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USMSarah
February 1st, 2007, 10:08 AM
Hi. :help:

Was just wondering how you handle practicing by yourself. My team only practices two times a week and that is obviously not enough time in the water to improve. At practice, we do anywhere between 3,200 and 3,800... and I usually do the same when I swim by myself (right now I'm getting in two solo practices, but I'd like to do more). Usually the USS team or High School is practicing at the same time and that sorta helps get me moving. But how do you guys motivate yourself to keep going - because weekly I am starting to ask myself - "why am I doing this"... when I'm trudging along solo. I do compete and love it... but I just get down and in the gutters once in a while. I usually get my workouts from the "workout forum" here on the site... but do you have any thoughts on how to get more motivated? I hope I don't sound desperate, but just need some feedback from those who are going thru the same thing.

aquageek
February 1st, 2007, 10:18 AM
Good topic. Swimming on your own is tough. I did it for years and had a terrible time staying motivated. I found the only thing that worked for me was to make the workout ahead of time so that the doldrums of solo swimming didn't influence my pace. Even now, I swim solo once a week and don't do nearly the effort or intervals that I do with my teammates the other days.

I will tend to emphasize a stroke or distance that we didn't hit hard at team workouts. That way I'm not trying to recreate the team setting.

Good luck! Download workouts, that is a good deal we have here FOR FREE at the forum.

The Fortress
February 1st, 2007, 10:19 AM
Sarah:

I do pretty much the same thing as you. I can only get to my team practies 1-2 times a week during the school year. My team seems to do about 4000-4300 except on Sat. when they ratchet it up and I avoid that practice. So I swim by myself usually 3x a week. In the summer, I swim with my team more and, last summer, was in much, much better engine-building shape.

Sometimes it's hard to drag myself off to practice too. I'm actually about to. I think the meets and mini-goals keep me motivated the most. I'm already looking forward to my next meet even though it's a ways off. This forum actually helps keep me motivated. The desire to keep my vessel in reasonable shape keeps me motivated. My kids keep me motivated because they would make fun of me if I went too slow or gave in to laziness too much.

I too get a lot of ideas from this forum, especially Ande's blog since I'm a sprinter. Sometimes, I switch up my event focus to keep it interesting. Or switch up the workouts a lot. I almost never do the same thing when swimming alone. I do a lot of "serial" swimming to stave off boredom or the doldrums. I do more drills. I recently got a monofin and am obsessed with SDKs, so that it holding my interest at the moment. One day, I may decide I need to learn breaststroke, but I think that'll be late spring or so. I sometimes like swimming alone because I can work on what I feel like working on that may not be compatible with what my team is doing. But I do wish I could train with them more during the school year ... I definitely go faster with tougher intervals.

Set goals and hang in there!

SwimStud
February 1st, 2007, 10:24 AM
Hi. :help:

Was just wondering how you handle practicing by yourself. My team only practices two times a week and that is obviously not enough time in the water to improve. At practice, we do anywhere between 3,200 and 3,800... and I usually do the same when I swim by myself (right now I'm getting in two solo practices, but I'd like to do more). Usually the USS team or High School is practicing at the same time and that sorta helps get me moving. But how do you guys motivate yourself to keep going - because weekly I am starting to ask myself - "why am I doing this"... when I'm trudging along solo. I do compete and love it... but I just get down and in the gutters once in a while. I usually get my workouts from the "workout forum" here on the site... but do you have any thoughts on how to get more motivated? I hope I don't sound desperate, but just need some feedback from those who are going thru the same thing.

Write it out before you go. Get a waterproof stop watch so you can keep a better handle on the time at your fingertips. Brag about your workout to others...that way you'll be accountable to people who will make un of easy work outs. I swim alone all the time at present.

Leonard Jansen
February 1st, 2007, 10:34 AM
Sarah -

I am pretty much in the same boat - 2 or 3 times a week (~4000 yards) with others and then on my own the rest of the time. In the last two years I did up to 55,000 yards/week in preparation for MIMs, so I had lots of time by myself.

What really helped/helps me is to have a very targeted and specific goal (e.g. MIMS) and then to periodize my training towards that goal. By periodizing, each workout was part of a larger goal and had a specific purpose within that goal. This meant that even things that might be considered by most to be "junk yardage" actually had a purpose such as recovery and/or technique refinement and was planned for within a training cycle. Of course, no matter how you slice it there will always be days when you want to, as a friend of mine used to say, "Take two weeks off and then quit."

So, pick a goal and then carefully work backwards to now, defining what you need to do in small steps to reach that goal. In the middle of those long, lonely workouts you at least will have a sense of purpose to keep you going.

