart Work. A Better Training Strategy (Transcript)


 

After you’re done listening I encourage you to apply this method to your swimming and see how many ways you can come up with to simultaneously hard and smart at the same time. This is how you will get 10x as much out of every practice. Always ask yourself at every practice – what can I work hard on right now?

 

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SBP 006: The Reason Why Swimmers Are Unhappy
6:53
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 6:53
SBP 006: The Reason Why Swimmers Are Unhappy

It’s that time again where I answer a question from a swimmer and the question this episode is:

I don’t get it. I train so hard everyday and I get pretty much the same results as the guy who slacks off the entire set and then sprints the last 50. What’s up with that? I’m beginning to think it’s not worth training hard anymore!

At first glance it seems like this question is about dealing with slackers, but there something deeper going on here and that is the issue that I want to address. It’s the issue of comparison and I know swimmers aren’t the only ones that struggle with this. In the middle of making this episode I realized that I too was guilty.

In this episode I talk about comparison and how it can be healthy and how it can be harmful and how you can avoid falling into the trap. Know anyone that falls into this trap? Do them a favor and send them this episode.



 

Don’t forget to help out by leaving a rating and a review on iTunes. I appreciate you and thanks for listening.

Review SwimBrain Podcast

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SBP 005: What Type of Fish Are You?
7:30
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 7:30
SBP 005: What Type of Fish Are You?

What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself. — Abraham Maslow

I was sitting in an honors ceremony listening to the Governor General of The Bahamas address a group of clueless high school graduates. He didn’t speak very long, but he encouraged us to be humble about our knowledge. He said that there are two kinds of people in the world: Those that don’t know and those that don’t know that they don’t know.

I was smart when he told me that and I thought he was just a guy who didn’t know. It’s been ten years and I’ve come to the realization that when I heard him speak I didn’t know that I didn’t know. Who knows what I’ll think of my present self in another 10 years.

Self-awareness is a process. A process that doesn’t occur naturally and if you want to grow as a swimmer then you will have to work at it. It won’t be fun at the beginning, but it will become more rewarding the more you probe into your mind.

Yes it is uncomfortable and yes it will take time, but should you choose not to pursue self-awareness you will be like the 100lb, 10-year old dog that still thinks she is a puppy.

If you still have no idea what I’m talking about it will make sense once you listen to this week’s podcast about a skinny little 12-year old boy transforming into a world heavyweight champion.



 

 

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SBP 004: Are You Prepared for the Most Important Moment of Your Swim Career?
8:08
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 8:08
SBP 004: Are You Prepared for the Most Important Moment of Your Swim Career?

Your life is made up of a ridiculous amount of moments and although it is impossible to remember all of them, each moment contributes to who you are as a person. With each new moment comes a new opportunity. An opportunity to choose. An opportunity to write your own story. But the sad truth is that a lot of us are just letting the moments pass us by and not actively writing our stories.

In this week’s podcast I:

  • Share an awkward story from CARIFTA 2002 in Barbados
  • Give away some secrets of elite swimmers
  • Highlight the most important moment of your swim career
  • Lay down the challenge to begin defining the moments instead of letting them define you.


 

Carifta 2002 200 breaststroke medal breaststroke dive

 

 

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SBP 003: Are You Wasting Your Time With High Altitude Training Masks?
8:46
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 8:46
SBP 003: Are You Wasting Your Time With High Altitude Training Masks?

Every few months a new trend in fitness emerges. From new diets to new supplements to new techniques. There’s always something that’s claiming to make you a better athlete, but in reality a lot of those claims are false.

In this week’s episode we’re taking a look at a trend that became popular a while back — simulating high altitude training. In particular we are going to take a look at the claims of the Elevation Training Mask and see if it is able to stand behind the claims that it makes. As you can tell from reading the title, there’s no surprise in where I am headed with this.

 



 

Training Mask and High Altitude Training Resources

 

 

 

Photo Credit: US Air Force

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SBP 002: A New Racing Strategy: Sleep In and Skip Warm-Up
8:10
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 8:10
SBP 002: A New Racing Strategy: Sleep In and Skip Warm-Up

How many hours of sleep do you average every night? What about the nights before a meet? In this episode I try to make sense of the meet tradition that says swimmers should wake up early to swim in a cold and crowded pool hours before their race. After analyzing it I came up with a much better solution: skip warm-up.

Listen below to hear why and how you can skip warm-up at a swim meet without skipping the results.


Do you prefer reading? Click below to read the transcript for this episode:

SBP 002: A New Racing Strategy – Sleep In and Skip Warm-Up (Transcript)


 

 

Things To Check Out:

The post SBP 002: A New Racing Strategy: Sleep In and Skip Warm-Up appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

SBP 001: Warm-up In The Shower
8:00
2017-09-22 13:52:43 UTC 8:00
SBP 001: Warm-up In The Shower

Throughout my swimming career there have been some times where the weather has gotten really cold. I remember the first time I saw snow at college and I decided to play in it until 3 in the morning. Two hours later I had morning practice. I never made it to that practice.

One of the hardest parts of practice all throughout my swimming career was the buildup of getting into a cold pool. I would stand on the edge for a few minutes (much to my coach’s annoyance), dive in, scream as loud as I could underwater and then sprint a 25. What can I say?

I’m an island boy. I detest cold water. I don’t even like drinking cold water. The only thing I hate more than cold water is being submerged in cold water. Morning practices and warm-up at a meet are the worst! I always asked myself, “Is there another way!” There just had to be another way.

I didn’t find that “way” until I started coaching and stumbled across the work of another coach that asked the same questions I was asking, only he asked it about 60 years earlier. We both wanted to know how to warm-up in the shower.

 

 

In this episode you will learn:

  • The benefits of being warm when starting a race
  • How to warm-up in the shower

 


Do you prefer reading? Click below to read the transcript for this episode:

SBP 001: Warm-up In The Shower (Transcript)


 

Things To Check Out:

The post SBP 001: Warm-up In The Shower appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Handling Disappointment At The Olympic Level Like A Champion
40:32
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 40:32
Handling Disappointment At The Olympic Level Like A Champion

dustin tynes bahamian olympic swimmer

“I think success comes with a lot of sacrifices.”

When I sat down to chat with Bahamian Olympian Dustin Tynes a few of my questions were targeted at dealing with failure. I wanted to see what we could learn from the way Dustin handled disappointment and I had no idea I would get the opportunity to find out just one week later when he competed in his first ever Olympic race.

Listen to the beginning of this episode to hear how Dustin dealt with a disappointing first Olympic swim. We can learn from him.


Resources:

Dustin on Twitter

Dustin on Facebook

 

The post Handling Disappointment At The Olympic Level Like A Champion appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Finding Value and Identity Outside of The Pool
24:03
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 24:03
Finding Value and Identity Outside of The Pool

“Whether you’re bagging groceries in a supermarket or the CEO of a company, you have irreplaceable value.” — Melissa Dayton


melissachipWe’re back with Melissa Dayton to continue our conversation, but this time in a different direction. Today’s focus is on ideas that are more important than a swimming performance. We are sharing ideas about building an identity that’s not hinged on a performance or it’s outcome. Building a group of friends that they can depend on in real life. Building a community of trusted adults that a child can turn to when they have screwed up.

I hope that the last part of this conversation inspires you to not only think, but also to talk about these concepts and begin to share the message that no swimmer can be replaced. I know discussing these ideas can often be uncomfortable, but remember that prevention is the name of the game.


 Conversation Timeline

  • The most important message Melissa has for teens (1:44)
  • Brain chemicals/self-medicating/drugs/nutrition in the role of mental health 4:06)
  • The book that all teenagers should read/finding identity (8:57)
  • The three levels of friendship (11:34)
  • How to reach out for help when you need it (15:42)

Resources

Victor Frankl – Man’s Search For Meaning

You Cannot Be Replaced

Favorite Quotes

“A really good friend will not lie for you.”

“You are not broken. We all have pain in life. We all have insecurities”

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Finding Hope When Parenting Becomes Difficult
55:33
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 55:33
Finding Hope When Parenting Becomes Difficult

“Sometimes the kids just become a master of hiding what they’re going through. They want everyone to think they’re still perfect, but we want them to be safe enough to admit they’re not. So we want to strengthen the adults so that they can do so.” –Melissa Dayton


Swim Parents

Chip & Melissa Dayton

Today our guest on the SwimBrain podcast is Melissa Dayton, author of the book “Crushed: When Parenting Is Hard.” I reached to Melissa because I thought that she would be able to share some insight and encouragement to all of our SwimBrain Parents. I was right.

But that’s not the main reason I invited her. My not so secret agenda is for us to begin approaching our sport from a much more holistic perspective and to make all of our efforts more swimmer-focused. Talking to people like Melissa is great because it remind us that though it’s easy to, we shouldn’t lose focus of the bigger picture. 

I hope that you enjoy our conversation. Personally, I found it refreshing to shift from the typical perspective of sports psychology and sports science and have a conversation that is very practical for parents all around the globe.


Conversation Timeline

  • How a suicide cluster inspired a movement (2:52)
  • The story of Melissa’s 8 children (9:08)
  • The parenting rollercoaster and raising children with different needs (10:24)
  • Finding time to pause and why a busy family doesn’t always equal success (13:23)
  • The side effects pushing our kids towards this one definition of success (15:56)
  • Recognizing the pressure we inadvertently place on young athletes (20:02)
  • Finding the balance between mediocrity and excellence throughout the experience (23:02)
  • How to avoid parenting teens out fear (28:09)
  • Types of parents: helicopter, mower and zamboni (29:37)
  • Dealing with guilt after a teenager screws up  (32:55)
  • Extending forgiveness in the face of repeat offenses (37:08)
  • True or False: Parenting becomes easier as children get older (44:18)
  • True or False: trying to control a child means they are less likely to go wrong (44:58)
  • True or False: Is it good to compare your family to others and learn from them (45:40)
  • True or False: Allowing risky behavior at home decreases chances for risky behavior elsewhere (48:28)
  • The genius of having small rules for teenagers to rebel against (49:50)

Resources

Favorite Quotes

  • “We have to be really careful because our kids perception is: you only value me if I’m successful at this. You only will think I’m successful if I get that D1. We may not feel that way, but that’s what they’re interpreting by us signing them up for everything and making sure they’re with the best trainer and the best this and the best that…”
  • “I think that sometimes those kids who get stuck on those patterns aren’t forward thinking. We want them to be thinking about the kind of adult they want to be, not just the kind of adult we want to raise.”

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Accelerated Learning: The Competitive Advantage of 21st Century Swimming Pt. 2
44:34
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 44:34
Accelerated Learning: The Competitive Advantage of 21st Century Swimming Pt. 2

“It’s really unlikely anymore that, especially in the 400 and down events, that just training hard you’re gonna win a gold medal. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I don’t think it’ll ever happen again. There’s always an anomaly, but I really think that just going and swimming 80 100s, you’re not going to win a gold medal in the 100 freestyle. It’s just not going to happen because you have to be so good technically at so many things.” — Sean Hutchison


Olympic Swim Coach Sean Hutchison

If you don’t have the physics right you’re not gonna have a chance.

Today I’m continuing my conversation with former Olympic swim coach Sean Hutchison and right off the blocks we are diving deep into the role of physics in winning an Olympic medal. Sean puts it succinctly: “If you don’t have the physics right you’re not gonna have a chance.”

This episode is loaded with actionable insights and I encourage to listen, take notes, apply and relisten.

Enjoy!


Conversation Timeline

  • Why the athletes who win always get the physics right (6:37)
  • Why hard training won’t get you an Olympic gold medal (9:20)
  • Using sound frequencies to calm the brain for learning (11:23)
  • The amazing science behind visual learning (13:35)
  • How IKKOS helped a pro golfer improve his swing from the couch (19:32)
  • The problem of using “coaching language” to teach young swimmers (24:05)
  •  How to become really good as a coach and set yourself apart (29:46)
  • A strategy for coaching mastery (33:30)
  • Two character traits the elite athletes have that make them successful (35:57)
  • The hard sacrifices on the road to mastery (41:12)

Resources

IKKOS Website
IKKOS on Facebook
IKKOS on Twitter

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Accelerated Learning: The Competitive Advantage of 21st Century Swimming
35:39
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 35:39
Accelerated Learning: The Competitive Advantage of 21st Century Swimming

Listening to my podcast will not make you better. It might make you feel better, but feeling better and being better are two very different things. It’s easy to feel better when you consume information, but knowledge itself is not an advantage. It’s only when we begin to apply knowledge that we can truly say that we have learned and if learning is essential to improvement then it makes sense that the swimmers (or anybody for that matter) who can learn faster and more deeply than others will have a significant competitive advantage.
Olympic swim coach

“The general idea that whoever is fastest is doing it right is foolish. There’s got to be something right about it, but it’s not necessarily the best.” — Sean Hutchinson

We are living in the 21st century and thanks to utilities like Google, filling our mental pools with knowledge has become almost effortless. The difficulty we now face is teaching our brains to swim efficiently in this information economy.

In part 1 of my conversation former Olympic coach Sean Hutchison and I delve into how his attitude towards learning allowed him to become a world class swimming coach. In part two we’ll hear how he is using neuroscience to encourage accelerated learning in swimmers and many other athletes.


Conversation Timeline

  • How Sean’s Olympic coaching career started (3:50)
  • Reflecting on the factors that made him successful (9:06)
  • One of the smartest things Sean ever did as a young coach (14:05)
  • The inevitable future of technology and sport (21:53)
  • Future threats to coaching (27:32)
  • Identifying and learning worthwhile skills (29:08)

Resources

Mastery by Robert Greene
IKKOS Website
IKKOS on Facebook
IKKOS on Twitter

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ISCA – A Game-Changing Conference For Sports Scientists and Swimming Coaches
38:53
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 38:53
ISCA – A Game-Changing Conference For Sports Scientists and Swimming Coaches

“Anybody that is successful talks to a lot of other people that are successful and also other people that are successful in other fields besides the field that they’re in. I think that makes you really successful.” — Doug Fonder


Pro tip: whenever you are considering going to a large conference like ISCA don’t make your decision solely on the cost and the lineup of speakers. Think also about the hidden value like creating friendships and partnerships with other attendees. It will be those friendships and conversations that spark your creativity and outlast your memories of the speakers and their topics.

Before we get to today’s episode watch this video to see what others are saying about the conference:

On the podcast today to give us a clearer idea of the ideas behind the conference and what makes it different from other swimming associations is ISCA director Doug Fonder. I know you’ll enjoy listening to Doug and if you listen to this and still have a few questions, feel free to contact me or head on over to their website. 


Conversation Timeline

  • Reflecting on Doug’s relationship with Vince Lombardi and his coaching style (2:30)
  • Mixing different coaching styles and the art of coaching  (4:33)
  • The ideas behind the formation of ISCA and its emphasis on sports science (6:16)
  • Answering the question: What did Michael Phelps do to become an Olympian? (9:17)
  • Who should attend the ISCA conference(10:57)
  • Getting certified with ISCA (12:41)
  • What new coaches should learn first to get their career rolling (15:14)
  • The crucial importance of continuing education for coaches (16:09)
  • The real value of the ISCA conference (17:34)
  • The dates and location of the conference and the reason behind them (19:57)
  • The cost of the conference and discount prices (21:03)
  • 2016 Lineup of speakers (22:04)
  • The cost of ISCA yearly membership and benefits (23:32)
  • Maintaining an open attitude even in the face of new evidence (24:47)
  • Key ideas and different approaches to successful coaching (26:38)
  • ISCA’s effort to ethically push the sport of swimming forward (32:00)
  • What keeps Doug busy outside of ISCA (33:18)
  • From adoption to Olympic trials (34:17)

Show Notes

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Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 2
35:59
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 35:59
Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 2

Swimming technology researchLast week I shared a really interesting conversation that I had with with Dr. Rod Havriluk of Swimming Technology Research. I received good feedback from a few listeners and it really does make me happy when you enjoy the show. I really appreciate it when you take time to respond and give me feedback. Thank you!

