Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Open Communication in a Difficult Time

This time of the season can be very difficult. There are many reasons as to why (more on those in future posts) but one stands out particularly in my mind...because it's currently going on for me now. I am now about six weeks out of World Championship Trials. This is about the time when I start thinking more and more about the meet and what I need to do preparation-wise in order to succeed. The difficult part can be my relationships with my coaches and making sure I keep my poise when I do things I may not want to do.

Here's the skinny...At this time of year, as the athlete, we all look to start resting (at least a little bit). We get excited about starting to feel better in the water, in the weight-room and simply in life (yeah, taper time gives me so much more energy that everything in my life actually seems more beautiful, more vibrant, happier, easier etc). There is no doubt that we know it is only a matter of time until we begin to get out early, do less morning workouts, lift weights less often, do more speed work etc. The difficulty is that we are not in charge. This is exactly the time when our coaches want to keep pushing us, keep working us hard, get this last bit of training in before we begin the taper process. Oh and by the way...they're right...we need the's just not necessarily what we want to do. Does that make sense?

The reason this can be a difficult situation is because it needs to be handled properly, with open communication, so everyone is happy and on the same page going into taper and the big meet. I have no problem working hard...I never have. I fully trust in Eddie and Kris...there is no question about that. However, I too like seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel every now and again. I want to get out early once in a while. I want to have a recovery practice. Notice how it's all, "I want"? This is where the difficulty lies. As the athlete I know what I want...that doesn't mean that's what's best for me. In all likelihood what I want is not what's best for me in terms of being trained...that's why we have coaches. So what do I do?

Here's the skinny...I talk to Eddie and Kris. Tonight after practice I told Ed how I've been feeling. I told him flat out what is on my mind. I said, "Yo Edwin, lemmie hit the hot tub and chill out for a few...feel me?" haha nah just kidding. Seriously though, I said something to the affect of, "Ed I know we need to be working hard right now. I completely trust in what you're having me do. I need you to understand I've been having a hard time right now because I want to start feeling a little better but I know that will come in time. I understand what you're doing and I'm just letting you know that's where I'm at." Eddie knew this was how I'm feeling...just as he always does. Boom, now we're on the same page. I left the pool happy and confident in what we're doing 'together'. This is a together game...nothing gets done alone.

My advice is to talk openly with your coach. Discuss where you are and where you're going. Handle this situation properly and you'll all be feeling good and confident!


QBrain said...

Hey Garrett,

To spice things up, why don't you go ahead and pull out a "Yo Eddie, I'm feeling a few fast 25's, some turns, a bit of stretching and a massage...get it, got it, good." and let us know how it goes ;)

Good luck Garrett, the fun stuff is coming up.

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