-LBJ

blainesapprentice
February 1st, 2007, 10:36 AM
This is actually a kinda funny thread...for me at least, because I have typically over the years swam 6 days a week with a team...and over those years I have lost a lot of mojo and motivation, because a lot of time team practices are repetitive, long, yarbage-garbage yardage, and not stroke/event specific. My first USS team, and my college team are perfect examples. So I have found that when the season ends, or when I have the time and write my own workouts and head to the pool to swim solo I am much more motivated..because I am doing workouts that I have written, that I want to do, and that I feel are helping me to reach my goals. Maybe if you were to pick a goal your most focused on and then cut and paste from various workouts on here or make you own, you would be more motivated? I figure you can't slack off at a practice you wrote! haha

...doesnt hurt when theres a cute guy lifeguarding that I want to impress either...that does tons to help keep the speed and HR up;-p

USMSarah
February 1st, 2007, 10:36 AM
Thanks for the comments, guys! From what you have mentioned, I probably just have to push myself to do my best and just get thru it.

I do pre-write my practices, never doing the same stuff - I get them off of this site... which is a HUGE help. I find myself not being very creative. I periodically give myself goals... like doing my 100's on a faster interval, things like that.

Fortress, I have been contemplating getting a monofin... it's funny that you mentioned that. It would be another way to make things interesting. I work for a swim shop, so maybe I should go and buy more "goodies" to keep me moving! Ha ha!

USMSarah
February 1st, 2007, 10:39 AM
Of course, no matter how you slice it there will always be days when you want to, as a friend of mine used to say, "Take two weeks off and then quit."

That's hilarious! Thanks for the good laugh!

USMSarah
February 1st, 2007, 10:41 AM
...doesnt hurt when theres a cute guy lifeguarding that I want to impress either...that does tons to help keep the speed and HR up;-p

That reminds me of the good ol' days. However now I'm married!

meldyck
February 1st, 2007, 11:49 AM
Sarah,

I always train alone, going 4000-5000 yards per day 4 times a week in the down season and more when important meets loom.

I love training alone because it gives me a chance to work on technical issues (which I do about 3/4 of the time) without the distraction of lane mates who want to push each other and train with the clock. I do use the clock but I adjust it each practice for how well I'm feeling and whether or not I am doing stroke or free work.

Try to detach yourself from the need for the social contact and remember that, if you are really serious about improvement, training is really a lonely matter. Revel in it. Enjoy it. Get to the pool early and stay late!

Also remember that if you are a technical stroke geek, doing the technical work gives you just as much fitness as hammering each day (with the exception of the specific high intensity work needed for meets) and you will become more efficient.

-- mel

poolraat
February 1st, 2007, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by Leonard Jansen
....Of course, no matter how you slice it there will always be days when you want to, as a friend of mine used to say, "Take two weeks off and then quit."

This is funny. It reminds me of what a running partner of mine used to say at the beginning of a long run. "Let's start easy and then taper."


Originally Posted by blainesapprentice
...doesnt hurt when theres a cute guy lifeguarding that I want to impress either...that does tons to help keep the speed and HR up;

We get a new crop of lifeguards each spring and it's fun to listen to them talk about the "old guy who is so fast". They must not know that one can hear everything they say from the dressing room.


I've been working out alone for 7 years now and it's very hard to stay focused and motivated all the time. I write my workouts in advance, using those posted on this site and elsewhere. I also notice that sometimes I'm not swimming as hard as I think I am. It really helps to occassionally swim with someone and if a good, fast swimmer shows up at my pool, I'll ask them if they want to swim with me or I'll change my workout to swim a set with them. Last night I did a set of 50's with another swimmer and chasing him made my times 2-3 sec faster than if I had been doing it alone. And it seemed easier.

USMSarah
February 1st, 2007, 11:58 AM
Try to detach yourself from the need for the social contact and remember that, if you are really serious about improvement, training is really a lonely matter. Revel in it. Enjoy it. Get to the pool early and stay late!

Also remember that if you are a technical stroke geek, doing the technical work gives you just as much fitness as hammering each day (with the exception of the specific high intensity work needed for meets) and you will become more efficient.

Good point. Training is a personal matter. My effort does not make anyone else better. (Yes, I'm a drillin' dork - I think it's very important to do this at practice).

I think I need to do more yardage.

Concho Pearl
February 1st, 2007, 12:03 PM
I also have no choice but to practice alone, sometimes my daughter and her friends do a work out that I set up for them. But they are on a different level and they are only in it for fitness not competition. I have found that if I go to meets, and can swim with the High school team every now and then helps keep me motivated.

I print out workouts from this site and arrange them a bit for my needs. I can only make the"Y" 2-3 times and weeks but try to get in at least 2000 at each practice. I use a watch to help me keep my yardage down to less than hour. Since I've have limited time and have only be back swimming for less than a year. I"ve kept my energy on 2 events the 50 free and 100 free. I have only swam the 50 in one meet. Hoping to do both in April.

I feel my 100 is not were I want it yet, and with our weather we've had in Jan. and being out of the pool most of this week with a cold I haven't had any consitiant good workouts. My current short term goal is to get in some good workouts over the next 2 weeks, maybe do a small meet on the 17th. going to just swim the 50 free. I'm hoping that will keep me going for the next round.

SwimStud
February 1st, 2007, 12:19 PM
I feel my 100 is not were I want it yet, and with our weather we've had in Jan. and being out of the pool most of this week with a cold I haven't had any consitiant good workouts.