If you happened to miss part 1, no worries, here it is: Part 1

In this episode I’m continuing my conversation with Dr. Havriluk and the second part is just as good as the first. As you listen to the research that Dr. Havriluk presents in this episode don’t fall into the trap of just thinking that this is some “cool/shocking research” and then forget about it after this episode ends.

Instead think of ways to use this new information to make your practices better and your times faster.


Conversation Timeline

  • Shocking results about the change of force production during a training season (1:44)
  • The problem of fatigue in learning technique (6:50)
  • The proper attitude of coaches toward new research (8:20)
  • Research isn’t written for coaches (10:30)
  • Encouraging a discussion between scientists and coaches (13:40)
  • Deciding which scientific principles to implement (18:33)
  • Seeing the rewards of his work (23:51)
  • Thoughts on the current state of research in the sport of swimming (26:15)
  • Speculating on the future of competitive swimming (29:05)
  • Thoughts on the elite swimming and changing the definition (30:17)
  • What Dr. Havriluk finds satisfying (and gets a kick out of) (31:35)

Show Notes

 

The post Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 2 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 1
31:14
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 31:14
Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 1

As a kid with nonexistent backstroke skills the only thing I swam into more than the lane ropes was differing opinions on swimming technique. I hated the feeling of both, but at least the lane ropes ran parallel to each other.

My teenage mind reasoned that the only sure way to validate my technique was to copy it from the swimmers that I considered to be elite. I had no doubts that copying fast swimmers would give me the best possible chance at having great technique. I was wrong. 

Swimming technology research

Dr. Rod Havriluk

To point us in the right direction I asked the president of Swimming Technology Research, Dr. Rod Havriluk to share some of his insights with us. Dr. Havriluk’s work transcends borders as he travels to various countries speaking at conferences and hosting swimming clinics. It was at one of those clinics that I met him and I have been a follower of his research ever since.

I think that you’ll enjoy listening to our conversation and I’ll share part two in the next episode. Here’s Part 1:


Conversation Timeline

  • The individuals who have influenced Dr. Havriluk’s work (2:36)
  • The important role of deliberate practice in swimming mastery (6:20)
  • Shocking practice habits of high school swimmers (8:26)
  • Why we can’t completely discount the traditional approach to swimming. (10:58)
  • How our view on fast swimmers impedes our progress as a sport (12:54)
  • What the data says about the technique of the fastest swimmers in the world. (14:46)
  • Understanding how Aquanex works (17:15)
  • Why Dr. Havriluk uses technology to calculate the force production of swimmers hands (18:00)
  • Why more swimmers need to practice by themselves (20:04)
  • The side effects of a conditioning focused approach (23:20)
  • Why age is not the real impediment to better swimming technique (25:00)
  • How Dr. Havriluk developed an app to improve swimming technique (26:27)

Show Notes

The post Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 1 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Crazy Talk For The Misfits
13:52
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 13:52
Crazy Talk For The Misfits

This episode is the last in a series of episodes talking about The Online Swimmer. In the last few episodes you can find previews of what can be expected in a Lane 5 & 6 membership, but for this episode about Lane 4 I decided to switch things up.

Since Lane 4 is a completely customized program I figured it was better to share the ideas behind what I’m doing since an accurate preview would be virtually impossible. Sometimes it helps to know the mind behind an idea and I hope this helps to give a clearer picture of what we’re aiming for here.

It’s difficult knowing which episodes to create because I want to address concerns and topics that I believe swimmers and parents need to hear about, but at the same time I want to keep it interesting and diverse with new guests.

Next episode the interviews begin again and we’ll be taking a look at the impact of science on the sport of swimming. It’s a good one, but for now, here’s a look at the thoughts behind The Online Swimmer. Let me know if you like these kinds of episodes.


 

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Push 3 Times For Better Races: A Sneak Peek at Lane 5
12:26
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 12:26
Push 3 Times For Better Races: A Sneak Peek at Lane 5

In today’s episode you’ll get an inside look at a course I created that that teaches swimmers about the path to mastery. The first lesson that I share talks about programming the body to respond to certain triggers. This is one of the common traits that we in elite athletes of all sports and it’s no doubt necessary for duplicating excellent performances.

The second lesson speaks briefly about the price of attaining mastery. All of the great swimmers you hear about have paid a price to reach the levels that they have. Since everybody has to pay a price the important to ask yourself is, “What price am I willing to pay?”

There is much more to lane 5 than is revealed in this episode and if you still have questions at the end of everything, please shoot me a message.


The post Push 3 Times For Better Races: A Sneak Peek at Lane 5 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Lane 6 Sneak Peek: Are There Limits To Swimming World Records?
12:20
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 12:20
Lane 6 Sneak Peek: Are There Limits To Swimming World Records?

This episode is a sneak peek at Lane 6 on theonlineswimmer.com A lane 6 membership is designed to have research delivered to you a couple of times per month in a format that’s very easy to understand. The ideal person for a Lane 6 membership is a coach who wants to stay abreast of swimming science, but doesn’t have the time to go looking for it.

In Lane 6 the research is interpreted and delivered so that coaches can spend their time focusing on what they do best. Have a listen and let me know what you think.

 

The post Lane 6 Sneak Peek: Are There Limits To Swimming World Records? appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Want To Switch Swim Clubs? 6 Questions To Help Avoid Regrets
11:58
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 11:58
Want To Switch Swim Clubs? 6 Questions To Help Avoid Regrets

 

In this episode you’ll find six questions to help you make better decisions as it relates to choosing swim clubs. Some of these questions are very blunt, but I prefer honesty over tragedy. If you have good information then you can make better choices and it may be uncomfortable to give in-depth answers, but trust me it’s worth the headache.

Have a listen and if after you listen you feel there are more questions that should be asked, feel free to list them in the comments below.

The post Want To Switch Swim Clubs? 6 Questions To Help Avoid Regrets appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

How This Mermaid Is Helping To Save Lives on Her Birthday
37:41
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 37:41
How This Mermaid Is Helping To Save Lives on Her Birthday

I truly want to give back… that’s what i love, that’s what I wanna do and I go for it. If people like it or not I don’t know. Who cares? I wanna go and do it.” — Merle Liivand


Merle Liivand Finis Rep

“The one thing I always say: Just keep swimming and trust the journey, it’s takes you to a better place.”

It was a pleasure interviewing Merle Liivand the Estonian mermaid for episode 32 of the SwimBrain podcast. I have a soft spot for entrepreneurs and trailblazers who have enough courage to step up and pursue their dreams. These kinds of swimmers are always welcome here at SwimBrain. Swimmers who remain role models no matter what life throws at them.

This year for her birthday instead of asking for gifts Merle is giving back to the sport that gave her so much.  She is raising funds to help teach children how to swim and you can find out more details and info on how you can get involved below. Have a listen, check out the links below and don’t forget to show Merle some love.

Conversation Timeline

  • Life lessons from a mermaid (3:00)
  • Why Merle travels around the world (4:43)
  • How a mermaid celebrates a birthday (5:42)
  • Why swimming is the cheapest life insurance (8:48)
  • The conditions of the 10k (9:20)
  • Where Merle’s birthday funds will go (10:17)
  • How to get financially involved with Merle’s project (12:47)
  • Representing Estonia @ the Olympic Trials (14:10)
  • Defining success for yourself in the pool (16:41)
  • How Merle decided at the age 14 to make a difference in the sport (19:56)
  • How Merle opened her swim company on a train (21:21)
  • Lessons from her mom about being a female in business (22:18)
  • Dealing with a childhood injury on a daily (24:17)
  • Advice on what to do when you’re not feeling it (28:18)
  • Why she listens to her mom now, but didn’t as a kid (30:06)
  • Why she Merle embraces all strokes even her weak ones(32:46) 

Links Mentioned

The post How This Mermaid Is Helping To Save Lives on Her Birthday appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 2
29:39
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 29:39
Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 2

You’ve got to take your sport seriously and be obsessive of course, but at the end of the day it’s about being fair. It’s about competition. It’s about absolute preparation and being the best you can be as yourself. Taking drugs, it’s not you. Even if you win, if you take something, some substance, it’s not you, it’s the drug. — Dr. Martin Hagger


champion athletes

“There are a lot of very talented swimmers that never make it because they don’t have that work ethic.”

 You may have heard the Time’ allegations of systematic doping in the Russian Swimming Federation. You may also have heard about the six Chinese swimmers that have recently tested positive for banned substances.

I know something you may not have heard about however. Have heard you heard about parents and coaches taking the time sit down with young athletes to chat about the the dark side of their competitive edge?

You may have, but I know that I haven’t and I’m ashamed to say that this was never a priority for me as a coach. It’s time to change this.

It’s easy to look at Russia and see three of their sports, swimming, wrestling and track & field, facing the possibility of not representing their country in the Olympics and shake our heads, but do we look at our failure to prepare athletes for the temptation of illegal substances and also shake our heads?

In today’s episode Dr. Martin Hagger speaks about avoiding the lure of performance enhancing drugs. As you listen, whether coach, parent or swimmer, you have a role to play in creating a clean sport.


 

Conversation timeline

  • Why the best swimmers are geeks (2:17)
  • The dark side of a competitive desire and performance enhancing drugs (5:45)
  • Talking about the future of athletics and deception (10:06)
  • Embracing new technology with a healthy skepticism (14:41)
  • Advice on beginning to build mental skills and becoming a geek (18:00)
  • Teaching swimmers to be their own coach (22:25)
  • What separates the best swimmers from the amateurs (23:52)

Resources

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Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 1
34:14
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 34:14
Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 1

champion athletesOne of my favorite things about the SwimBrain podcast is that we have both swimmers and researchers on the show. This allows us take what the researchers are saying, compare it to what elite swimmers are doing and chose the best method based on the evidence.

Just taking somebody’s word that a technique works is never a good our guest on this episode, Dr. Martin Hagger encourages swimmers to experiment to find which psychological techniques work best for them.

 Listen in as Dr. Hagger explores the research to see how swimmers can hone their minds tobecome better in the water


Conversation Timeline

  • Why athletes are now leaning more on psychology (2:36)
  • Discussing which ages swimmers should begin psychological training (5:35)
  • The best predictors of confidence in an athlete (9:51)
  • How swimmers should build confidence before the race (12:34)
  • Why a swimmer should try different race-prep routines (16:00)
  • How to build confidence by practice simulate a race (18:41)
  • Should young swimmers copy successful athlete’s mental strategies (20:43)
  • What state of mind you should have bore you hop into the pool (24:29)
  • Practicing mental skills in practice (26:28)
  • What triathletes get wrong about their training (28:28)
  • Surprising strategies for getting familiar with race day conditions (30:49)
  •  The concept of total sport that prepares you for everything (31:17)

Resources

The post Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 1 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 3
45:05
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 45:05
The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 3

We often see elite swimmers performing and standing on medal podiums and wish that we could be like them.  We try to copy their stroke technique, their workouts and their racing strategies, but there is so much more that we don’t see. Without an understanding of the sacrifices they made to stand where they stand

This is why at SwimBrain we don’t focus much on swimming technique or physical conditioning.  Instead we place emphasis on what makes all of that possible: the athlete’s mind.

As you listen to this last segment of Roy’s story I hope his fighter mindset is contagious and it inspires you to fight through whatever circumstances you may face during your swim career.



 

Listen to Part 1

Listen to Part 2

Conversation Timeline

  • The accident that left Roy Burch in a wheelchair (3:35)
  • How he mentally worked through a physical disability  (12:34)
  • The surprising benefit of rediscovering his body in the water (15:47)
  • How Roy balanced pushing through his injury without pushing too far (20:51)
  • Who influenced Roy and taught him how to be a fighter (24:51)
  • Why Roy is thankful looking back on his injury (27:55)
  • The stories behind Roy’s tattoo (30:17)
  • Roy’s recovery status (34:26)
  • Roy’s favorite cartoon character (36:40)
  • Roy’s favorite quote (37:19)
  • Parting words of wisdom (40:19)

Links

The post The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 3 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 2
35:16
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 35:16
The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 2

“Maintain the perfection or as close to perfection as possible so that when you get to that point, when you get to that big moment, everything is done. You can just shut your brain off and go on autopilot and be fast and strong.” — Roy Burch


Roy Burch Bermudian Olympian SwimmerFirst things first: if you missed part 1 you need to get caught up here.

The reason this podcast exists is to provide an inside look at the strategies that elite swimmers use and this episode doesn’t disappoint. In our conversation today we take a glance behind the scenes at Roy’s training as well as the mindset that allows his training to shine when he needs it the most.

In part 1 I jokingly mentioned Roy’s life  being a movie, but as I’m publishing part 2 I’m becoming more convinced. So i guess this isn’t part 2, but scene 2. Action!


Conversation Timeline

  • Pushing through rejection to train with elite swimmers like Cullen Jones, Ryan Lochte, Arianna Vanderpool Wallace (2:26)
  • Learning and adjusting to a new training environment (10:15)
  • The famous team elite climbing rope and its mental benefits (11:37)
  • Why Roy was upset after winning his heat in the London Olympics and breaking a national record (15:27)
  • Practically dealing with the pressure of performing at the Olympics (18:40)
  • An inside look at the mental preparation of an Olympic swimmer (21:15)
  • Practicing shutting off and engaging your brain during practice (26:26)
  • Ideas for adapting coaching styles to short attention spans (29:44)
  • Embracing a new generation of learning styles (32:13)

Links

The post The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 2 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 1
29:47
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 29:47
The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 1

“It just became second nature to compete and win against the kids that I was around mainly because I wanted to win and I was competitive, not because I was more talented or faster.” Roy Burch


Have you ever met somebody and thought: “Your life should be a movie”?

Roy Burch Bermudian Olympian Swimmer

“Plenty of those kids were better and much more naturally talented than I was. I just had the will to win and train and win in training.”

That’s how I felt when I spoke to 2x Bermudian Olympian, Roy Burch. The more we spoke the more I knew that his story would inspire swimmers all around the world. Throughout his journey you’ll find rejection, injury and great loss, yet in each of those setbacks you’ll find that Roy has always emerged the victor.

Today, I’m excited to be releasing the first part of my conversation with Roy. This is a three part series and in part 1 we take a look at the early stages of his swimming career.

In Part 2 of Roy Burch’s Story we’ll take a look at how Roy overcame rejection on his Olympic journey and then we’ll finish with part three and learn how he battled an extremely rare injury that left him in a wheelchair.

Part 2

Part 3

Listen in to Part 1 of our conversation.

Conversation Timeline

  • Roy’s early start to swimming (2:15)
  • Feeding the desire to compete and win (4:30)
  • Why success for Roy was never about talent (7:00)
  • What motivated Roy to train hard as a young swimmer (8:40)
  • Adjusting to the international swimming scene (10:30)
  • The swimmers who influenced Roy Burch (13:05)
  • Roy’s training environment (15:30)
  • The benefits of training with the top elite swimmers in the world (17:35)
  • What Roy looks for in a great training environment (18:55)
  • How Arianna Vanderpool Wallace influenced Roy’s swimming training (20:25)
  • Understanding your body to gain a competitive edge (22:08)
  • The secret of increasing your power by engaging your big muscles (24:00)

Links

 

The post The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 1 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Cultivating A Growth Mindset: Practical Advice For Parents and Coaches
38:04
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 38:04
Cultivating A Growth Mindset: Practical Advice For Parents and Coaches

As parents and coaches we know that finding the rights words to say to a swimmer after a bad race can sometimes seem impossible. Even worse is that the right words don’t matter if the timing isn’t right. Sometimes silence seems best.

coach reed

Coach Reed

In this final part of our chat with Coach Reed we bring some practical advice for both coaches and parents on creating the right mindset in young swimmers. Listen all the way to the end to get a personal challenge from Coach Reed.

