Maybe the final product was there all along…
Last week I dived into the sense of creation we coaches embark on as we fill the blank slate and craft our workouts.
I’m nothing if not a fan of metaphor. So, as I thought about starting from scratch, from the blank screen or sheet of paper, I realized the exact opposite is really true, as well.
It’s all there.
Right there. Ready to be uncovered.
You have athletes. You have time. You have (hopefully) pool water with a little chlorine and maybe some lane markers if you’re lucky.
In short, you have everything you need to get this swim training business underway.
Anything can happen. Within the athlete’s (and coach’s) capabilities, the sky is the limit.
All of possibility is before you. You just have to chisel away the extraneous so the remaining workout is perfection. At least that day and that moment’s perfection.
Michaelangelo said: “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”
Not bad. Are swim coaches the Michaelangelos of our time?
I take away from this the idea that, through meticulous care and experience working with our medium, we can discover the best course for our team in the coming workout. I’m not looking for divine inspiration and I don’t think there is just one right answer.
I do love the idea that it’s all right there for us to uncover. Maybe the solid block of marble is just swimming at a moderate pace for 2 hours. It’s up to us, the coaches, to chisel into the stone in search of more productive use of time. More specific ways to train that will meet the athlete’s needs: technique, intensity, variety, pacing, recovery.
What was, at first, a block of marble—of available time and pool space and athletes—becomes something more beautiful.
It becomes our art.