I'm going to tell you to shut your eyes and go for the 100. I did a 200,100 and 50 this past weekend and surprised myself. 1st event in 25 years and only seriously trained for 6 weeks, although I'd been doing a mile for a bout 6 weeks prior to the more organised training.

born2fly
February 1st, 2007, 12:20 PM
Sarah-good news is once the high school team finishes up their season we will get our Friday morning practice back. A number of us masters swimmers have complained, because in the book they state m-w-f master practices, however we loose that Friday once high school starts until it ends. We always thought we should get a break on the price but has never happend.

If on your days when you do not practice in the morning try swimming in evening at 730. I do that when I can if I can not make the practice with the senior group from 330-530. When I swam at 730 I got in lane next to the team and just did the workout with the kids. Now dont think because they are younger 11-12 that their workouts are easy. Doing their practice gives ya structure and kinda others to swim with.

One other thing you can do is you can always find the age group practices laying around or look on top of the soda machince, he has practices there also. Just modify as needed but it does gives ya something to practice from.

Are you getting ready for the meet in Miami next week? Im planning on going depending on how the ole body feels. I will be doing the 400IM,100fly,200fly, 100breast haha, I hate this stroke but going to get a lifetime best since I have never swum it, and then finish up with the mile.

See ya on Monday if not before.

greg

lefty
February 1st, 2007, 12:31 PM
I more or less have worked out alone for the last 4 years. I record everything: I know what a good 75 kick time is for myself, I know what a good 1000M for time is, I know how many times I have done 30x 100'sM on 1:25 (4 times in 4 years, I'll never do it again though, because it is too boring!). I try and do somehting worth recording every workout. Currently I want to kick a 75M w/ board in under 1:06, swim a 200M in under 2:20 and do 4 50M's on 1:00 all under 30. When I accomplish a goal, I add a new one. That is how I stay motivated.

Also, I look at other's favorite sets or workouts to keep from getting routine. In that spirit, here is a sprint set I did last week that I enjoyed:

4 x 75's: 1 Distance per stroke, 2 work turns, 3 build, 4 85% effort
4 x 50's: Same Format
8 x 25's: 1,3,5,7,8 Distance per stroke, 2,4,6 sprint all out
Two times through the set. Total Yardage = 1,400

USMSarah
February 1st, 2007, 01:04 PM
Sarah-good news is once the high school team finishes up their season we will get our Friday morning practice back. A number of us masters swimmers have complained, because in the book they state m-w-f master practices, however we loose that Friday once high school starts until it ends. We always thought we should get a break on the price but has never happend.

If on your days when you do not practice in the morning try swimming in evening at 730. I do that when I can if I can not make the practice with the senior group from 330-530. When I swam at 730 I got in lane next to the team and just did the workout with the kids. Now dont think because they are younger 11-12 that their workouts are easy. Doing their practice gives ya structure and kinda others to swim with.

One other thing you can do is you can always find the age group practices laying around or look on top of the soda machince, he has practices there also. Just modify as needed but it does gives ya something to practice from.

Are you getting ready for the meet in Miami next week? Im planning on going depending on how the ole body feels. I will be doing the 400IM,100fly,200fly, 100breast haha, I hate this stroke but going to get a lifetime best since I have never swum it, and then finish up with the mile.

See ya on Monday if not before.

greg

100 Breast - HA HA. Yes, I'm going to the Miami meet. Can't wait - I'm swimming the 50 back and fly, 200 back and IM... we may be able to do a mixed relay (Dan's coming and Tori may). But, you've got a huge lineup there, you may not want to do a relay. I don't think I'm doing enough yardage at practice to survive the 400 IM yet. Maybe by State I will... who knows.

Anyways, I am swimming at 8pm during the week - the HS kids are there and that always helps. Yes, those 11-12ers are pretty good - Dan swims with them at times.

I will definitely look for those practices around the pool... thanks for the heads up.

Yeah, when I first started with you guys - I knew that a lot of you get heated up when they cancel our Friday practices. The HS kids should be done fairly soon, right?

Great avatar pic!

CYA Monday!

born2fly
February 1st, 2007, 01:22 PM
Dont be laughing at my 100 breast now lol. If I can make it thru without getting disqualified I will be amazed. Coach thinks I might surprise myself with my time. I know I am really good off the start and turns, its the stuff in between that gets me haha.

I've swam with the high school team at 8 in the past. Do you do the practice they do? Usually our coach is there and he does not care if we ride off one of his practices.

The only reason I am doing breast at the meet is because there was to long a gap in between the 200 fly and the mile. The other events I would prefer to do are either to close after the 200fly or to close before the mile. So, I figure why not do the breast, not like its going to take a lot out of me. I have one pace with that stroke, and its slow!