Topic Timeline

  • Should we teach girls differently than boys (1:40)
  • How to shift a swimmer’s perspective after a bad race (5:15)
  • Dealing with failure by encouraging process thinking (7:00)
  • The dangers of a fixed mindset (8:30)
  • The common mistake parents make when speaking to young athletes (11:05)
  • Why sarcasm shouldn’t be present on the pool deck (17:25)
  • Coach Reed’s favorite coaching movie (20:54)
  • Coach Reed’s top book recommendations (21:40)
  • The leaders that coach Reed looks up to (22:55)
  • Coach Reed’s upcoming book Echo (26:55)
  • A challenge for parents (30:29)
  • A challenge for coaches (30:45)
  • A challenge for swimmers (31:25)

Resources

The post Cultivating A Growth Mindset: Practical Advice For Parents and Coaches appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

What Happens When Hollywood Coaching Meets Real Life
32:44
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 32:44
What Happens When Hollywood Coaching Meets Real Life

I won’t even bother naming the titles because I’m sure you’ve at least seen one of them. You know, the sports themed movie with the intense coach that puts his athletes through hell to win the championship.

 

They all end in similar fashion and everyone leaves the theater inspired, but I’d like to raise a question: what happens after the credits stop? What takes place in an athlete’s head right after the championship? What about 20 years later? What happens when that athlete becomes a coach?

The shortsightedness of our approach to building the sport of swimming is betrayed by our lack of satisfactory answers to those questions. We need answers not just for the sake of knowing, but for the well being of the millions of young swimmers and athletes being coached every day.

Join us and let’s raise the bar for coaches all around the world to leave movie-star coaching for the movies…actually scratch that. Why not aim to portray a realistic and healthy example of coaching role models that our kids can follow?

Topic Timeline

  • The side of coaching that hollywood doesn’t show you (4:00)
  • Viewing youth sports as a marathon (7:23)
  • The most effective way to change coaching styles (11:22)
  • 3 powerful communication channels for coaches to influence athletes (17:25)
  • What really matters for coaches at the end of the day (25:15)
  • Do athletes really respond to negative talk? (26:20)
  • The lasting physical damage of verbal abuse (27:35)

Resources

The post What Happens When Hollywood Coaching Meets Real Life appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Transforming Swimming Performances Through The Power of Words
48:09
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 48:09
Transforming Swimming Performances Through The Power of Words

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”


That’s what I would repeatedly say to my primary schools friends whenever they said mean things to me. I my mind I could see the effects of sticks and stones and to me they seemed much more painful, but the truth is far from that statement.

coach reed

“Silence is not a primary communication channel. We can’t convey total meaning in silence. Sometimes silence conveys the wrong meaning.”

Words are very powerful and their effects can last a lifetime, and instead of pointing fingers we are starting with the swimmer. Join me and Coach Reed Maltbie as we take a look at the swimmer’s internal conversation and see how words, verbalized or not, can keep a swimmer from reaching their potential.

If you’ve ever noticed that your mind is racing before you even hop onto the blocks then this episode is for you. Make sure you listen all the way to the end when Coach Reed provides a clear outline of how to form a partnership with your mind and channel your self-talk.



Topic Timeline

  • How coach Reed started coaching at age 16 (2:38)
  • Why Coach Reed talks to himself/what is self talk (7:00)
  • Is self-talk verbalized or is it internal? (7:56)
  • Why race visualization is self-talk (9:10)
  • Why we should remain silent when swimmers fail (10:14)
  • How to start becoming aware of our own thoughts (12:36)
  • How embrace performance anxiety(15:28)
  • How to channel your thoughts before a race (18:39)
  • The power of visualization (19:56)
  • Experiencing a flow state partnering the mind and the body (23:37)
  • The downward spiral of negative self talk (28:27)
  • The American Idol Syndrome and false praise (31:53)
  • Why we should be learning from failure (34:57)
  • Being wary of contagious negativity (36:11)
  • What the culture of a winning team looks like (38:11)
  • Specific steps to taking control of your mind (41:11) 

Show Notes

Coach Reed’s TED Talk

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For Love of The Game movie clip

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The post Transforming Swimming Performances Through The Power of Words appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Study says: The Swimmers You Call Your Friends Are Likely Not Your Real Friends
7:00
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 7:00
Study says: The Swimmers You Call Your Friends Are Likely Not Your Real Friends

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10


I’m curious, how many friends do you have on Facebook? Hundreds? Thousands? However many “friends” you have on Facebook, I’m willing to bet no more than 5 of those are your real friends. Don’t believe me? Read the research for yourself:

http://www.engadget.com/2016/01/25/facebook-friends-dunbar-study/

Think about that for a second. Out of all of your social media friends, in an emotional crisis you can only count on 4 of them…maybe 5 if you’re lucky. That’s kinda scary isn’t it? It makes me pause and wonder who my friends really are.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Prov. 18:24

What about you? Are there people in your life that you can count on when things get rough? Is anyone holding you accountable to the goals and dreams that you’re aiming for?

If the answer to those questions is no then I want to warn you: develop those friendships! You will need them when things get tough.

This is the who of setting great goals. We have to put measures in place to really increase our chances of making our goals. One of those measures earlier was a deadline. Another measure is close friends who will give you a push when things get tough and life gets dark.

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As you listen to today’s episode I want to encourage you to find great friends. Don’t follow the trend of quickly calling someone your friend. Instead, spend time developing friendships that you can rely on when everything else fails.


Show Notes

  • http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/3/1/150292#sec-4
  • Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Prov. 13:20

  • Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared. Prov. 22:24&25

  • Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. Prov 17:17

 

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How Some Swimmers Achieve the Impossible: Setting Powerful Goals
6:09
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 6:09
How Some Swimmers Achieve the Impossible: Setting Powerful Goals

Find your why, and then you will find your how. As the old saying goes, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” For me, finding my will made finding my way possible. Without the will, the way would have been way too hard.

— Robert Kiyosaki


 

This was one of my favorite episodes to record just because of how deep and important this topic is to every human. We all set out achieve something. Even the person determined not to set goals has a goal. We can’t escape it.

 

We all do it, but some of us do it a lot better than others. Some athletes never set goals. Other set goals and never really make them. The elite athletes however, set goals and achieve things that seem impossible to their competitors. Why is that?

A big part of the answer lies in one three letter word: WHY.

Take a look at the video below before you listen to the podcast.

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This will give you goosebumps..If it was easy everyone would do it.

Posted by Soa “The Hulk” Palelei on Friday, 29 January 2016

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How To Set A Specific Goal that Turns Into A Mission
5:41
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 5:41
How To Set A Specific Goal that Turns Into A Mission

A goal without a deadline is an option. A goal with a deadline is a mission.

Today we’re talking about goals and we are keeping it short and simple. This is episode comes in short around 5 minutes long, but it is full of practical advice to help swimmers be a lot wiser when setting goals.

As we are entering a new year it seems fitting to take some time to talk about setting goals. When I swam nobody ever really spoke to me in depth about goal setting. I always just picked a random time to aim for and hoped for the best. If I made it I made it, If i didn’t…I didn’t. Life went on.

Don’t be like me!

Any swimmer that even listens to this episode will be much further ahead than I was during my swim career because they’ll understand the what and the when of great goal making.

Enjoy!

The post How To Set A Specific Goal that Turns Into A Mission appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

If You Have A Smartphone Your Chances of Swimming in College Are Now A Lot Higher
1:00:45
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 1:00:45
If You Have A Smartphone Your Chances of Swimming in College Are Now A Lot Higher

“You are a student, you need that education. That’s the most important part. Don’t be looking at what team necessarily you want to swim for if you’re not gonna get a valuable education that’s. gonna work for you for the rest of your life. You need to go to a school where you’re gonna have a degree that is gonna get you to where you want to go.” –Eric Knight, Co-Founder of LemonAid


Finding a great college can be difficult. Finding a great college with a great swim team that really wants you in their pool is near impossible. Well, at least it used to be. Thanks to Nate Boyle and Eric Knight, finding the right college swimming program for you is now as simple as swiping right or swiping left.

These gentlemen created an app called LemonAid that makes finding great college programs fast and as painless as possible and they are on the SwimBrain podcast to tell you all about their app. If you are a swimmer in high school right now this podcast is for you whether or not you believe that you are fast enough to swim in college.

To learn more about the minds and the story behind LemonAid have a listen to the episode below.


Timeline of Topics

  • The college recruiting story that inspired Lemonaid (2:15)
  • Identifying some problems in modern college recruiting (5:03)
  • How Nate and Eric’s paths crossed (7:26)
  • The initial rejection and adoption of Eric’s idea (10:25)
  • What Lemonaid can do (16:07)
  • Explaining the benefits of video feature of Lemonaid (22:50)
  • Why athletes are not great at promoting themselves (23:45)
  • Highlighting some drawbacks or current methods of college recruiting(25:40)
  • The recommended age to begin using Lemonaid (29:27)
  • The dating rules of Lemonaid (33:11)
  • How lemonaid removes obstacles for all levels of swimmers globally(37:13)
  • Why using lemonaid is a smarter first move than filling out a college application is $41 (41:00)
  • Advice to swimmers who think they are not college material (44:25)
  • Top mistakes that swimmers make going into college (49:24)
  • The social aspect of Lemonaid and recommendations (54:45)

Show Notes

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Understanding How Elite Swimmers Perform In Spite of Sweaty Palms
57:02
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 57:02
Understanding How Elite Swimmers Perform In Spite of Sweaty Palms

swimming when nervous

“Teaching swimming without teaching how to live is lacking perspective.” — Jan Homolak

Want to know if you’re an elite swimmer? Answer the following question: How do you handle being nervous before a race? Everyone gets nervous before a big race, but the elite swimmers are the swimmers that understand this process and know how to use different techniques to swim through their nerves.

If you’ve never been taught how to race like an elite athlete then a great first step for you is to listen to this episode with our friend Jan Homolak. Jan is a med student hailing from Zagreb, Croatia with an expertise in the fields of neuroscience and exercise science.

Although Jan is an expert compared to you and I he is quite humble about his knowledge which is proven by one of my favorite quotes from this episode: “I think that we’re still too stupid to understand it.”

Enjoy this wisdom of this episode, but more importantly, apply it and always remember: Great races take practice.



 

Timeline of Topics

  • What percentage of a race is mental (7:25)
  • Mental preparation in practice and different types of talent (9:00)
  • Exploring the concept of associative thinking (14:15)
  • Examples of negative associative thinking (17:32)
  • One main trait that differentiates elite athletes (18:48)
  • How distance swimmers can use dissociative thinking (20:15)
  • How focusing on air inhalation makes swimmers faster (21:50)
  • The benefits and dangers of racing routines (23:15)
  • The age to begin learning mental skills, which skills to learn and why these skills are important (26:50)
  • Why swimming should teach life skills  (28:40)
  • How lack of psychological skills can lead to an athlete quitting (31:35)
  • What’s happening in your brain before you race (33:20)
  • Two major differences separating elite athletes from the rest (36:31)
  • Different mental techniques  you can use to have a great race (38:26)
  • Anticipating obstacles and overcoming them–the if, then approach (41:20)
  • The psychological benefits of Brett Hawke’s famous puke session(42:30)
  • The power of negative thinking (43:34)
  • The mystery and “luck” behind a perfect race (45:45)
  • The single, most-effective, last-minute technique for becoming relaxed for a race (49:30)
  • How to stop sweaty palms in a few seconds (50:30)
  • Why you should own your sport (53:15)

Resources:

Brain over Brawn

My Favorite Quotes

“Psychological traits are practically inseparable from every other trait of the person.”

“I think that we’re still too stupid to understand it.”

“Teaching swimming without teaching how to live is lacking perspective.”

 

The post Understanding How Elite Swimmers Perform In Spite of Sweaty Palms appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Swimming Nutrition Ideas For Every Moment of A Swimmer’s Day
1:02:50
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 1:02:50
Swimming Nutrition Ideas For Every Moment of A Swimmer’s Day

Swimming Nutrition

“As long as you have a base of a healthy diet then you will perform well. It’s all about that nutrient timing that’s gonna make you perform better.” –Steph Saullo

In this episode (#18) I had the pleasure of chatting with Steph Saullo, a performance dietician based out of Charlotte North Carolina. One of my favorite parts of this episode is Steph taking the time to break down the entire day of a swimmer and explain the nutrition they need at the crucial moments during their day. Instead of just rambling on about carbohydrates and proteins Steph highlighted dozens of tasty food options. that swimmers can choose from.

I know that often times swim parents take a guess at what’s best for their swimmer, but Steph is taking the guessing part out of the equation. If you like what you are hearing in this episode you can get more nutrition information at the link Here.



Topics Timeline

  • Experimenting to find the ideal nutrition plan (4:00)
  • Why your nutrition plan should be unique and some important factors in planning (6:40)
  • Googling fad diets (8:15)
  • Why multivitamins are an insurance plan (9:00)
  • How parents can navigate “expert” nutrition advice on the Internet (12:45)
  • General guiding principles for all athletes (13:52)
  • Practicing good nutrition habits (16:30)
  • How to decide what to eat before morning practice (18:30)
  • Finding great lunch options at a school cafeteria (22:20)
  • Deciding on meal/snack options after school (26:20)
  • How to get in tune with your hunger cues (28:05)
  • Refueling during a workout (30:50)
  • What makes a sports drink a sports drink (32:24)
  • Homemade gatorade and alternatives (34:25)
  • Crucial refueling after a workout (36:10)
  • Telltale signs of poor nutrition (38:05)
  • The timing of dinner and bedtime snacks (38:50)
  • Routine race-day meals and snacks (40:00)
  • Monitoring hydration levels (42:50)
  • Eating properly during taper (46:00)
  • Hacks to simplify cooking (47:00)
  • Carb loading for swimmers (50:10)
  • Nitrates and beet juice (51:50)
  • Rapid fire questions (54:15)
  • Parting words of wisdom (59:05)

 

References

NSF

USP

Get more nutrition advice

 

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The Intersection of Faith, Swimming and The University
55:02
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 55:02
The Intersection of Faith, Swimming and The University

Connor Bos swimmingToday’s guest is a man in search of an Olympic trials cut. He’s an NCAA Division 1 swimmer looking to make a name not for himself, but for Jesus Christ. In today’s show Connor Bos takes some time to give us a glimpse inside of his busy schedule. It’s interesting to see how he finds balance amidst the demands of being a student athlete.
If I had to guess I’d say this conversation will be most beneficial to high-school swimmers that are planning on swimming at the college level. As a club swimmer I know that I was clueless about the demands of college swimming and an interview like this might have helped me be a little more informed.
As you listen, remember that this is not typical for a student athlete. Connor chooses to be very active and goes beyond the call of duty. As he also points out, college athletes have significantly more control over their schedules than high school athletes. Crazy schedule or not though the key is finding balance.

Conversation Topics

  • The factors at play in choosing s swimming university (5:40)
  • Adjusting to the demand of swimming at the university level (10:00)
  • A typical college day schedule (15:20)
  • Squeezing in video games and Netflix (17:20)
  • Choosing to stay very active on campus (17:35)
  • Using gifts to bring God glory (19:00)
  • Recharging in the middle of busyness (21:00)
  • What fun looks like (21:45)
  • Continuing to train hard when there is no motivation (24:50)
  • Staying focus on goals and enjoying the results (27:40)
  • Converting failures into positive enjoy (30:20)
  • Evaluating the role of Christianity in athletic success (32:20)
  • The benefits of having mentors in your life (36:50)
  • Being unashamed of your faith in the pool (41:00)
  • Using worship songs to get in the zone (44:30)
  • Rapid Fire Questions (45:40)
  • Being thankful to your supporters (52:00)

Leave a Review


Show Notes:

Gardner-Webb University

30-day Mental Challenge 

The post The Intersection of Faith, Swimming and The University appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

The Crucial Role of Failure in Shaping A Successful Olympian
1:07:39
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 1:07:39
The Crucial Role of Failure in Shaping A Successful Olympian

“My career has probably been mostly failures more than successes really when I look back at it, but regardless of that when I did this interview you still introduced me as…this is Vereance, he’s been to the olympics, he’s a national champion. Never once have I been introduced as, “this is Vereance, he lost Carifta back in 2008”. I know who I am. Failures have never defined me, only my successes.” –Elvis Vereance Burrows

 

Honest question: When was the last time you saw an Olympian winning medals and wondered what it took for them to get to that point? It’s not a question that we often consider, but it’s one that needs to be asked if only for the benefit of the kids that idolize them.

