How can coaching make a difference? I’m going to give you a great example of two people, that had similar conditions. One had a coach and the other did not.
The two people that we are comparing and contrasting are Florence Chadwick and Michael Phelps. Florence Chadwick is the first women to swim the English Channel, both back and forth. Michael Phelps, seven gold medals and set a world’s record at the last Olympics.
Both Florence and Michael had a swim that had similar conditions. Florence after she swam the English Channel, decided that she was going to swim from Catalina Island to the shore of California. The conditions for this swim were icy and foggy. She could hardly see the boats that were following her.
Now for Michael, the race where he would set the world’s record, his goggles filled up, as soon as he hit the water. He could not see the bottom, the wall, or the swimmers in the other lanes in the pool. Essentially, he was swimming the race blind. Both Florence and Michael had similar swims, where the conditions limited what they could see.
Here is the contrast. Florence after 15 hours became exhausted. And begged her mother to pull her into the boat. But her mother was insistent that Florence was close. Florence was not having it. She was pulled into the boat and to her dismay, she could see the shore was less than a mile away.
Michael had been placed into a similar situation. One time his coach had him swim in the dark. Michael associated that scenario with what was what going on. Michael’s habits and behavior did not alter. He just concerned himself with finishing the race.
Florence to her credit, did swim from Catalina Island to the California shore. This time at the 15 hour mark, she visualized the shore. This helped keep her going.
Great example of people with two similar conditions and the difference a coach made.
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