Ahh yes, the avitar pic. Thats when I was at Hilton Head last year. The high school season ends after States, which I believe is the first week in March. I know there is a USS meet I do with the kids the second weekend in March and the high school season is over. So, guess we have one more month of no Friday mornings. Just so you know, its not the coaches doing, it is the aquatic director, she can be a real umm, never mind lol. I know she has complained about me practicing with the senior group at times. She wants to know if I have paid my USS team fees. If she ever confronts me on it, I will just tell her that I am making up my Friday of practice that they are false advertising in the book haha.

greg

USMSarah
February 1st, 2007, 01:39 PM
Just so you know, its not the coaches doing, it is the aquatic director, she can be a real umm, never mind lol. I know she has complained about me practicing with the senior group at times. She wants to know if I have paid my USS team fees. If she ever confronts me on it, I will just tell her that I am making up my Friday of practice that they are false advertising in the book haha.
greg

Whoa! I didn't know that. She should definitely not complain about you practicing with the senior group... they are absolutely false advertising in the book... plus masters have to get the complete pass - the kids currently only have to get the aquatic pass. It doesn't make sense. Maybe the whole masters team should do something about it.

craiglll@yahoo.com
February 1st, 2007, 04:16 PM
I have almost always worked out alone since I have been out of college. When I do workout with a group, it is such a treat. When I was really sick, it was so much easier to do it alone because I never had to explain to anyone why I could only swim maybe 400 yards on some days.

I wasn't able to swim during the fall. Now I am back. I am not to where I was in August but i am amazed at how fast the i am gettign back in shae.

globuggie
February 1st, 2007, 04:37 PM
I usually swim alone once or twice a week. I have a hard time doing 'boring' sets on my own, like long sets of free on an interval. I find that I am motivated to work harder if I do either shorter sets or long sets that are not as repetitive - for example, 4x(4x50 free on a decreasing interval, 2x100 IM on a decreasing interval, 25 stroke sprint, 75 easy).

CreamPuff
February 1st, 2007, 05:17 PM
I swam solo before joining back up with masters.
Did mostly what all the others listed here -

Had specific practice (intervals, sets, feel of the water, and distance) goals and meet goals; threw in some travel meets just to have something extra special to look forward to; looked at Top 10s and goals

Had goals within goals @ practices - like not allow the person next to me beat me even though he/ she was swimming 1 lap and I was doing a set of 500s

Jumped in with the High School or USS for a whole practice or just a set or two

Would race practically anyone - from the HS Coaches to other lap swimmers to kids to the lifeguards to swim instructors to other masters swimmers (and would give "handicaps" to those who perhaps weren't at my level) - mostly I had people want to race me although I did persuade one of the HS coaches to do a set of 10x100 IM on 1:30 w/ me - that was great fun!

I made up the practice before I got to the pool and I'd stick to it no matter what

Made sure to have intervals rather than x seconds rest as it's harder to push yourself w/out fellow swimmers

Would always help out swimmers/ people who had questions on technique, strokes (this would be fun and break up my practice for me - in a good way and between sets only)

Got to know just about everyone at the pools and their goals - do an ironman; recovering from hip replacements; retired judge getting back into shape; masters mom; so on

scyfreestyler
February 1st, 2007, 05:20 PM
There are currently no Masters teams in my city (I am currently one of 3 USMS swimmers at the pool, the other 2 being tri swimmers) so I swim alone all the time. If I want to make any progress I have to concentrate on short high intensity sets and I have to go in with the objective of feeling some pain before I leave. Without specific goals it is far too easy to swim easy 100's for 45 minutes to an hour and then go home.

Allen Stark
February 1st, 2007, 08:31 PM
I workout mostly by myself and use most of the ideas given above.The main way I motivate myself is to think of my nemesis(it's no secret it's Bob Strand.) If I'm ever going to close the gap I have to work hard because I know he is.

m2tall2
February 1st, 2007, 09:56 PM
While I've been done with college for 4 years now, I ended up quitting in college and waiting 3 years to go back to swimming because I truly grew to loathe practicing with the team. My last good coach was when I was 12 years old. After that, it was lots of junk yardage and everything geared towards the sprint freestylers and nothing geared towards me who is a breaststroker, and general stroke lover and middle distance freestyler. Sounds a lot like what poor Morgan is going through now...

I now swim not on a team 100% of the team. Part of it is because the masters teams here are expensive and largely inconvenient to get to in comparison to the pool I swim at. But mostly because when I think back to swimming on a team I remember how miserable it got not being allowed to enjoy swimming.

I swim now to go fast but also to enjoy swimming. I try to get workouts put together and LOVE the freedom to be able to do that and get creative with my workouts. I can really sit back and practice things I need work on like my butterfly rather than being a slave to the clock and the person swimming 2 seconds behind me. I can do 95% breaststroke workouts with 60% drill. I can give myself mini challenges though the whole workout because I know the purpose of everything I am doing in the water.

And, like others have stated here, even though I might do my own workouts, I am not alone in the pool. All of the other regulars know me and say hi. There are some other workout swimmers and occassionally we'll do a set or two together to mix things up.

Basically, when I swim alone and I am starting to die during a set, or ready to give up, or slack off I remind myself I am doing this (and have gone through a lot of trouble to do this for many personal reasons) because I love to swim. And usually I find a competitive fire in that which propels me though the tough sets. But sometimes it just means I need to slow down, keep swimming because it's good for me, and love the feel and flow of the water.

Anyways, I don't know if I can help because I clearly have a superhuman amount of self motivation when it comes to swimming, and have a love for putting together my own workouts. But perhaps you might find something in this long post worth re-examining yourself. Even to the point of if what makes you love swimming is swimming with a team, then go out of your way to swim with a team or have a workout buddy. Swimming workouts alone isn't for everyone, just like going to the gym alone isn't for everyone. Why else would there be so many gosh darn noodlers?

