One of the most powerful positive
OR negative factors on a swim team is the conversation that goes
on among “lane-mates” in between repeats.
there are two types of conversations going on. One is highly
destructive, one is highly motivating.
is the lane talk that focuses on the task to be done.
Destructive is the talk that divides, that confuses the purpose
of the work, that makes people feel badly.
is destructive? Conversation that goes like the following:
Its cold, isn’t it?”
(what is, IS, deal with it)
is too hard, let's take it easy”.
(well, that’s one choice, but not one that will make
you a better swimmer.)
are you going so fast? Who are you trying to impress?” (maybe
not trying to impress anyone…..just knowing that going fast
makes you better.)
you keep up? Get out of my way!”
(maybe two choices would be better – “come on, you
can do this, work harder” or, if impossible, “I don’t want
to kick you, can you move closer to the lane line when I go by?
isn’t the right way we ought to be training…its too hard
(easy) (fast) (slow) etc.”
(who’s coaching here, athlete or coach?)
lets go, we can do this!”
guys, I got the lead, get on my feet and I’ll pull you along
and we’ll go fast.” (if you ARE dominant in the lane)
lead early then anyone who feels great can take over later.”
Marty, you can do this….stay with us!” (encourage those at
the back of the lane)
do ‘em one swim at a time, guys! Make each one”.
more, come on, we can do it!”
The point being, if the talk is positive, everyone feels
good, everyone can contribute and everyone can help everyone
else be successful. It’s the meaning of team.
If the talk
focuses on how difficult it is, or what is “wrong” or
makes anyone feel “unwanted” in the lane, it’s a negative
And complaining about how “hot/cold/wet” the
water/air is, isn’t going to make it any better. Better to
just focus on what can be controlled, your own effort.
Good Lane Talk makes for Good Teams. Try it.