We we ignore the journeys that produce Olympians we end up with a generation of swimmers trying unrealistically to mimic an end result. We copy the techniques and drills and diets, but we pay little attention to developing the mind that powers these results.

I really enjoyed talking to Vereance because of his ability to remain genuine through his successes. His authenticity gives us an inside look into some of the struggles of top athletes that we never see otherwise.

Some of the topics we cover are below:

Conversation Timeline

  • Planning for life after swimming
  • Training with the competition in mind
  • The importance of realistic baby steps
  • Being real even in the spotlight
  • The importance of being motivated from within
  • What to look for in an ideal training environment
  • Swimming unexpected best times
  • Going to Olympics at age 19
  • Looking at the Olympics as just a swim meet
  • Race preparation 
  • The danger of overthinking the race
  • Maintaining a focused attitude in practice
  • Trying to be macho and swim through injuries
  • The surprising benefits of distractions before a race
  • Funny questions about being from the Bahamas
  • The state of competitive swimming in the Bahamas
  • The Elvis Initiative
  • Changing Pain to Pleasure and embracing failure in practice
  • Fighting through the death
  • Not allowing others to limit you because of their fear

As you listen, I hope you gain an appreciation for the man behind the success. Enjoy!


Leave A Review 


Show Notes

Favorite Quotes:

  • “I’ve got to not think about racing because my body already knows how to race, it’s got that killer instinct already.”
  • “I’m intrinsically motivated so I know what I have to do to beat whoever I’m trying to beat or to get whatever goal I’m trying to get…winning becomes an obsession.” 
  • “I never thought I could make the Olympics until I made the Olympics.”
  • “You shouldn’t come out of the gates looking at the Olympics…like I said, I had to beat Denaj first…”

The post The Crucial Role of Failure in Shaping A Successful Olympian appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Exploring Key Components of A Great Strength Training Program For Swimmers
1:05:59
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 1:05:59
Exploring Key Components of A Great Strength Training Program For Swimmers

“Keep fighting! There’s always another way. There’s always another way to get better. There’s always a way to keep improving.” — Chris Ritter

 

Over the past 10 years+ Chris Ritter of RitterSP has been getting great results with swimmers of all ages around the globe. You may not be familiar with his name or his work, but you’re probably familiar with the name some of the athletes he’s had a chance to work with such as Cullen Jones and Mark Gangloff (2008 US Olympic gold medalists).

As I was talking to Chris one thought kept coming back to my mind: I wish I’d had this conversation 15-20 years earlier. That’s okay though. What’s done is done and I guess I’m now on my way to becoming an old fart. Hopefully you still have the opportunity to make a difference in your swim career.

Even though we cover a lot of topics briefly, give this episode a good listen and take the time to think things through and incorporate them into your training if possible.

Topics Chris Touched On

 

[one_half first=]
  • What you need to get right before you start training.
  • When to overthink and when not to think.
  • Having peace of mind and confidence during racing.
  • Channeling nervousness before a race.
  • Common misconceptions about strength training.
  • Avoiding injuries through durability.
  • The importance of athlete specific training programs.
  • Good goals for a dryland program.
  • Training movements vs muscles.
  • Pushing & pulling, squatting & hinging.
  • Why dryland workouts shouldn’t mimic a pool workout. [/one_half]
[one_half first=]
  • Commitment to accomplishing your goal
  • Great athletes and risk taking.
  • The importance of grit over talent.
  • Neural strength gain vs structural strength gain.
  • The importance of measuring progress.
  • An explanation of engaging your core.
  • A better alternative to crunches.
  • Why coaches should allow themselves to be questioned.
  • How elite athletes respond to difficulties.
  • Good strength training philosophy.
  • How to have a great warm-up on land.
  • Why you need to be better at pull-ups as a swimmer. [/one_half]


Show Notes:

“I think that if swimmers gave themselves a mental break when they need it a lot of them would last longer and do better and I wish that coaches would be encouraging of that as well and not look down upon that and not give the swimmer a hard time if that’s in the best interest of the athlete.” — Chris Ritter

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SBP 014: Big Dreams through Baby Steps
4:29
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 4:29
SBP 014: Big Dreams through Baby Steps

“The way to do a great deal is to keep on doing a little. The way to do nothing at all is to be continually resolving that you will do everything.” — Charles Spurgeon


There was a time when I would get really excited about having conversations with people who had big dreams. We would talk for hours and I would leave feeling like I could walk on air. I kept having these conversations for years before I realized the problem…I never took action.
 
My excuse was always that I didn’t know where to start and that crippled me from running with my dream. I finally got tired of the cycle and I did something. I built a swimming website (not swimbrain). When I took that first step things were a bit shaky, but then I took another baby step and pretty soon I was walking.
 
Today I am running two successful swimming websites and a swimming podcast, but I’m only starting to pick up speed. The website you see now might look impressive, but it is a result of many baby steps. Why am I saying all of this?
 
I just want to share my story with you and hopefully provide some inspiration to you to not just talk about goals and dreams, but to do them. That’s what this episode is about. The SwimBrain podcast is taking a big step forward after this episode and I’m glad you are along for the journey.
Have a listen and I’d love to hear what you think about the upcoming changes.

The post SBP 014: Big Dreams through Baby Steps appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

SBP 013: Snapping Out of A Panic Attack in 60 Seconds
8:42
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 8:42
SBP 013: Snapping Out of A Panic Attack in 60 Seconds

Congratulations are definitely in order! You made it all the way to the fourth part of our series on focus. Now I know you might be wondering why I am so excited about such a small thing? Well, nowadays very few swimmers have the discipline to stick with anything for long and swimmers with discipline always achieve a lot in the sport.

This week I’m talking a bout panic attacks and breathing and staying in control in the present. This is by no means some sort of official medical or psychological procedure for treating panic attacks.  It is just a really helpful technique for swimmers who find themselves in the pool or in any other situation where they are finding it difficult to breathe.

Typically in that scenario a swimmer feels like they are not getting enough Oxygen and their breathing is frantic and shallow. Make no mistake about it…forcing yourself to breathe through your nose in the middle of a panic attack is extremely hard because you already feel like you’re suffocating. If however you begin to practice following your breath now, when a panic attack happens guess what…it’s already a habit to breathe deeply.

This is the true power of focus. To control your inner state regardless of how you feel. Most athletes know that their mind controls their body, but only the wise athletes know that they can also use their body to control their mind.

Have a listen and let me know what you think.



 

 

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SBP 012: How To Know When It’s Time To Leave Your Swim Team
9:43
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 9:43
SBP 012: How To Know When It’s Time To Leave Your Swim Team

Have you ever considered leaving your swim team because you don’t like the way they do things? I know I have and I was the coach! It’s never an easy decision and sometimes leaving a club gets really messy and people get hurt and you lose friends and relationships come to an end. I’ve seen it happen and you probably have too. It’s not pretty and it doesn’t have to be that way though. There are other options.

In this episode we talk about knowing when it is the right time to leave a swim club and knowing when you should stick it out. The reality is leaving can be hard and staying can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. I also talk about a third option that is becoming more popular, but it’s not for everyone.

If you’re thinking about quitting leaving your swim team anytime soon. You should definitely give this podcast a listen and let me know what you think in the comments.



The post SBP 012: How To Know When It’s Time To Leave Your Swim Team appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

SBP 011: The First Baby Step To Being A Swimmer With A Killer Focus
5:35
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 5:35
SBP 011: The First Baby Step To Being A Swimmer With A Killer Focus

Do you remember your first steps as a baby? You probably don’t but wouldn’t it be amazing if you could look back and experience all of the emotion from that moment again? What about your first swimming strokes? Do you remember that?

I always wonder what I would say if I could communicate to myself as a baby trying to walk. Okay, maybe I don’t always think of that, but I have thought of it before. I think one of the things I would say is “It’s okay to be frustrated, that’s normal.” or “Be patient and keep trying. It will come.”

I am going to say the same thing to you as you begin your journey to developing a killer focus. It’s weird, I don’t quite feel qualified to give that advice because I’m still learning myself and I fall…a lot. Baby steps! One example is this podcast. It’s soooo hard to stay focused while writing this because my fiancé is messaging me on WhatsApp and even though you’re cool and all of that…I’d much rather talk to her than write to you. 

Staying focused is a battle we all face and to be honest, you will lose. That’s okay. The trick is not to focus on your losses (see what I did there?). 

If you try to “just start” being more focused you will fail. That’s not the way life works. You wouldn’t tell a kid who is learning how to swim to just start swimming butterfly right? When it comes to learning a complex skill whether it is walking or swimming or focus, the best method is always breaking it into segments and taking it one step at a time.

If you’ve never worked on developing your ability to focus (or even if you have), welcome to the first baby step. In this episode I lay out the first baby step that you should take to start becoming a swimmer with a killer focus.

I hope you enjoy this episode. (I made it all the way through writing this without picking up my phone! How’s that for focus.)


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SBP 010: One Camera Trick You Need to Master to be an Elite Swimmer
6:59
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 6:59
SBP 010: One Camera Trick You Need to Master to be an Elite Swimmer

I need to come clean and say that I stole the idea for this episode from Tony Robbins. Well maybe not the whole episode, but definitely the exercise I used at the beginning. Tony used it on stage to demonstrate the power of focus in a slightly different way than I use it in this episode, but hey, it still works. I don’t want to spoil it for you so I’ll let you listen to it for yourself.

This series mark the beginning of a deeper look into the role of focus in the success of swimmers at the elite level. You can think of this as the introduction to the series and my main goal in this episode is to bring your attention to the need for mental training especially in the area of focusing. I decided to do that because the sad truth is that many swimmers don’t even realize that they need mental training.

Here are a few quotes from this episode:

Everybody you know has the ability to focus, but not everyone knows how to use the power of focus to become a great athlete.

Focus can be as skittish as a wild animal and as elusive as the wind, but you can tame a wild animal and you can definitely harness the power of the wind.

There are a lot of distractions that will demand your attention and unless you’ve trained yourself to focus with a shallow depth of field your performances will be all over the place.



Thanks for listening, I appreciate you.

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SBP 009: Why Most Swimming Drills Are A Waste Of Your Time.
6:52
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 6:52
SBP 009: Why Most Swimming Drills Are A Waste Of Your Time.

Just in case you didn’t know, I dedicate every third podcast episode to answering one of your questions. This week Aaleyah asked a question about swimming drills. She wanted to know which drills and dryland exercises she could use to help her swim faster. My answer might shock you, but it is the truth and I’d love to hear your thoughts about swimming drills

To keep this episode short I focused on the drills portion of the question although you can apply the same rules to drylands exercises.

The rules that I share in this episode should be applied to any and every swimming drill.


Do you prefer reading? Click below to read the transcript for this episode:

SBP 009: Why Most Swimming Drills Are A Waste Of Your Time (Transcript)


 

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SBP 008: The One Simple Thing That Will Push You To Become A Great Swimmer
13:03
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 13:03
SBP 008: The One Simple Thing That Will Push You To Become A Great Swimmer

I’m finally back! I apologize for the 3 long weeks of silence and if you want to know what the problem was, I explain it in the first few seconds of this episode…but none of that matters now. All that matters is that episode 8 is finally published! #victorydance

A few weeks ago I sat down with a swim team and read them a short story. It was weird for a lot of them, but they seemed eager to do anything that would keep them out of the water for a few more minutes. The story I read to them was a well written insight into the success of a professional basketball player. It’s an excerpt from the book Mastery by Robert Greene where Greene highlights the road to success for many successful athletes, scientists, doctors, artists, etc… If you’ve never read it, I strongly encourage you to do so.


In this episode you will learn:

  • Why I missed 2 weeks worth of podcasting
  • The story of Bill Bradley
  • The mindset of a highly successful athlete
  • The importance of identifying your weaknesses
  • The importance of loving your sport
  • The difference between you and athletes that succeed

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SBP 007: Hard Work vs. Smart Work. A Better Training Strategy
6:20
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 6:20
SBP 007: Hard Work vs. Smart Work. A Better Training Strategy

I’m going to tell you right from the start that working hard will give you good results. You already know that. I will also tell you that working smart will give you good results as well. I’m guessing you know that as well. What you may not realize however is that there is a much better option than either of those strategy and that option is the one I discuss in this week’s episode of The SwimBrain Podcast.

The goal in this episode  is to show you that either working hard or working smart is a good training strategy, and good training strategies produce good swimmers. So if you want to be a good swimmer the go ahead and train as hard as you can or as smart as you can.

If however, you are not interested being more than good, that is, you want to be a great swimmer then you should listen to this episode. I this episode I’ll show you:

 

  • The question of working hard or smart is a false choice and many swimmers choose wrong
  • A better training strategy that yields faster and longer lasting results
  • A few examples that you can use in your next practice to begin seeing results

 


Do you prefer reading? Click below to read the transcript for this episode:

SBP 007: Hard Work vs. Smart Work. A Better Training Strategy (Transcript)


 

After you’re done listening I encourage you to apply this method to your swimming and see how many ways you can come up with to simultaneously hard and smart at the same time. This is how you will get 10x as much out of every practice. Always ask yourself at every practice – what can I work hard on right now?

 

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SBP 006: The Reason Why Swimmers Are Unhappy
6:53
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 6:53
SBP 006: The Reason Why Swimmers Are Unhappy

It’s that time again where I answer a question from a swimmer and the question this episode is:

I don’t get it. I train so hard everyday and I get pretty much the same results as the guy who slacks off the entire set and then sprints the last 50. What’s up with that? I’m beginning to think it’s not worth training hard anymore!

At first glance it seems like this question is about dealing with slackers, but there something deeper going on here and that is the issue that I want to address. It’s the issue of comparison and I know swimmers aren’t the only ones that struggle with this. In the middle of making this episode I realized that I too was guilty.

In this episode I talk about comparison and how it can be healthy and how it can be harmful and how you can avoid falling into the trap. Know anyone that falls into this trap? Do them a favor and send them this episode.



 

Don’t forget to help out by leaving a rating and a review on iTunes. I appreciate you and thanks for listening.

Review SwimBrain Podcast

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SBP 005: What Type of Fish Are You?
7:30
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 7:30
SBP 005: What Type of Fish Are You?

What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself. — Abraham Maslow

I was sitting in an honors ceremony listening to the Governor General of The Bahamas address a group of clueless high school graduates. He didn’t speak very long, but he encouraged us to be humble about our knowledge. He said that there are two kinds of people in the world: Those that don’t know and those that don’t know that they don’t know.

I was smart when he told me that and I thought he was just a guy who didn’t know. It’s been ten years and I’ve come to the realization that when I heard him speak I didn’t know that I didn’t know. Who knows what I’ll think of my present self in another 10 years.

Self-awareness is a process. A process that doesn’t occur naturally and if you want to grow as a swimmer then you will have to work at it. It won’t be fun at the beginning, but it will become more rewarding the more you probe into your mind.

Yes it is uncomfortable and yes it will take time, but should you choose not to pursue self-awareness you will be like the 100lb, 10-year old dog that still thinks she is a puppy.

If you still have no idea what I’m talking about it will make sense once you listen to this week’s podcast about a skinny little 12-year old boy transforming into a world heavyweight champion.



 

 

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SBP 004: Are You Prepared for the Most Important Moment of Your Swim Career?
8:08
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 8:08
SBP 004: Are You Prepared for the Most Important Moment of Your Swim Career?

Your life is made up of a ridiculous amount of moments and although it is impossible to remember all of them, each moment contributes to who you are as a person. With each new moment comes a new opportunity. An opportunity to choose. An opportunity to write your own story. But the sad truth is that a lot of us are just letting the moments pass us by and not actively writing our stories.

In this week’s podcast I:

  • Share an awkward story from CARIFTA 2002 in Barbados
  • Give away some secrets of elite swimmers
  • Highlight the most important moment of your swim career
  • Lay down the challenge to begin defining the moments instead of letting them define you.