Wow! Ok. I'm really done now.
Well, I feel better! :)

Redbird Alum
February 1st, 2007, 11:01 PM
I swim a lot of solo workouts in the Community Center pool. I've been at it the better part of three years.

I actually invested in a small poolside pace clock once I started being regular about practice, and when I'm struggling to keep at it, I bring a pre-written workout in a page protector and lay it deckside in front of the clock. I go about 2800 to 3500 in an hour about three to four times a week, and get up to 4500 to 5000 when I have more time. Off days I try to do treadmill, core, and weights.

I've been surprised at the number of folks that sometimes swim with me (although no-one has ever hung around more than a few times). The guards have been pretty good about it. Several of the regular "bobbers" often stop to talk before and after my sets. One thing that surprises me is how many little kids stop to ask questions (including how old I am).

blainesapprentice
February 2nd, 2007, 09:15 AM
I ended up quitting in college and waiting 3 years to go back to swimming because I truly grew to loathe practicing with the team. My last good coach was when I was 12 years old. After that, it was lots of junk yardage... Sounds a lot like what poor Morgan is going through now...




EXACTLY!:lolup: (thought id try out this scary face)

I really think I might quit...it's such a taxing decision to make, but I can't see staying because of the scholarship...but then being so discouraged with swimming that I either 1. just hurt myself because of my lack of coaching, and just mental fatigue or 2. come to hate swimming, and take of 20+ years before getting back in, and thus, never knowing my true potential (because I do not feel like I have unleashed that yet, and know I will not under this coach)

SwimStud
February 2nd, 2007, 09:35 AM
I can do 95% breaststroke workouts with 60% drill. I can give myself mini challenges though the whole workout because I know the purpose of everything I am doing in the water.



Michelle I'd love to see some of your workouts if you have any you'd share. Like you I am a mainly Breaststroker too. I do however want to get into doing IM at least the 100. I enjoyed the fly I did the other night.
I don't have the background in training that some of you guys here have to write the correct sor of workouts for emphasising breast but still working on the others.

Warren
February 2nd, 2007, 09:38 AM
best part about practicing solo is specializing in your events

aquaFeisty
February 2nd, 2007, 10:40 AM
best part about practicing solo is specializing in your events

Yes! I think of myself as a breaststroker, although my breaststroke is so slow that I rarely can do it when I practice with the team, so now my free and breast are pretty comparable (free has improved, breast has degraded).

So when I swim by myself I very rarely do any freestyle. I like to warmup with an 800 rev IM, drill/kick by 25. Then lots of flutter kicking, breast drills, and breast sets (all those things that I am too slow to do a lot of with the team). And now after reading Allen's and Wayne's posts, I plan to do some eggbeater.

I am in awe of all you that do all your practices on your own. I'm not any good at really pushing myself through aerobic sets by myself. And I don't usually last more than 2000 yards on my own, either.

USMSarah
February 2nd, 2007, 11:00 AM
EXACTLY!:lolup: (thought id try out this scary face)

I really think I might quit...it's such a taxing decision to make, but I can't see staying because of the scholarship...but then being so discouraged with swimming that I either 1. just hurt myself because of my lack of coaching, and just mental fatigue or 2. come to hate swimming, and take of 20+ years before getting back in, and thus, never knowing my true potential (because I do not feel like I have unleashed that yet, and know I will not under this coach)

You're going to quit college swimming? It's a very hard decision to make. I was in the same boat my junior year... but with my bad shoulder (and many MANY other reasons) I made the decision to leave. It was the hardest thing to do, but then now, 7 years later - I wish that I could have been strong enough to block out the bad stuff, swim for myself and finish my four years. 20/20 hindsight really sucks sometimes... but try to think of yourself, 10,20 years from now... what would you like to say that you accomplished? I'd hate for you to stop because of one stupid coach... Just do what is best for you, use your head and your heart.

CreamPuff
February 2nd, 2007, 11:43 AM
EXACTLY!:lolup: (thought id try out this scary face)

I really think I might quit...it's such a taxing decision to make, but I can't see staying because of the scholarship...but then being so discouraged with swimming that I either 1. just hurt myself because of my lack of coaching, and just mental fatigue or 2. come to hate swimming, and take of 20+ years before getting back in, and thus, never knowing my true potential (because I do not feel like I have unleashed that yet, and know I will not under this coach)

Hi Morgan,

I'm sorry that you've got a lot to sort out here. I'm certainly not in your shoes but can share my experiences with you.

Do I regret not swimming in college? YES!

Do I regret not giving 100% in age group? YES!

Would I love to be paid to swim (even $100)? YES!

Does swimming masters help? To an extent. However, my body does not hold up as well being 20 years older, so I have to work quite hard to get okay results. Also, there's no feeling in the world like anchoring your buds to victory - something that you seem to do regularly! Not to say that can't happen in masters, but there's something about that close, team feeling that you get in HS (for me)/ College.

