1. If you want to swim fast, you have to swim a lot.  Why do fish swim fast? Because they spend their entire lives in the water.
  2. It is very important to swim a lot, but it is just as important to swim effectively.  Remember, you must focus on your swimming 100 percent of the time that you are in the water.  If you spend your practice time fooling around, letting your mind wander, not focusing on technique, doing sloppy turns, not streamlining, and not giving your best effort, the result in competition will reflect your lack of effort.
  3. Your workouts are at the stage where you master each aspect of swimming.  Being focused and giving 100 percent attention requires you to listen to your coach’s instructions and to follow his/her recommendations to change technical aspects of your strokes.  If a coach has to remind you about the same deficiencies more than two or three times, it shows a lack of attention and a lack of focus on your part.
  4. Come to each workout focused and ready to work.  Be on time, have all of your equipment, and leave your excuses and other problems at home.  Your coach has a plan that includes daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and multi-year goals.  In this plan the work cycles and the rest cycles are a planned and important part of your success.  Don’t deviate from this plan.  When planning vacations and engagements, check with your coach to see when the rest cycles are planned.
  5. Swim meets are a very important aspect of your training.  At meets, your coaches evaluate much more than just how fast you’re swimming.  Decisions about your training are derived from your meet performance.  Meets show strengths and weaknesses of the coach’s training regimen and exposes areas  that need to be focused on.
  6. Swim meets are just a gauge of where you are in your training.  Don’t panic if your results aren’t what you expect.  There are reasons and, chances are, your coach knows these reasons.  Don’t whine, cry, and  don’t be hard on yourself.  Take a deep breath and calm down.  Talk to your coach in a calm manner, do some soul searching, and together you can find answers to your questions about your performance.
  7. At the highest levels of competition, everyone is in excellent physical condition.  What is the difference between first and second place?  Heart, desire, determination, and the will to succeed.  These are learned responses and developed traits just like physical conditioning.  You must start young and practice these things daily; at workouts, at home, at school, and in every aspect of your lives.  Don’t say “I can’t”, say “I will” and “I need to do this”.
  8. To continue progressing each week, each month, and each season, you need more.  More yardage, more speed, more work, more dry land, etc.  Work volume must increase.
  9. At all times you need to demonstrate respect for your parents, your coaches, and your teammates.  To get respect, you must first give respect.  Learn this and your life will change.  Realize that all of us are here for your support and success.
  10. Keep this where you can read it daily.  Next time you doubt yourself, your coach, or your parents, read this carefully and look for the answers within.


Coach Vladi