 

200 breaststroke medal breaststroke dive Carifta 2002

 

 

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SBP 003: Are You Wasting Your Time With High Altitude Training Masks?
8:46
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 8:46
SBP 003: Are You Wasting Your Time With High Altitude Training Masks?

Every few months a new trend in fitness emerges. From new diets to new supplements to new techniques. There’s always something that’s claiming to make you a better athlete, but in reality a lot of those claims are false.

In this week’s episode we’re taking a look at a trend that became popular a while back — simulating high altitude training. In particular we are going to take a look at the claims of the Elevation Training Mask and see if it is able to stand behind the claims that it makes. As you can tell from reading the title, there’s no surprise in where I am headed with this.

 



 

Training Mask and High Altitude Training Resources

 

 

 

Photo Credit: US Air Force

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SBP 002: A New Racing Strategy: Sleep In and Skip Warm-Up
8:10
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 8:10
SBP 002: A New Racing Strategy: Sleep In and Skip Warm-Up

How many hours of sleep do you average every night? What about the nights before a meet? In this episode I try to make sense of the meet tradition that says swimmers should wake up early to swim in a cold and crowded pool hours before their race. After analyzing it I came up with a much better solution: skip warm-up.

Listen below to hear why and how you can skip warm-up at a swim meet without skipping the results.


Do you prefer reading? Click below to read the transcript for this episode:

SBP 002: A New Racing Strategy – Sleep In and Skip Warm-Up (Transcript)


 

 

Things To Check Out:

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SBP 001: Warm-up In The Shower
8:00
2017-09-23 00:39:37 UTC 8:00
SBP 001: Warm-up In The Shower

Throughout my swimming career there have been some times where the weather has gotten really cold. I remember the first time I saw snow at college and I decided to play in it until 3 in the morning. Two hours later I had morning practice. I never made it to that practice.

One of the hardest parts of practice all throughout my swimming career was the buildup of getting into a cold pool. I would stand on the edge for a few minutes (much to my coach’s annoyance), dive in, scream as loud as I could underwater and then sprint a 25. What can I say?

I’m an island boy. I detest cold water. I don’t even like drinking cold water. The only thing I hate more than cold water is being submerged in cold water. Morning practices and warm-up at a meet are the worst! I always asked myself, “Is there another way!” There just had to be another way.

I didn’t find that “way” until I started coaching and stumbled across the work of another coach that asked the same questions I was asking, only he asked it about 60 years earlier. We both wanted to know how to warm-up in the shower.

 

 

In this episode you will learn:

  • The benefits of being warm when starting a race
  • How to warm-up in the shower

 


Do you prefer reading? Click below to read the transcript for this episode:

SBP 001: Warm-up In The Shower (Transcript)


 

Things To Check Out:

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Handling Disappointment At The Olympic Level Like A Champion
40:32
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 40:32
Handling Disappointment At The Olympic Level Like A Champion

dustin tynes bahamian olympic swimmer

“I think success comes with a lot of sacrifices.”

When I sat down to chat with Bahamian Olympian Dustin Tynes a few of my questions were targeted at dealing with failure. I wanted to see what we could learn from the way Dustin handled disappointment and I had no idea I would get the opportunity to find out just one week later when he competed in his first ever Olympic race.

Listen to the beginning of this episode to hear how Dustin dealt with a disappointing first Olympic swim. We can learn from him.


Resources:

Dustin on Twitter

Dustin on Facebook

 

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Finding Value and Identity Outside of The Pool
24:03
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 24:03
Finding Value and Identity Outside of The Pool

“Whether you’re bagging groceries in a supermarket or the CEO of a company, you have irreplaceable value.” — Melissa Dayton


melissachipWe’re back with Melissa Dayton to continue our conversation, but this time in a different direction. Today’s focus is on ideas that are more important than a swimming performance. We are sharing ideas about building an identity that’s not hinged on a performance or it’s outcome. Building a group of friends that they can depend on in real life. Building a community of trusted adults that a child can turn to when they have screwed up.

I hope that the last part of this conversation inspires you to not only think, but also to talk about these concepts and begin to share the message that no swimmer can be replaced. I know discussing these ideas can often be uncomfortable, but remember that prevention is the name of the game.


 Conversation Timeline

  • The most important message Melissa has for teens (1:44)
  • Brain chemicals/self-medicating/drugs/nutrition in the role of mental health 4:06)
  • The book that all teenagers should read/finding identity (8:57)
  • The three levels of friendship (11:34)
  • How to reach out for help when you need it (15:42)

Resources

Victor Frankl – Man’s Search For Meaning

You Cannot Be Replaced

Favorite Quotes

“A really good friend will not lie for you.”

“You are not broken. We all have pain in life. We all have insecurities”

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Finding Hope When Parenting Becomes Difficult
55:33
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 55:33
Finding Hope When Parenting Becomes Difficult

“Sometimes the kids just become a master of hiding what they’re going through. They want everyone to think they’re still perfect, but we want them to be safe enough to admit they’re not. So we want to strengthen the adults so that they can do so.” –Melissa Dayton


Swim Parents

Chip & Melissa Dayton

Today our guest on the SwimBrain podcast is Melissa Dayton, author of the book “Crushed: When Parenting Is Hard.” I reached to Melissa because I thought that she would be able to share some insight and encouragement to all of our SwimBrain Parents. I was right.

But that’s not the main reason I invited her. My not so secret agenda is for us to begin approaching our sport from a much more holistic perspective and to make all of our efforts more swimmer-focused. Talking to people like Melissa is great because it remind us that though it’s easy to, we shouldn’t lose focus of the bigger picture. 

I hope that you enjoy our conversation. Personally, I found it refreshing to shift from the typical perspective of sports psychology and sports science and have a conversation that is very practical for parents all around the globe.


Conversation Timeline

  • How a suicide cluster inspired a movement (2:52)
  • The story of Melissa’s 8 children (9:08)
  • The parenting rollercoaster and raising children with different needs (10:24)
  • Finding time to pause and why a busy family doesn’t always equal success (13:23)
  • The side effects pushing our kids towards this one definition of success (15:56)
  • Recognizing the pressure we inadvertently place on young athletes (20:02)
  • Finding the balance between mediocrity and excellence throughout the experience (23:02)
  • How to avoid parenting teens out fear (28:09)
  • Types of parents: helicopter, mower and zamboni (29:37)
  • Dealing with guilt after a teenager screws up  (32:55)
  • Extending forgiveness in the face of repeat offenses (37:08)
  • True or False: Parenting becomes easier as children get older (44:18)
  • True or False: trying to control a child means they are less likely to go wrong (44:58)
  • True or False: Is it good to compare your family to others and learn from them (45:40)
  • True or False: Allowing risky behavior at home decreases chances for risky behavior elsewhere (48:28)
  • The genius of having small rules for teenagers to rebel against (49:50)

Resources

Favorite Quotes

  • “We have to be really careful because our kids perception is: you only value me if I’m successful at this. You only will think I’m successful if I get that D1. We may not feel that way, but that’s what they’re interpreting by us signing them up for everything and making sure they’re with the best trainer and the best this and the best that…”
  • “I think that sometimes those kids who get stuck on those patterns aren’t forward thinking. We want them to be thinking about the kind of adult they want to be, not just the kind of adult we want to raise.”

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Accelerated Learning: The Competitive Advantage of 21st Century Swimming Pt. 2
44:34
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 44:34
Accelerated Learning: The Competitive Advantage of 21st Century Swimming Pt. 2

“It’s really unlikely anymore that, especially in the 400 and down events, that just training hard you’re gonna win a gold medal. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I don’t think it’ll ever happen again. There’s always an anomaly, but I really think that just going and swimming 80 100s, you’re not going to win a gold medal in the 100 freestyle. It’s just not going to happen because you have to be so good technically at so many things.” — Sean Hutchison


Olympic Swim Coach Sean Hutchison

If you don’t have the physics right you’re not gonna have a chance.

Today I’m continuing my conversation with former Olympic swim coach Sean Hutchison and right off the blocks we are diving deep into the role of physics in winning an Olympic medal. Sean puts it succinctly: “If you don’t have the physics right you’re not gonna have a chance.”

This episode is loaded with actionable insights and I encourage to listen, take notes, apply and relisten.

Enjoy!


Conversation Timeline

  • Why the athletes who win always get the physics right (6:37)
  • Why hard training won’t get you an Olympic gold medal (9:20)
  • Using sound frequencies to calm the brain for learning (11:23)
  • The amazing science behind visual learning (13:35)
  • How IKKOS helped a pro golfer improve his swing from the couch (19:32)
  • The problem of using “coaching language” to teach young swimmers (24:05)
  •  How to become really good as a coach and set yourself apart (29:46)
  • A strategy for coaching mastery (33:30)
  • Two character traits the elite athletes have that make them successful (35:57)
  • The hard sacrifices on the road to mastery (41:12)

Resources

IKKOS Website
IKKOS on Facebook
IKKOS on Twitter

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Accelerated Learning: The Competitive Advantage of 21st Century Swimming
35:39
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 35:39
Accelerated Learning: The Competitive Advantage of 21st Century Swimming

Listening to my podcast will not make you better. It might make you feel better, but feeling better and being better are two very different things. It’s easy to feel better when you consume information, but knowledge itself is not an advantage. It’s only when we begin to apply knowledge that we can truly say that we have learned and if learning is essential to improvement then it makes sense that the swimmers (or anybody for that matter) who can learn faster and more deeply than others will have a significant competitive advantage.
Olympic swim coach

“The general idea that whoever is fastest is doing it right is foolish. There’s got to be something right about it, but it’s not necessarily the best.” — Sean Hutchinson

We are living in the 21st century and thanks to utilities like Google, filling our mental pools with knowledge has become almost effortless. The difficulty we now face is teaching our brains to swim efficiently in this information economy.

In part 1 of my conversation former Olympic coach Sean Hutchison and I delve into how his attitude towards learning allowed him to become a world class swimming coach. In part two we’ll hear how he is using neuroscience to encourage accelerated learning in swimmers and many other athletes.


Conversation Timeline

  • How Sean’s Olympic coaching career started (3:50)
  • Reflecting on the factors that made him successful (9:06)
  • One of the smartest things Sean ever did as a young coach (14:05)
  • The inevitable future of technology and sport (21:53)
  • Future threats to coaching (27:32)
  • Identifying and learning worthwhile skills (29:08)

Resources

Mastery by Robert Greene
IKKOS Website
IKKOS on Facebook
IKKOS on Twitter

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ISCA – A Game-Changing Conference For Sports Scientists and Swimming Coaches
38:53
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 38:53
ISCA – A Game-Changing Conference For Sports Scientists and Swimming Coaches

“Anybody that is successful talks to a lot of other people that are successful and also other people that are successful in other fields besides the field that they’re in. I think that makes you really successful.” — Doug Fonder


Pro tip: whenever you are considering going to a large conference like ISCA don’t make your decision solely on the cost and the lineup of speakers. Think also about the hidden value like creating friendships and partnerships with other attendees. It will be those friendships and conversations that spark your creativity and outlast your memories of the speakers and their topics.

Before we get to today’s episode watch this video to see what others are saying about the conference:

On the podcast today to give us a clearer idea of the ideas behind the conference and what makes it different from other swimming associations is ISCA director Doug Fonder. I know you’ll enjoy listening to Doug and if you listen to this and still have a few questions, feel free to contact me or head on over to their website. 


Conversation Timeline

  • Reflecting on Doug’s relationship with Vince Lombardi and his coaching style (2:30)
  • Mixing different coaching styles and the art of coaching  (4:33)
  • The ideas behind the formation of ISCA and its emphasis on sports science (6:16)
  • Answering the question: What did Michael Phelps do to become an Olympian? (9:17)
  • Who should attend the ISCA conference(10:57)
  • Getting certified with ISCA (12:41)
  • What new coaches should learn first to get their career rolling (15:14)
  • The crucial importance of continuing education for coaches (16:09)
  • The real value of the ISCA conference (17:34)
  • The dates and location of the conference and the reason behind them (19:57)
  • The cost of the conference and discount prices (21:03)
  • 2016 Lineup of speakers (22:04)
  • The cost of ISCA yearly membership and benefits (23:32)
  • Maintaining an open attitude even in the face of new evidence (24:47)
  • Key ideas and different approaches to successful coaching (26:38)
  • ISCA’s effort to ethically push the sport of swimming forward (32:00)
  • What keeps Doug busy outside of ISCA (33:18)
  • From adoption to Olympic trials (34:17)

Show Notes

The post ISCA – A Game-Changing Conference For Sports Scientists and Swimming Coaches appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 2
35:59
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 35:59
Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 2

Swimming technology researchLast week I shared a really interesting conversation that I had with with Dr. Rod Havriluk of Swimming Technology Research. I received good feedback from a few listeners and it really does make me happy when you enjoy the show. I really appreciate it when you take time to respond and give me feedback. Thank you!

If you happened to miss part 1, no worries, here it is: Part 1

In this episode I’m continuing my conversation with Dr. Havriluk and the second part is just as good as the first. As you listen to the research that Dr. Havriluk presents in this episode don’t fall into the trap of just thinking that this is some “cool/shocking research” and then forget about it after this episode ends.

Instead think of ways to use this new information to make your practices better and your times faster.


Conversation Timeline

  • Shocking results about the change of force production during a training season (1:44)
  • The problem of fatigue in learning technique (6:50)
  • The proper attitude of coaches toward new research (8:20)
  • Research isn’t written for coaches (10:30)
  • Encouraging a discussion between scientists and coaches (13:40)
  • Deciding which scientific principles to implement (18:33)
  • Seeing the rewards of his work (23:51)
  • Thoughts on the current state of research in the sport of swimming (26:15)
  • Speculating on the future of competitive swimming (29:05)
  • Thoughts on the elite swimming and changing the definition (30:17)
  • What Dr. Havriluk finds satisfying (and gets a kick out of) (31:35)

Show Notes

 

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Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 1
31:14
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 31:14
Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 1

As a kid with nonexistent backstroke skills the only thing I swam into more than the lane ropes was differing opinions on swimming technique. I hated the feeling of both, but at least the lane ropes ran parallel to each other.

My teenage mind reasoned that the only sure way to validate my technique was to copy it from the swimmers that I considered to be elite. I had no doubts that copying fast swimmers would give me the best possible chance at having great technique. I was wrong. 

Swimming technology research

Dr. Rod Havriluk

To point us in the right direction I asked the president of Swimming Technology Research, Dr. Rod Havriluk to share some of his insights with us. Dr. Havriluk’s work transcends borders as he travels to various countries speaking at conferences and hosting swimming clinics. It was at one of those clinics that I met him and I have been a follower of his research ever since.

I think that you’ll enjoy listening to our conversation and I’ll share part two in the next episode. Here’s Part 1:


Conversation Timeline

  • The individuals who have influenced Dr. Havriluk’s work (2:36)
  • The important role of deliberate practice in swimming mastery (6:20)
  • Shocking practice habits of high school swimmers (8:26)
  • Why we can’t completely discount the traditional approach to swimming. (10:58)
  • How our view on fast swimmers impedes our progress as a sport (12:54)
  • What the data says about the technique of the fastest swimmers in the world. (14:46)
  • Understanding how Aquanex works (17:15)
  • Why Dr. Havriluk uses technology to calculate the force production of swimmers hands (18:00)
  • Why more swimmers need to practice by themselves (20:04)
  • The side effects of a conditioning focused approach (23:20)
  • Why age is not the real impediment to better swimming technique (25:00)
  • How Dr. Havriluk developed an app to improve swimming technique (26:27)

Show Notes

The post Swimming Expert Shares Truths About Technique That Might Surprise You Pt. 1 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Crazy Talk For The Misfits
13:52
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 13:52
Crazy Talk For The Misfits

This episode is the last in a series of episodes talking about The Online Swimmer. In the last few episodes you can find previews of what can be expected in a Lane 5 & 6 membership, but for this episode about Lane 4 I decided to switch things up.