I hate to see one stinky coach put a halt to your college career.

But, you know yourself and your situation best. I can tell you're giving this lots of thought, and I know you will make the right decision for you.
You know we'd love to have you as a Masters swimmer! Just thought I'd share my thoughts as I'm just one of those people who is almost haunted by not doing college or swimming 100% as a kid.
:2cents:

The Fortress
February 2nd, 2007, 11:56 AM
Hi Morgan,

I'm sorry that you've got a lot to sort out here. I'm certainly not in your shoes but can share my experiences with you.

Do I regret not swimming in college? YES!

Do I regret not giving 100% in age group? YES!

Would I love to be paid to swim (even $100)? YES!


I have a little different take, which Morgan knows because I was in a similar college boat and we discussed it on another thread. I did swim in college, but I don't have any regrets about retiring mid-way due to a severe injury and coach-hating. I enjoyed the rest of college. I did give 100% during the time I swam. I liked my AAU team way better than high school or college teams. (High school was a bit of a formality because we mostly practiced with our AAU teams.) It's a big decision though ... But it's awfully hard to swim on a very small team like Morgan's with a coach you hate. I guess if you had fabulous teammates, that might help overcome the difficulties and make parts of it enjoyable. But college can be challenging enough without hating and despising the thought of going to practice every day.

You were lucky if you didn't have to experience that part, Kristina (at least I hope you didn't!). I think it makes you so much more enthusiastic and willing to respond to all these new challenges. Look at you now! I think you're doing a bit more than OK though. You're pretty amazing.

What I regret a bit, not too much, is becoming so obsessed with a fast track career and children that I didn't return to masters swimming until 24 years later. But at least I got off the fast track before imploding.

I would like to get paid $$$$ to swim though. Har, har.

CreamPuff
February 2nd, 2007, 01:11 PM
Fortress: spot-on.

Just sharing from the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" perspective. Can't speak at all from the injury (thank goodness) or college perspective.

Just wanted to mention the inner demons nipping at my toes! :eek: I think that's what makes me swim as if being chased now - woulda, coulda, shoulda. Not sure how "new" anything is after 17 years of AG and Masters swimming, but I can say that having been a coach part time as an adult certainly put a new spin on how I view just about everything in this sport.

Morgan, to be fair to both sides of the argument, had I swum college, I doubt I'd be swimming masters now. This is based on what I saw from my close friends who did swim college and did that old school mega yardage (and got injured and/ or burnt to a crisp mentally).

I did not swim college b/c I had an unpleasant AG situation that really got me down on the sport. Took me 12 yrs to get back in the pool.

Allen Stark
February 2nd, 2007, 04:17 PM
Morgan,the relationship with the coach may be broken beyond repair,but if it's not I have an idea that may help. Offer to design the workouts for the sprint lane(I suspect you could get a lot of help from us in this.)If you need to be diplomatic you could say your were doing research on what the top sprinters were doing(something else we could help you with)and wanted to try some new things. You could offer to run the workouts by him before hand. If he is at all open minded it would be worth a try.

m2tall2
February 2nd, 2007, 05:29 PM
The difference between you and I, Morgan is that when I was in college, I let the workouts, the coach, and rude team mates trick myself into believing I couldn't get any further with my swimming.

I didn't think of seeking outside swimming advice. I didn't believe in myself to make a swimming college career everything it should be.

I regret quitting college swimming.

Now I get to try to redeem things to myself by being the best Masters swimmer I can possibly be on 5 or 6 hours of swimming a week.

You know what you want. Don't let stupid things like lousy coaches stand in your way because the time to be swimming for you is NOW.

Had I known then what I know now, I could've turned that junk yardage into some useful swimming had I been purposeful and sought outside advice.

The Fortress
February 2nd, 2007, 05:58 PM
Morgan,the relationship with the coach may be broken beyond repair,but if it's not I have an idea that may help. Offer to design the workouts for the sprint lane(I suspect you could get a lot of help from us in this.)If you need to be diplomatic you could say your were doing research on what the top sprinters were doing(something else we could help you with)and wanted to try some new things. You could offer to run the workouts by him before hand. If he is at all open minded it would be worth a try.

Now, I understand why you chose your profession! Great advice, if it works. Give it a shot Morgan -- maybe you already have?

I am generally very resourceful and determined, so I tried to do exactly what Allen suggested (probably not so diplomatically), and my coach blew me off. I tried to do what M2tall2 suggested as well, but it's difficult to turn junk yardage into quality stuff when your coach refuses to modify the workout. My coach refused to let me train with the men's team either, another possible option for you, which had a better, more experienced coach. I didn't take retirement lightly. I held many college records and liked my teammates, but it was a bad training environment for me. Although it was probably unconnected as I had always done a lot of yardage in my youth (while training in the stroker lane), I still link the bad training with my shoulder injury in my mind, perhaps unfairly -- all that yucky distance free. :( Probably why I won't touch the stuff now. It was very hard for awhile to retire, but, looking back, I still feel like I had a good swimming career and would be happy if my kid could replicate the joy and comraderie I felt throughout it. I hope to have a good late bloomin' masters career too, assuming the past shoulder trauma and dessication doesn't hold me down too much. ;) :) :lolup:

M2tall2 is right as well. Seeking outside advice and carefully weighing your options is smart. And it sounds like you're doing that. So, when you decide, it will be a well-informed decision.

