What makes an athlete complete? Is being good at our sport enough or do we need to be more athletic than the average swimmer, greatly successful or not? Knowing what to do is the first step in a swimmer’s training. How many swimmers really know what to do, though? Of course having a good coach is probably the most important thing of this aspect. Now, what makes a good coach? Some might say that a good coach is a result-oriented “value”. Others might say it is a teaching-oriented “value”. I believe that a good coach needs knowledge but also to possess the ability to apply what they know in every swimmer individually and for the swimmer’s improvement. Each swimmer, master or professional, is a unique athlete and needs a unique approach. Of course, an experienced coach has the luxury of having dealt with numerous swimmers and having tried all kinds of swimming training techniques, which makes their job – or better say “work” – easier. They just have more options to choose from, and if it works, everyone is happy. If it doesn’t work, an experienced coach has greater mental power to go to different levels and explore all possible paths in order to help the swimmer reach their potential. The ability, or shall we say skill, of a coach to apply all their knowledge is a swimmer’s greatest asset.
But what is all of this if there is no desire to improve and get ourselves to the next level of swimming? Desire is probably a value that every single professional or master swimmer enjoys. You can’t keep on swimming over the years – or decades – if there is no genuine desire to improve. And improvement isn’t just getting faster in the water and setting quicker times. It is about getting our better selves out there and be happy about doing it. A swim session is a tool that gets us to higher levels of athleticism. But the true desire for swim training – with the combination of real knowledge and ability to apply it – is the most powerful tool for sports happiness…a step towards personal happiness and wellbeing.