Since Lane 4 is a completely customized program I figured it was better to share the ideas behind what I’m doing since an accurate preview would be virtually impossible. Sometimes it helps to know the mind behind an idea and I hope this helps to give a clearer picture of what we’re aiming for here.

It’s difficult knowing which episodes to create because I want to address concerns and topics that I believe swimmers and parents need to hear about, but at the same time I want to keep it interesting and diverse with new guests.

Next episode the interviews begin again and we’ll be taking a look at the impact of science on the sport of swimming. It’s a good one, but for now, here’s a look at the thoughts behind The Online Swimmer. Let me know if you like these kinds of episodes.


 

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Push 3 Times For Better Races: A Sneak Peek at Lane 5
12:26
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 12:26
Push 3 Times For Better Races: A Sneak Peek at Lane 5

In today’s episode you’ll get an inside look at a course I created that that teaches swimmers about the path to mastery. The first lesson that I share talks about programming the body to respond to certain triggers. This is one of the common traits that we in elite athletes of all sports and it’s no doubt necessary for duplicating excellent performances.

The second lesson speaks briefly about the price of attaining mastery. All of the great swimmers you hear about have paid a price to reach the levels that they have. Since everybody has to pay a price the important to ask yourself is, “What price am I willing to pay?”

There is much more to lane 5 than is revealed in this episode and if you still have questions at the end of everything, please shoot me a message.


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Lane 6 Sneak Peek: Are There Limits To Swimming World Records?
12:20
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 12:20
Lane 6 Sneak Peek: Are There Limits To Swimming World Records?

This episode is a sneak peek at Lane 6 on theonlineswimmer.com A lane 6 membership is designed to have research delivered to you a couple of times per month in a format that’s very easy to understand. The ideal person for a Lane 6 membership is a coach who wants to stay abreast of swimming science, but doesn’t have the time to go looking for it.

In Lane 6 the research is interpreted and delivered so that coaches can spend their time focusing on what they do best. Have a listen and let me know what you think.

 

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Want To Switch Swim Clubs? 6 Questions To Help Avoid Regrets
11:58
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 11:58
Want To Switch Swim Clubs? 6 Questions To Help Avoid Regrets

 

In this episode you’ll find six questions to help you make better decisions as it relates to choosing swim clubs. Some of these questions are very blunt, but I prefer honesty over tragedy. If you have good information then you can make better choices and it may be uncomfortable to give in-depth answers, but trust me it’s worth the headache.

Have a listen and if after you listen you feel there are more questions that should be asked, feel free to list them in the comments below.

The post Want To Switch Swim Clubs? 6 Questions To Help Avoid Regrets appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

How This Mermaid Is Helping To Save Lives on Her Birthday
37:41
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 37:41
How This Mermaid Is Helping To Save Lives on Her Birthday

I truly want to give back… that’s what i love, that’s what I wanna do and I go for it. If people like it or not I don’t know. Who cares? I wanna go and do it.” — Merle Liivand


Merle Liivand Finis Rep

“The one thing I always say: Just keep swimming and trust the journey, it’s takes you to a better place.”

It was a pleasure interviewing Merle Liivand the Estonian mermaid for episode 32 of the SwimBrain podcast. I have a soft spot for entrepreneurs and trailblazers who have enough courage to step up and pursue their dreams. These kinds of swimmers are always welcome here at SwimBrain. Swimmers who remain role models no matter what life throws at them.

This year for her birthday instead of asking for gifts Merle is giving back to the sport that gave her so much.  She is raising funds to help teach children how to swim and you can find out more details and info on how you can get involved below. Have a listen, check out the links below and don’t forget to show Merle some love.

Conversation Timeline

  • Life lessons from a mermaid (3:00)
  • Why Merle travels around the world (4:43)
  • How a mermaid celebrates a birthday (5:42)
  • Why swimming is the cheapest life insurance (8:48)
  • The conditions of the 10k (9:20)
  • Where Merle’s birthday funds will go (10:17)
  • How to get financially involved with Merle’s project (12:47)
  • Representing Estonia @ the Olympic Trials (14:10)
  • Defining success for yourself in the pool (16:41)
  • How Merle decided at the age 14 to make a difference in the sport (19:56)
  • How Merle opened her swim company on a train (21:21)
  • Lessons from her mom about being a female in business (22:18)
  • Dealing with a childhood injury on a daily (24:17)
  • Advice on what to do when you’re not feeling it (28:18)
  • Why she listens to her mom now, but didn’t as a kid (30:06)
  • Why she Merle embraces all strokes even her weak ones(32:46) 

Links Mentioned

The post How This Mermaid Is Helping To Save Lives on Her Birthday appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 2
29:39
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 29:39
Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 2

You’ve got to take your sport seriously and be obsessive of course, but at the end of the day it’s about being fair. It’s about competition. It’s about absolute preparation and being the best you can be as yourself. Taking drugs, it’s not you. Even if you win, if you take something, some substance, it’s not you, it’s the drug. — Dr. Martin Hagger


champion athletes

“There are a lot of very talented swimmers that never make it because they don’t have that work ethic.”

 You may have heard the Time’ allegations of systematic doping in the Russian Swimming Federation. You may also have heard about the six Chinese swimmers that have recently tested positive for banned substances.

I know something you may not have heard about however. Have heard you heard about parents and coaches taking the time sit down with young athletes to chat about the the dark side of their competitive edge?

You may have, but I know that I haven’t and I’m ashamed to say that this was never a priority for me as a coach. It’s time to change this.

It’s easy to look at Russia and see three of their sports, swimming, wrestling and track & field, facing the possibility of not representing their country in the Olympics and shake our heads, but do we look at our failure to prepare athletes for the temptation of illegal substances and also shake our heads?

In today’s episode Dr. Martin Hagger speaks about avoiding the lure of performance enhancing drugs. As you listen, whether coach, parent or swimmer, you have a role to play in creating a clean sport.


 

Conversation timeline

  • Why the best swimmers are geeks (2:17)
  • The dark side of a competitive desire and performance enhancing drugs (5:45)
  • Talking about the future of athletics and deception (10:06)
  • Embracing new technology with a healthy skepticism (14:41)
  • Advice on beginning to build mental skills and becoming a geek (18:00)
  • Teaching swimmers to be their own coach (22:25)
  • What separates the best swimmers from the amateurs (23:52)

Resources

The post Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 2 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 1
34:14
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 34:14
Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 1

champion athletesOne of my favorite things about the SwimBrain podcast is that we have both swimmers and researchers on the show. This allows us take what the researchers are saying, compare it to what elite swimmers are doing and chose the best method based on the evidence.

Just taking somebody’s word that a technique works is never a good our guest on this episode, Dr. Martin Hagger encourages swimmers to experiment to find which psychological techniques work best for them.

 Listen in as Dr. Hagger explores the research to see how swimmers can hone their minds tobecome better in the water


Conversation Timeline

  • Why athletes are now leaning more on psychology (2:36)
  • Discussing which ages swimmers should begin psychological training (5:35)
  • The best predictors of confidence in an athlete (9:51)
  • How swimmers should build confidence before the race (12:34)
  • Why a swimmer should try different race-prep routines (16:00)
  • How to build confidence by practice simulate a race (18:41)
  • Should young swimmers copy successful athlete’s mental strategies (20:43)
  • What state of mind you should have bore you hop into the pool (24:29)
  • Practicing mental skills in practice (26:28)
  • What triathletes get wrong about their training (28:28)
  • Surprising strategies for getting familiar with race day conditions (30:49)
  •  The concept of total sport that prepares you for everything (31:17)

Resources

The post Building Confidence, Racing Routines, and Doping Pt. 1 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 3
45:05
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 45:05
The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 3

We often see elite swimmers performing and standing on medal podiums and wish that we could be like them.  We try to copy their stroke technique, their workouts and their racing strategies, but there is so much more that we don’t see. Without an understanding of the sacrifices they made to stand where they stand

This is why at SwimBrain we don’t focus much on swimming technique or physical conditioning.  Instead we place emphasis on what makes all of that possible: the athlete’s mind.

As you listen to this last segment of Roy’s story I hope his fighter mindset is contagious and it inspires you to fight through whatever circumstances you may face during your swim career.



 

Listen to Part 1

Listen to Part 2

Conversation Timeline

  • The accident that left Roy Burch in a wheelchair (3:35)
  • How he mentally worked through a physical disability  (12:34)
  • The surprising benefit of rediscovering his body in the water (15:47)
  • How Roy balanced pushing through his injury without pushing too far (20:51)
  • Who influenced Roy and taught him how to be a fighter (24:51)
  • Why Roy is thankful looking back on his injury (27:55)
  • The stories behind Roy’s tattoo (30:17)
  • Roy’s recovery status (34:26)
  • Roy’s favorite cartoon character (36:40)
  • Roy’s favorite quote (37:19)
  • Parting words of wisdom (40:19)

Links

The post The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 3 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 2
35:16
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 35:16
The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 2

“Maintain the perfection or as close to perfection as possible so that when you get to that point, when you get to that big moment, everything is done. You can just shut your brain off and go on autopilot and be fast and strong.” — Roy Burch


Roy Burch Bermudian Olympian SwimmerFirst things first: if you missed part 1 you need to get caught up here.

The reason this podcast exists is to provide an inside look at the strategies that elite swimmers use and this episode doesn’t disappoint. In our conversation today we take a glance behind the scenes at Roy’s training as well as the mindset that allows his training to shine when he needs it the most.

In part 1 I jokingly mentioned Roy’s life  being a movie, but as I’m publishing part 2 I’m becoming more convinced. So i guess this isn’t part 2, but scene 2. Action!


Conversation Timeline

  • Pushing through rejection to train with elite swimmers like Cullen Jones, Ryan Lochte, Arianna Vanderpool Wallace (2:26)
  • Learning and adjusting to a new training environment (10:15)
  • The famous team elite climbing rope and its mental benefits (11:37)
  • Why Roy was upset after winning his heat in the London Olympics and breaking a national record (15:27)
  • Practically dealing with the pressure of performing at the Olympics (18:40)
  • An inside look at the mental preparation of an Olympic swimmer (21:15)
  • Practicing shutting off and engaging your brain during practice (26:26)
  • Ideas for adapting coaching styles to short attention spans (29:44)
  • Embracing a new generation of learning styles (32:13)

Links

The post The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 2 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 1
29:47
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 29:47
The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 1

“It just became second nature to compete and win against the kids that I was around mainly because I wanted to win and I was competitive, not because I was more talented or faster.” Roy Burch


Have you ever met somebody and thought: “Your life should be a movie”?

Roy Burch Bermudian Olympian Swimmer

“Plenty of those kids were better and much more naturally talented than I was. I just had the will to win and train and win in training.”

That’s how I felt when I spoke to 2x Bermudian Olympian, Roy Burch. The more we spoke the more I knew that his story would inspire swimmers all around the world. Throughout his journey you’ll find rejection, injury and great loss, yet in each of those setbacks you’ll find that Roy has always emerged the victor.

Today, I’m excited to be releasing the first part of my conversation with Roy. This is a three part series and in part 1 we take a look at the early stages of his swimming career.

In Part 2 of Roy Burch’s Story we’ll take a look at how Roy overcame rejection on his Olympic journey and then we’ll finish with part three and learn how he battled an extremely rare injury that left him in a wheelchair.

Part 2

Part 3

Listen in to Part 1 of our conversation.

Conversation Timeline

  • Roy’s early start to swimming (2:15)
  • Feeding the desire to compete and win (4:30)
  • Why success for Roy was never about talent (7:00)
  • What motivated Roy to train hard as a young swimmer (8:40)
  • Adjusting to the international swimming scene (10:30)
  • The swimmers who influenced Roy Burch (13:05)
  • Roy’s training environment (15:30)
  • The benefits of training with the top elite swimmers in the world (17:35)
  • What Roy looks for in a great training environment (18:55)
  • How Arianna Vanderpool Wallace influenced Roy’s swimming training (20:25)
  • Understanding your body to gain a competitive edge (22:08)
  • The secret of increasing your power by engaging your big muscles (24:00)

Links

 

The post The Tale of A Fighter: An Olympian Who Continues to Beat The Odds Pt. 1 appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Cultivating A Growth Mindset: Practical Advice For Parents and Coaches
38:04
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 38:04
Cultivating A Growth Mindset: Practical Advice For Parents and Coaches

As parents and coaches we know that finding the rights words to say to a swimmer after a bad race can sometimes seem impossible. Even worse is that the right words don’t matter if the timing isn’t right. Sometimes silence seems best.

coach reed

Coach Reed

In this final part of our chat with Coach Reed we bring some practical advice for both coaches and parents on creating the right mindset in young swimmers. Listen all the way to the end to get a personal challenge from Coach Reed.

Topic Timeline

  • Should we teach girls differently than boys (1:40)
  • How to shift a swimmer’s perspective after a bad race (5:15)
  • Dealing with failure by encouraging process thinking (7:00)
  • The dangers of a fixed mindset (8:30)
  • The common mistake parents make when speaking to young athletes (11:05)
  • Why sarcasm shouldn’t be present on the pool deck (17:25)
  • Coach Reed’s favorite coaching movie (20:54)
  • Coach Reed’s top book recommendations (21:40)
  • The leaders that coach Reed looks up to (22:55)
  • Coach Reed’s upcoming book Echo (26:55)
  • A challenge for parents (30:29)
  • A challenge for coaches (30:45)
  • A challenge for swimmers (31:25)

Resources

The post Cultivating A Growth Mindset: Practical Advice For Parents and Coaches appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

What Happens When Hollywood Coaching Meets Real Life
32:44
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 32:44
What Happens When Hollywood Coaching Meets Real Life

I won’t even bother naming the titles because I’m sure you’ve at least seen one of them. You know, the sports themed movie with the intense coach that puts his athletes through hell to win the championship.

 

They all end in similar fashion and everyone leaves the theater inspired, but I’d like to raise a question: what happens after the credits stop? What takes place in an athlete’s head right after the championship? What about 20 years later? What happens when that athlete becomes a coach?

The shortsightedness of our approach to building the sport of swimming is betrayed by our lack of satisfactory answers to those questions. We need answers not just for the sake of knowing, but for the well being of the millions of young swimmers and athletes being coached every day.

Join us and let’s raise the bar for coaches all around the world to leave movie-star coaching for the movies…actually scratch that. Why not aim to portray a realistic and healthy example of coaching role models that our kids can follow?

Topic Timeline

  • The side of coaching that hollywood doesn’t show you (4:00)
  • Viewing youth sports as a marathon (7:23)
  • The most effective way to change coaching styles (11:22)
  • 3 powerful communication channels for coaches to influence athletes (17:25)
  • What really matters for coaches at the end of the day (25:15)
  • Do athletes really respond to negative talk? (26:20)
  • The lasting physical damage of verbal abuse (27:35)

Resources

The post What Happens When Hollywood Coaching Meets Real Life appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Transforming Swimming Performances Through The Power of Words
48:09
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 48:09
Transforming Swimming Performances Through The Power of Words

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”


That’s what I would repeatedly say to my primary schools friends whenever they said mean things to me. I my mind I could see the effects of sticks and stones and to me they seemed much more painful, but the truth is far from that statement.

coach reed

“Silence is not a primary communication channel. We can’t convey total meaning in silence. Sometimes silence conveys the wrong meaning.”

Words are very powerful and their effects can last a lifetime, and instead of pointing fingers we are starting with the swimmer. Join me and Coach Reed Maltbie as we take a look at the swimmer’s internal conversation and see how words, verbalized or not, can keep a swimmer from reaching their potential.

If you’ve ever noticed that your mind is racing before you even hop onto the blocks then this episode is for you. Make sure you listen all the way to the end when Coach Reed provides a clear outline of how to form a partnership with your mind and channel your self-talk.