Kristina:

I'm sorry about your AG problem. I had two of the best AG coaches a kid could hope for and I was very grateful for them, despite all the mega-yardage that was in vogue then. (And I was never injured as a kid.) At least you were only out 12 years, not 24 like me. Aside from the fast track, I took up LSD running like FlyQueen. LOL.

Muppet
February 2nd, 2007, 06:56 PM
Morgan,the relationship with the coach may be broken beyond repair,but if it's not I have an idea that may help. Offer to design the workouts for the sprint lane(I suspect you could get a lot of help from us in this.)If you need to be diplomatic you could say your were doing research on what the top sprinters were doing(something else we could help you with)and wanted to try some new things. You could offer to run the workouts by him before hand. If he is at all open minded it would be worth a try.

Allen this is an awesome idea. Morgan, judging by what I've read of your background, you sound like you'll be a senior next year. This would be a great chance for you to step up in a leadership and mentor-type role. I would go talk to your coach tomorrow. You know what the problem is and the best part is you have a solution. Even better, if he likes this idea and in a year when you and the folks you've adopted to train with have all kicked some major ass, maybe you'll get hired on for 08-09.

swim4me
February 2nd, 2007, 07:18 PM
Morgan,the relationship with the coach may be broken beyond repair,but if it's not I have an idea that may help. Offer to design the workouts for the sprint lane(I suspect you could get a lot of help from us in this.)If you need to be diplomatic you could say your were doing research on what the top sprinters were doing(something else we could help you with)and wanted to try some new things. You could offer to run the workouts by him before hand. If he is at all open minded it would be worth a try.

Fabulous advice Allen :bow: :bow: :bow: .

Morgan - You have nothing to loose by taking it, I hope you do.

blainesapprentice
February 4th, 2007, 09:14 PM
Fabulous advice Allen :bow: :bow: :bow: .

Morgan - You have nothing to loose by taking it, I hope you do.

Thanks everyone for the input, I've been away at a meet so I just got back to see all this tonight.

But, I have had many a sit down conversation with my coach, regarding the fact that I don't feel his practices are helping me specifically as a sprinter and I gave him a binder I had kept through the years that had probably around 400 workouts in it, and he copied them all, and I have never seen him use any of them. Unfortunately the problems that plague the relationship between my coach and I are not issues of miscommunication, but rather, an apathetic attitude on his part. He knew that I transfered schools after freshman year, because I had high hopes of making the NCAAs division II champioinships...I thought that him knowing that would be sufficient of an indicator that I wanted to be pushed, and challenged and would give it all it required to get there...but as we are discussing on the olympics thread...there's only so much a swimmer can do on their own without a real ever-present coach who is going to work with you to realize your potential and aspirations.

I am meeting with the coach at NYU hopefully during my spring break...because if he feels there is a place for me on that team, it may be a good option for me. As I intend to attend NYU for graduate school, and therefore, if I were to take next year off...my eligibility would be back during my first year of graduate school. Of course thats only an option to be considered.

Additionally, one of my major complaints with my team is that he has reinvented me as a swimmer in many ways. When I came to the college I was a 200freestyler and a 100flyer and I swam the 200im and the 100free occasionally. At this school I am always in the 50 and 100free, and never get a chance to move around and test other events. So come championship time...I have a time in 3 events...and thats what I get stuck swimming at championships...regardless of how I feel about the event. I am not against the 50 free per-say...but it's definitly not going to ever get me anywhere, esp. not any more....we don't practice starts or turns...which is pretty much...all there is to a 50free.

But, we have 8 more practices left, and then we leave for championships...so....I suppose the end of the season will be the tell tale indicator. :rolleyes:

Allen Stark
February 4th, 2007, 11:20 PM
8 more practices sounds manageable,especially if you are tapering.I hate to say it but changing teams may be the best action.Nice thing about Masters is you can swim everything you want.

blainesapprentice
February 5th, 2007, 10:00 PM
yeah...actually...we're still at 8 practices, he added one in last minute. It stinks to be this close to the end of the season, in taper, when the game is so much about mentality...and so discouraged. I keep trying to tell myself that regardless of the problems I have with my coach, I can still have a good championships...but on the other hand...I am trying to stay realistic so that I am not further discouraged at the meet if I don't go as fast or faster than last year. It's a hard situation to be in :-/

SwimStud
February 5th, 2007, 10:18 PM
yeah...actually...we're still at 8 practices, he added one in last minute. It stinks to be this close to the end of the season, in taper, when the game is so much about mentality...and so discouraged. I keep trying to tell myself that regardless of the problems I have with my coach, I can still have a good championships...but on the other hand...I am trying to stay realistic so that I am not further discouraged at the meet if I don't go as fast or faster than last year. It's a hard situation to be in :-/

Morgan. You've trained hard all year. You're going to do fine when the time comes. All the other issues will evaporate for a while. Just believe in yourself.

tjburk
February 6th, 2007, 09:15 AM
For the most part I swim alone. Lately, my son (16) has been coming in every once in a while for some pointers on turns and streamilnes for his upcoming HS State meet. His HS swim coach kind of bailed on the team because tennis started already.