Topic Timeline

  • How coach Reed started coaching at age 16 (2:38)
  • Why Coach Reed talks to himself/what is self talk (7:00)
  • Is self-talk verbalized or is it internal? (7:56)
  • Why race visualization is self-talk (9:10)
  • Why we should remain silent when swimmers fail (10:14)
  • How to start becoming aware of our own thoughts (12:36)
  • How embrace performance anxiety(15:28)
  • How to channel your thoughts before a race (18:39)
  • The power of visualization (19:56)
  • Experiencing a flow state partnering the mind and the body (23:37)
  • The downward spiral of negative self talk (28:27)
  • The American Idol Syndrome and false praise (31:53)
  • Why we should be learning from failure (34:57)
  • Being wary of contagious negativity (36:11)
  • What the culture of a winning team looks like (38:11)
  • Specific steps to taking control of your mind (41:11) 

Show Notes

Coach Reed’s TED Talk

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For Love of The Game movie clip

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The post Transforming Swimming Performances Through The Power of Words appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Study says: The Swimmers You Call Your Friends Are Likely Not Your Real Friends
7:00
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 7:00
Study says: The Swimmers You Call Your Friends Are Likely Not Your Real Friends

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10


I’m curious, how many friends do you have on Facebook? Hundreds? Thousands? However many “friends” you have on Facebook, I’m willing to bet no more than 5 of those are your real friends. Don’t believe me? Read the research for yourself:

http://www.engadget.com/2016/01/25/facebook-friends-dunbar-study/

Think about that for a second. Out of all of your social media friends, in an emotional crisis you can only count on 4 of them…maybe 5 if you’re lucky. That’s kinda scary isn’t it? It makes me pause and wonder who my friends really are.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Prov. 18:24

What about you? Are there people in your life that you can count on when things get rough? Is anyone holding you accountable to the goals and dreams that you’re aiming for?

If the answer to those questions is no then I want to warn you: develop those friendships! You will need them when things get tough.

This is the who of setting great goals. We have to put measures in place to really increase our chances of making our goals. One of those measures earlier was a deadline. Another measure is close friends who will give you a push when things get tough and life gets dark.

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As you listen to today’s episode I want to encourage you to find great friends. Don’t follow the trend of quickly calling someone your friend. Instead, spend time developing friendships that you can rely on when everything else fails.


Show Notes

  • http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/3/1/150292#sec-4
  • Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Prov. 13:20

  • Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared. Prov. 22:24&25

  • Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. Prov 17:17

 

The post Study says: The Swimmers You Call Your Friends Are Likely Not Your Real Friends appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

How Some Swimmers Achieve the Impossible: Setting Powerful Goals
6:09
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 6:09
How Some Swimmers Achieve the Impossible: Setting Powerful Goals

Find your why, and then you will find your how. As the old saying goes, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” For me, finding my will made finding my way possible. Without the will, the way would have been way too hard.

— Robert Kiyosaki


 

This was one of my favorite episodes to record just because of how deep and important this topic is to every human. We all set out achieve something. Even the person determined not to set goals has a goal. We can’t escape it.

 

We all do it, but some of us do it a lot better than others. Some athletes never set goals. Other set goals and never really make them. The elite athletes however, set goals and achieve things that seem impossible to their competitors. Why is that?

A big part of the answer lies in one three letter word: WHY.

Take a look at the video below before you listen to the podcast.

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This will give you goosebumps..If it was easy everyone would do it.

Posted by Soa “The Hulk” Palelei on Friday, 29 January 2016

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The post How Some Swimmers Achieve the Impossible: Setting Powerful Goals appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

How To Set A Specific Goal that Turns Into A Mission
5:41
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 5:41
How To Set A Specific Goal that Turns Into A Mission

A goal without a deadline is an option. A goal with a deadline is a mission.

Today we’re talking about goals and we are keeping it short and simple. This is episode comes in short around 5 minutes long, but it is full of practical advice to help swimmers be a lot wiser when setting goals.

As we are entering a new year it seems fitting to take some time to talk about setting goals. When I swam nobody ever really spoke to me in depth about goal setting. I always just picked a random time to aim for and hoped for the best. If I made it I made it, If i didn’t…I didn’t. Life went on.

Don’t be like me!

Any swimmer that even listens to this episode will be much further ahead than I was during my swim career because they’ll understand the what and the when of great goal making.

Enjoy!

The post How To Set A Specific Goal that Turns Into A Mission appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

If You Have A Smartphone Your Chances of Swimming in College Are Now A Lot Higher
1:00:45
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 1:00:45
If You Have A Smartphone Your Chances of Swimming in College Are Now A Lot Higher

“You are a student, you need that education. That’s the most important part. Don’t be looking at what team necessarily you want to swim for if you’re not gonna get a valuable education that’s. gonna work for you for the rest of your life. You need to go to a school where you’re gonna have a degree that is gonna get you to where you want to go.” –Eric Knight, Co-Founder of LemonAid


Finding a great college can be difficult. Finding a great college with a great swim team that really wants you in their pool is near impossible. Well, at least it used to be. Thanks to Nate Boyle and Eric Knight, finding the right college swimming program for you is now as simple as swiping right or swiping left.

These gentlemen created an app called LemonAid that makes finding great college programs fast and as painless as possible and they are on the SwimBrain podcast to tell you all about their app. If you are a swimmer in high school right now this podcast is for you whether or not you believe that you are fast enough to swim in college.

To learn more about the minds and the story behind LemonAid have a listen to the episode below.


Timeline of Topics

  • The college recruiting story that inspired Lemonaid (2:15)
  • Identifying some problems in modern college recruiting (5:03)
  • How Nate and Eric’s paths crossed (7:26)
  • The initial rejection and adoption of Eric’s idea (10:25)
  • What Lemonaid can do (16:07)
  • Explaining the benefits of video feature of Lemonaid (22:50)
  • Why athletes are not great at promoting themselves (23:45)
  • Highlighting some drawbacks or current methods of college recruiting(25:40)
  • The recommended age to begin using Lemonaid (29:27)
  • The dating rules of Lemonaid (33:11)
  • How lemonaid removes obstacles for all levels of swimmers globally(37:13)
  • Why using lemonaid is a smarter first move than filling out a college application is $41 (41:00)
  • Advice to swimmers who think they are not college material (44:25)
  • Top mistakes that swimmers make going into college (49:24)
  • The social aspect of Lemonaid and recommendations (54:45)

Show Notes

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The post If You Have A Smartphone Your Chances of Swimming in College Are Now A Lot Higher appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Understanding How Elite Swimmers Perform In Spite of Sweaty Palms
57:02
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 57:02
Understanding How Elite Swimmers Perform In Spite of Sweaty Palms

swimming when nervous

“Teaching swimming without teaching how to live is lacking perspective.” — Jan Homolak

Want to know if you’re an elite swimmer? Answer the following question: How do you handle being nervous before a race? Everyone gets nervous before a big race, but the elite swimmers are the swimmers that understand this process and know how to use different techniques to swim through their nerves.

If you’ve never been taught how to race like an elite athlete then a great first step for you is to listen to this episode with our friend Jan Homolak. Jan is a med student hailing from Zagreb, Croatia with an expertise in the fields of neuroscience and exercise science.

Although Jan is an expert compared to you and I he is quite humble about his knowledge which is proven by one of my favorite quotes from this episode: “I think that we’re still too stupid to understand it.”

Enjoy this wisdom of this episode, but more importantly, apply it and always remember: Great races take practice.



 

Timeline of Topics

  • What percentage of a race is mental (7:25)
  • Mental preparation in practice and different types of talent (9:00)
  • Exploring the concept of associative thinking (14:15)
  • Examples of negative associative thinking (17:32)
  • One main trait that differentiates elite athletes (18:48)
  • How distance swimmers can use dissociative thinking (20:15)
  • How focusing on air inhalation makes swimmers faster (21:50)
  • The benefits and dangers of racing routines (23:15)
  • The age to begin learning mental skills, which skills to learn and why these skills are important (26:50)
  • Why swimming should teach life skills  (28:40)
  • How lack of psychological skills can lead to an athlete quitting (31:35)
  • What’s happening in your brain before you race (33:20)
  • Two major differences separating elite athletes from the rest (36:31)
  • Different mental techniques  you can use to have a great race (38:26)
  • Anticipating obstacles and overcoming them–the if, then approach (41:20)
  • The psychological benefits of Brett Hawke’s famous puke session(42:30)
  • The power of negative thinking (43:34)
  • The mystery and “luck” behind a perfect race (45:45)
  • The single, most-effective, last-minute technique for becoming relaxed for a race (49:30)
  • How to stop sweaty palms in a few seconds (50:30)
  • Why you should own your sport (53:15)

Resources:

Brain over Brawn

My Favorite Quotes

“Psychological traits are practically inseparable from every other trait of the person.”

“I think that we’re still too stupid to understand it.”

“Teaching swimming without teaching how to live is lacking perspective.”

 

The post Understanding How Elite Swimmers Perform In Spite of Sweaty Palms appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Swimming Nutrition Ideas For Every Moment of A Swimmer’s Day
1:02:50
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 1:02:50
Swimming Nutrition Ideas For Every Moment of A Swimmer’s Day

Swimming Nutrition

“As long as you have a base of a healthy diet then you will perform well. It’s all about that nutrient timing that’s gonna make you perform better.” –Steph Saullo

In this episode (#18) I had the pleasure of chatting with Steph Saullo, a performance dietician based out of Charlotte North Carolina. One of my favorite parts of this episode is Steph taking the time to break down the entire day of a swimmer and explain the nutrition they need at the crucial moments during their day. Instead of just rambling on about carbohydrates and proteins Steph highlighted dozens of tasty food options. that swimmers can choose from.

I know that often times swim parents take a guess at what’s best for their swimmer, but Steph is taking the guessing part out of the equation. If you like what you are hearing in this episode you can get more nutrition information at the link Here.



Topics Timeline

  • Experimenting to find the ideal nutrition plan (4:00)
  • Why your nutrition plan should be unique and some important factors in planning (6:40)
  • Googling fad diets (8:15)
  • Why multivitamins are an insurance plan (9:00)
  • How parents can navigate “expert” nutrition advice on the Internet (12:45)
  • General guiding principles for all athletes (13:52)
  • Practicing good nutrition habits (16:30)
  • How to decide what to eat before morning practice (18:30)
  • Finding great lunch options at a school cafeteria (22:20)
  • Deciding on meal/snack options after school (26:20)
  • How to get in tune with your hunger cues (28:05)
  • Refueling during a workout (30:50)
  • What makes a sports drink a sports drink (32:24)
  • Homemade gatorade and alternatives (34:25)
  • Crucial refueling after a workout (36:10)
  • Telltale signs of poor nutrition (38:05)
  • The timing of dinner and bedtime snacks (38:50)
  • Routine race-day meals and snacks (40:00)
  • Monitoring hydration levels (42:50)
  • Eating properly during taper (46:00)
  • Hacks to simplify cooking (47:00)
  • Carb loading for swimmers (50:10)
  • Nitrates and beet juice (51:50)
  • Rapid fire questions (54:15)
  • Parting words of wisdom (59:05)

 

References

NSF

USP

Get more nutrition advice

 

The post Swimming Nutrition Ideas For Every Moment of A Swimmer’s Day appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

The Intersection of Faith, Swimming and The University
55:02
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 55:02
The Intersection of Faith, Swimming and The University

Connor Bos swimmingToday’s guest is a man in search of an Olympic trials cut. He’s an NCAA Division 1 swimmer looking to make a name not for himself, but for Jesus Christ. In today’s show Connor Bos takes some time to give us a glimpse inside of his busy schedule. It’s interesting to see how he finds balance amidst the demands of being a student athlete.
If I had to guess I’d say this conversation will be most beneficial to high-school swimmers that are planning on swimming at the college level. As a club swimmer I know that I was clueless about the demands of college swimming and an interview like this might have helped me be a little more informed.
As you listen, remember that this is not typical for a student athlete. Connor chooses to be very active and goes beyond the call of duty. As he also points out, college athletes have significantly more control over their schedules than high school athletes. Crazy schedule or not though the key is finding balance.

Conversation Topics

  • The factors at play in choosing s swimming university (5:40)
  • Adjusting to the demand of swimming at the university level (10:00)
  • A typical college day schedule (15:20)
  • Squeezing in video games and Netflix (17:20)
  • Choosing to stay very active on campus (17:35)
  • Using gifts to bring God glory (19:00)
  • Recharging in the middle of busyness (21:00)
  • What fun looks like (21:45)
  • Continuing to train hard when there is no motivation (24:50)
  • Staying focus on goals and enjoying the results (27:40)
  • Converting failures into positive enjoy (30:20)
  • Evaluating the role of Christianity in athletic success (32:20)
  • The benefits of having mentors in your life (36:50)
  • Being unashamed of your faith in the pool (41:00)
  • Using worship songs to get in the zone (44:30)
  • Rapid Fire Questions (45:40)
  • Being thankful to your supporters (52:00)

Leave a Review


Show Notes:

Gardner-Webb University

30-day Mental Challenge 

The post The Intersection of Faith, Swimming and The University appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

The Crucial Role of Failure in Shaping A Successful Olympian
1:07:39
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 1:07:39
The Crucial Role of Failure in Shaping A Successful Olympian

“My career has probably been mostly failures more than successes really when I look back at it, but regardless of that when I did this interview you still introduced me as…this is Vereance, he’s been to the olympics, he’s a national champion. Never once have I been introduced as, “this is Vereance, he lost Carifta back in 2008”. I know who I am. Failures have never defined me, only my successes.” –Elvis Vereance Burrows

 

Honest question: When was the last time you saw an Olympian winning medals and wondered what it took for them to get to that point? It’s not a question that we often consider, but it’s one that needs to be asked if only for the benefit of the kids that idolize them.

We we ignore the journeys that produce Olympians we end up with a generation of swimmers trying unrealistically to mimic an end result. We copy the techniques and drills and diets, but we pay little attention to developing the mind that powers these results.

I really enjoyed talking to Vereance because of his ability to remain genuine through his successes. His authenticity gives us an inside look into some of the struggles of top athletes that we never see otherwise.

Some of the topics we cover are below:

Conversation Timeline

  • Planning for life after swimming
  • Training with the competition in mind
  • The importance of realistic baby steps
  • Being real even in the spotlight
  • The importance of being motivated from within
  • What to look for in an ideal training environment
  • Swimming unexpected best times
  • Going to Olympics at age 19
  • Looking at the Olympics as just a swim meet
  • Race preparation 
  • The danger of overthinking the race
  • Maintaining a focused attitude in practice
  • Trying to be macho and swim through injuries
  • The surprising benefits of distractions before a race
  • Funny questions about being from the Bahamas
  • The state of competitive swimming in the Bahamas
  • The Elvis Initiative
  • Changing Pain to Pleasure and embracing failure in practice
  • Fighting through the death
  • Not allowing others to limit you because of their fear

As you listen, I hope you gain an appreciation for the man behind the success. Enjoy!


Leave A Review 


Show Notes

Favorite Quotes:

  • “I’ve got to not think about racing because my body already knows how to race, it’s got that killer instinct already.”
  • “I’m intrinsically motivated so I know what I have to do to beat whoever I’m trying to beat or to get whatever goal I’m trying to get…winning becomes an obsession.” 
  • “I never thought I could make the Olympics until I made the Olympics.”
  • “You shouldn’t come out of the gates looking at the Olympics…like I said, I had to beat Denaj first…”

The post The Crucial Role of Failure in Shaping A Successful Olympian appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

Exploring Key Components of A Great Strength Training Program For Swimmers
1:05:59
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 1:05:59
Exploring Key Components of A Great Strength Training Program For Swimmers

“Keep fighting! There’s always another way. There’s always another way to get better. There’s always a way to keep improving.” — Chris Ritter

 

Over the past 10 years+ Chris Ritter of RitterSP has been getting great results with swimmers of all ages around the globe. You may not be familiar with his name or his work, but you’re probably familiar with the name some of the athletes he’s had a chance to work with such as Cullen Jones and Mark Gangloff (2008 US Olympic gold medalists).

As I was talking to Chris one thought kept coming back to my mind: I wish I’d had this conversation 15-20 years earlier. That’s okay though. What’s done is done and I guess I’m now on my way to becoming an old fart. Hopefully you still have the opportunity to make a difference in your swim career.

Even though we cover a lot of topics briefly, give this episode a good listen and take the time to think things through and incorporate them into your training if possible.

Topics Chris Touched On

 

[one_half first=]
  • What you need to get right before you start training.
  • When to overthink and when not to think.
  • Having peace of mind and confidence during racing.
  • Channeling nervousness before a race.
  • Common misconceptions about strength training.
  • Avoiding injuries through durability.
  • The importance of athlete specific training programs.
  • Good goals for a dryland program.
  • Training movements vs muscles.
  • Pushing & pulling, squatting & hinging.
  • Why dryland workouts shouldn’t mimic a pool workout. [/one_half]
[one_half first=]
  • Commitment to accomplishing your goal
  • Great athletes and risk taking.
  • The importance of grit over talent.
  • Neural strength gain vs structural strength gain.
  • The importance of measuring progress.
  • An explanation of engaging your core.
  • A better alternative to crunches.
  • Why coaches should allow themselves to be questioned.
  • How elite athletes respond to difficulties.
  • Good strength training philosophy.
  • How to have a great warm-up on land.
  • Why you need to be better at pull-ups as a swimmer. [/one_half]


Show Notes:

“I think that if swimmers gave themselves a mental break when they need it a lot of them would last longer and do better and I wish that coaches would be encouraging of that as well and not look down upon that and not give the swimmer a hard time if that’s in the best interest of the athlete.” — Chris Ritter

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SBP 014: Big Dreams through Baby Steps
4:29
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 4:29
SBP 014: Big Dreams through Baby Steps

“The way to do a great deal is to keep on doing a little. The way to do nothing at all is to be continually resolving that you will do everything.” — Charles Spurgeon


There was a time when I would get really excited about having conversations with people who had big dreams. We would talk for hours and I would leave feeling like I could walk on air. I kept having these conversations for years before I realized the problem…I never took action.
 
My excuse was always that I didn’t know where to start and that crippled me from running with my dream. I finally got tired of the cycle and I did something. I built a swimming website (not swimbrain). When I took that first step things were a bit shaky, but then I took another baby step and pretty soon I was walking.
 
Today I am running two successful swimming websites and a swimming podcast, but I’m only starting to pick up speed. The website you see now might look impressive, but it is a result of many baby steps. Why am I saying all of this?
 
I just want to share my story with you and hopefully provide some inspiration to you to not just talk about goals and dreams, but to do them. That’s what this episode is about. The SwimBrain podcast is taking a big step forward after this episode and I’m glad you are along for the journey.
Have a listen and I’d love to hear what you think about the upcoming changes.

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SBP 013: Snapping Out of A Panic Attack in 60 Seconds
8:42
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 8:42
SBP 013: Snapping Out of A Panic Attack in 60 Seconds

Congratulations are definitely in order! You made it all the way to the fourth part of our series on focus. Now I know you might be wondering why I am so excited about such a small thing? Well, nowadays very few swimmers have the discipline to stick with anything for long and swimmers with discipline always achieve a lot in the sport.

This week I’m talking a bout panic attacks and breathing and staying in control in the present. This is by no means some sort of official medical or psychological procedure for treating panic attacks.  It is just a really helpful technique for swimmers who find themselves in the pool or in any other situation where they are finding it difficult to breathe.

Typically in that scenario a swimmer feels like they are not getting enough Oxygen and their breathing is frantic and shallow. Make no mistake about it…forcing yourself to breathe through your nose in the middle of a panic attack is extremely hard because you already feel like you’re suffocating. If however you begin to practice following your breath now, when a panic attack happens guess what…it’s already a habit to breathe deeply.

This is the true power of focus. To control your inner state regardless of how you feel. Most athletes know that their mind controls their body, but only the wise athletes know that they can also use their body to control their mind.

Have a listen and let me know what you think.



 

 

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SBP 012: How To Know When It’s Time To Leave Your Swim Team
9:43
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 9:43
SBP 012: How To Know When It’s Time To Leave Your Swim Team

Have you ever considered leaving your swim team because you don’t like the way they do things? I know I have and I was the coach! It’s never an easy decision and sometimes leaving a club gets really messy and people get hurt and you lose friends and relationships come to an end. I’ve seen it happen and you probably have too. It’s not pretty and it doesn’t have to be that way though. There are other options.

In this episode we talk about knowing when it is the right time to leave a swim club and knowing when you should stick it out. The reality is leaving can be hard and staying can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. I also talk about a third option that is becoming more popular, but it’s not for everyone.

If you’re thinking about quitting leaving your swim team anytime soon. You should definitely give this podcast a listen and let me know what you think in the comments.



The post SBP 012: How To Know When It’s Time To Leave Your Swim Team appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

SBP 011: The First Baby Step To Being A Swimmer With A Killer Focus
5:35
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 5:35
SBP 011: The First Baby Step To Being A Swimmer With A Killer Focus

Do you remember your first steps as a baby? You probably don’t but wouldn’t it be amazing if you could look back and experience all of the emotion from that moment again? What about your first swimming strokes? Do you remember that?

I always wonder what I would say if I could communicate to myself as a baby trying to walk. Okay, maybe I don’t always think of that, but I have thought of it before. I think one of the things I would say is “It’s okay to be frustrated, that’s normal.” or “Be patient and keep trying. It will come.”

I am going to say the same thing to you as you begin your journey to developing a killer focus. It’s weird, I don’t quite feel qualified to give that advice because I’m still learning myself and I fall…a lot. Baby steps! One example is this podcast. It’s soooo hard to stay focused while writing this because my fiancé is messaging me on WhatsApp and even though you’re cool and all of that…I’d much rather talk to her than write to you. 

Staying focused is a battle we all face and to be honest, you will lose. That’s okay. The trick is not to focus on your losses (see what I did there?). 

If you try to “just start” being more focused you will fail. That’s not the way life works. You wouldn’t tell a kid who is learning how to swim to just start swimming butterfly right? When it comes to learning a complex skill whether it is walking or swimming or focus, the best method is always breaking it into segments and taking it one step at a time.

If you’ve never worked on developing your ability to focus (or even if you have), welcome to the first baby step. In this episode I lay out the first baby step that you should take to start becoming a swimmer with a killer focus.

I hope you enjoy this episode. (I made it all the way through writing this without picking up my phone! How’s that for focus.)


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SBP 010: One Camera Trick You Need to Master to be an Elite Swimmer
6:59
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 6:59
SBP 010: One Camera Trick You Need to Master to be an Elite Swimmer

I need to come clean and say that I stole the idea for this episode from Tony Robbins. Well maybe not the whole episode, but definitely the exercise I used at the beginning. Tony used it on stage to demonstrate the power of focus in a slightly different way than I use it in this episode, but hey, it still works. I don’t want to spoil it for you so I’ll let you listen to it for yourself.

This series mark the beginning of a deeper look into the role of focus in the success of swimmers at the elite level. You can think of this as the introduction to the series and my main goal in this episode is to bring your attention to the need for mental training especially in the area of focusing. I decided to do that because the sad truth is that many swimmers don’t even realize that they need mental training.

Here are a few quotes from this episode:

Everybody you know has the ability to focus, but not everyone knows how to use the power of focus to become a great athlete.

Focus can be as skittish as a wild animal and as elusive as the wind, but you can tame a wild animal and you can definitely harness the power of the wind.

There are a lot of distractions that will demand your attention and unless you’ve trained yourself to focus with a shallow depth of field your performances will be all over the place.



Thanks for listening, I appreciate you.

The post SBP 010: One Camera Trick You Need to Master to be an Elite Swimmer appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

SBP 009: Why Most Swimming Drills Are A Waste Of Your Time.
6:52
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 6:52
SBP 009: Why Most Swimming Drills Are A Waste Of Your Time.

Just in case you didn’t know, I dedicate every third podcast episode to answering one of your questions. This week Aaleyah asked a question about swimming drills. She wanted to know which drills and dryland exercises she could use to help her swim faster. My answer might shock you, but it is the truth and I’d love to hear your thoughts about swimming drills

To keep this episode short I focused on the drills portion of the question although you can apply the same rules to drylands exercises.

The rules that I share in this episode should be applied to any and every swimming drill.


Do you prefer reading? Click below to read the transcript for this episode:

SBP 009: Why Most Swimming Drills Are A Waste Of Your Time (Transcript)


 

The post SBP 009: Why Most Swimming Drills Are A Waste Of Your Time. appeared first on SWIMBRAIN.

SBP 008: The One Simple Thing That Will Push You To Become A Great Swimmer
13:03
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 13:03
SBP 008: The One Simple Thing That Will Push You To Become A Great Swimmer

I’m finally back! I apologize for the 3 long weeks of silence and if you want to know what the problem was, I explain it in the first few seconds of this episode…but none of that matters now. All that matters is that episode 8 is finally published! #victorydance

A few weeks ago I sat down with a swim team and read them a short story. It was weird for a lot of them, but they seemed eager to do anything that would keep them out of the water for a few more minutes. The story I read to them was a well written insight into the success of a professional basketball player. It’s an excerpt from the book Mastery by Robert Greene where Greene highlights the road to success for many successful athletes, scientists, doctors, artists, etc… If you’ve never read it, I strongly encourage you to do so.


In this episode you will learn:

  • Why I missed 2 weeks worth of podcasting
  • The story of Bill Bradley
  • The mindset of a highly successful athlete
  • The importance of identifying your weaknesses
  • The importance of loving your sport
  • The difference between you and athletes that succeed

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SBP 007: Hard Work vs. Smart Work. A Better Training Strategy
6:20
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 6:20
SBP 007: Hard Work vs. Smart Work. A Better Training Strategy

I’m going to tell you right from the start that working hard will give you good results. You already know that. I will also tell you that working smart will give you good results as well. I’m guessing you know that as well. What you may not realize however is that there is a much better option than either of those strategy and that option is the one I discuss in this week’s episode of The SwimBrain Podcast.

The goal in this episode  is to show you that either working hard or working smart is a good training strategy, and good training strategies produce good swimmers. So if you want to be a good swimmer the go ahead and train as hard as you can or as smart as you can.

If however, you are not interested being more than good, that is, you want to be a great swimmer then you should listen to this episode. I this episode I’ll show you:

 

  • The question of working hard or smart is a false choice and many swimmers choose wrong
  • A better training strategy that yields faster and longer lasting results
  • A few examples that you can use in your next practice to begin seeing results

 


Do you prefer reading? Click below to read the transcript for this episode:

SBP 007: Hard Work vs. Smart Work. A Better Training Strategy (Transcript)


 

After you’re done listening I encourage you to apply this method to your swimming and see how many ways you can come up with to simultaneously hard and smart at the same time. This is how you will get 10x as much out of every practice. Always ask yourself at every practice – what can I work hard on right now?

 

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SBP 006: The Reason Why Swimmers Are Unhappy
6:53
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 6:53
SBP 006: The Reason Why Swimmers Are Unhappy

It’s that time again where I answer a question from a swimmer and the question this episode is:

I don’t get it. I train so hard everyday and I get pretty much the same results as the guy who slacks off the entire set and then sprints the last 50. What’s up with that? I’m beginning to think it’s not worth training hard anymore!

At first glance it seems like this question is about dealing with slackers, but there something deeper going on here and that is the issue that I want to address. It’s the issue of comparison and I know swimmers aren’t the only ones that struggle with this. In the middle of making this episode I realized that I too was guilty.

In this episode I talk about comparison and how it can be healthy and how it can be harmful and how you can avoid falling into the trap. Know anyone that falls into this trap? Do them a favor and send them this episode.



 

Don’t forget to help out by leaving a rating and a review on iTunes. I appreciate you and thanks for listening.

Review SwimBrain Podcast

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SBP 005: What Type of Fish Are You?
7:30
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 7:30
SBP 005: What Type of Fish Are You?

What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself. — Abraham Maslow

I was sitting in an honors ceremony listening to the Governor General of The Bahamas address a group of clueless high school graduates. He didn’t speak very long, but he encouraged us to be humble about our knowledge. He said that there are two kinds of people in the world: Those that don’t know and those that don’t know that they don’t know.

I was smart when he told me that and I thought he was just a guy who didn’t know. It’s been ten years and I’ve come to the realization that when I heard him speak I didn’t know that I didn’t know. Who knows what I’ll think of my present self in another 10 years.

Self-awareness is a process. A process that doesn’t occur naturally and if you want to grow as a swimmer then you will have to work at it. It won’t be fun at the beginning, but it will become more rewarding the more you probe into your mind.

Yes it is uncomfortable and yes it will take time, but should you choose not to pursue self-awareness you will be like the 100lb, 10-year old dog that still thinks she is a puppy.

If you still have no idea what I’m talking about it will make sense once you listen to this week’s podcast about a skinny little 12-year old boy transforming into a world heavyweight champion.



 

 

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SBP 004: Are You Prepared for the Most Important Moment of Your Swim Career?
8:08
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 8:08
SBP 004: Are You Prepared for the Most Important Moment of Your Swim Career?

Your life is made up of a ridiculous amount of moments and although it is impossible to remember all of them, each moment contributes to who you are as a person. With each new moment comes a new opportunity. An opportunity to choose. An opportunity to write your own story. But the sad truth is that a lot of us are just letting the moments pass us by and not actively writing our stories.

In this week’s podcast I:

  • Share an awkward story from CARIFTA 2002 in Barbados
  • Give away some secrets of elite swimmers
  • Highlight the most important moment of your swim career
  • Lay down the challenge to begin defining the moments instead of letting them define you.


 

breaststroke dive Carifta 2002 200 breaststroke medal

 

 

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SBP 003: Are You Wasting Your Time With High Altitude Training Masks?
8:46
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 8:46
SBP 003: Are You Wasting Your Time With High Altitude Training Masks?

Every few months a new trend in fitness emerges. From new diets to new supplements to new techniques. There’s always something that’s claiming to make you a better athlete, but in reality a lot of those claims are false.

In this week’s episode we’re taking a look at a trend that became popular a while back — simulating high altitude training. In particular we are going to take a look at the claims of the Elevation Training Mask and see if it is able to stand behind the claims that it makes. As you can tell from reading the title, there’s no surprise in where I am headed with this.

 



 

Training Mask and High Altitude Training Resources

 

 

 

Photo Credit: US Air Force

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SBP 002: A New Racing Strategy: Sleep In and Skip Warm-Up
8:10
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 8:10
SBP 002: A New Racing Strategy: Sleep In and Skip Warm-Up

How many hours of sleep do you average every night? What about the nights before a meet? In this episode I try to make sense of the meet tradition that says swimmers should wake up early to swim in a cold and crowded pool hours before their race. After analyzing it I came up with a much better solution: skip warm-up.

Listen below to hear why and how you can skip warm-up at a swim meet without skipping the results.


Do you prefer reading? Click below to read the transcript for this episode:

SBP 002: A New Racing Strategy – Sleep In and Skip Warm-Up (Transcript)


 

 

Things To Check Out:

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SBP 001: Warm-up In The Shower
8:00
2017-10-07 12:16:44 UTC 8:00
SBP 001: Warm-up In The Shower

Throughout my swimming career there have been some times where the weather has gotten really cold. I remember the first time I saw snow at college and I decided to play in it until 3 in the morning. Two hours later I had morning practice. I never made it to that practice.

One of the hardest parts of practice all throughout my swimming career was the buildup of getting into a cold pool. I would stand on the edge for a few minutes (much to my coach’s annoyance), dive in, scream as loud as I could underwater and then sprint a 25. What can I say?

I’m an island boy. I detest cold water. I don’t even like drinking cold water. The only thing I hate more than cold water is being submerged in cold water. Morning practices and warm-up at a meet are the worst! I always asked myself, “Is there another way!” There just had to be another way.

I didn’t find that “way” until I started coaching and stumbled across the work of another coach that asked the same questions I was asking, only he asked it about 60 years earlier. We both wanted to know how to warm-up in the shower.

 

 

In this episode you will learn:

  • The benefits of being warm when starting a race
  • How to warm-up in the shower

 


Do you prefer reading? Click below to read the transcript for this episode:

SBP 001: Warm-up In The Shower (Transcript)


 

Things To Check Out:

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