I can usually push myself when alone, but it is kind of cool to have him swimming behind me trying to catch me. He is faster then me in the Breaststroke and IM already.

Kind of wish I did have someone to push me regularly!!!!

islandsox
February 6th, 2007, 11:25 AM
Hi Sarah and Everyone,

I just wanted to let you know that I have been swimming completely by myself for almost 6 years now because I live on an island in the Caribbean and I swim in the ocean every day or every other day. And even though I have beautiful fish and reef to look at it, it gets very, very lonely. I totally sympathize with the difficulty in maintaining a positive attitude.

But the one thing that motivates me is that I am swimming for a reason, for a cause or causes and those are that I love water, I want to be healthy, I want to compete, and I want to now see how far I can swim (the Roatan to Utila 18 mile swim in 2008). If I were not swimming, I would be unhappy as it is a huge part of my life.

A place I swim is 1/2 mile all the way around it and I go around and around and around, you get the picture.

But I ask myself this question when I get bored and I do get bored, what else would I be doing? And the answer to that question is this: I'd be sitting on my big butt watching TV because it is too hot here to walk or run during the daytime.

I motivate myself with small goals each week, one more half-mile, more sprinting to see if I can get to this set of stairs on one side of the bay, etc., anything that keeps me challenging myself because at the end of the day, I am glad I did all I did in the water that day.

I understand how hard it is to train by yourself; but I try to look at the loneliness differently; I look at it is my "quiet time" and that seems to help.

Your friend,
Donna

USMSarah
February 6th, 2007, 01:04 PM
I just wanted to let you know that I have been swimming completely by myself for almost 6 years now because I live on an island in the Caribbean and I swim in the ocean every day or every other day. And even though I have beautiful fish and reef to look at it, it gets very, very lonely. I totally sympathize with the difficulty in maintaining a positive attitude....

I understand how hard it is to train by yourself; but I try to look at the loneliness differently; I look at it is my "quiet time" and that seems to help.

The Caribbean! Oh WOW, I am totally jealous! That must be so amazing to be able to swim there in the OCEAN! WOW!

But, you are right - it is our "quiet time" - since I'm a stay at home Mom (I have a 14 month old) - it's nice to break away from "reality" and do something for myself... physically and mentally.

I'm so gonna live by the ocean a few years down the road - being near the ocean makes me feel complete - it's hard to explain, but I always feel so great when I see that water around me.

:D

notsofast
February 6th, 2007, 08:42 PM
To keep at it: zen. Yeah, it sounds 70s-style hokey, but one of the odd things you have to convince yourself is that all the work you are doing is important.
The zen book I stumbled on (at just the right time in my life) said that the perfect zen moment was the Chinese civil servant taking a test. All of the preparation, the studying and the work, was worthless without the test. Sound familiar?

Only the test allows you to show what you have learned and to show your talent. It is the challenge and rather than be afraid of it, you should welcome it. It allows you to become one with yourself and the moment.
OK, that's pretty hokey, but it does work. It's a highfalutin' way of saying you need to set goals then achieve them.
Or, as I think some politician once put it, "Perseverence is the hard work you do when you are exhausted from all the hard work you've done."
Morgan, I've followed your difficult situation lurking on a number of threads. Buddy, I don't have a tenth your talent or a hundredth your work ethic, but I wish for anything you keep at it, somehow, some way, because at 46, I've done a lot of things in this world, but I've never figured out how to un-quit anything.

USMSarah
February 6th, 2007, 10:02 PM
"All of the preparation, the studying and the work, was worthless without the test.

Oooooh... I like that.

The Fortress
February 7th, 2007, 02:54 PM
I've done a lot of things in this world, but I've never figured out how to un-quit anything.

Wow. I think a person can unquit things. What happened to free will and determination?

I unquit swimming and came back as a master. If I somehow can't quit my shoulder injury, I will unquit running and start road racing again. Lots of ways to unquit things. I think I need to unquit going on a nice long vacation, for instance. :D

Morgan: I know someone who tranferred and finished their college eligibility as a graduate student at NYU and was happy with the experience. You don't need to quit swimming; you need to find the place that makes you happy. I think you will. Good luck with your taper! Let us know how it all works out.

SwimStud
February 7th, 2007, 03:03 PM
Wow. I think a person can unquit things. What happened to free will and determination?



Fortress, I think he means unquit from where you quit. You can't pick it up right how you left it. We only go around once...or at least in each guise...no do overs.

Morgan perhpas this is a bit of mental fatigue creeping in and making things worse. I'm sure everyone here is pulling for you.

The Fortress
February 7th, 2007, 03:08 PM
Fortress, I think he means unquit from where you quit. You can't pick it up right how you left it. We only go around once...or at least in each guise...no do overs.

Morgan perhpas this is a bit of mental fatigue creeping in and making things worse. I'm sure everyone here is pulling for you.

No, I don't buy that either. I could have unquit college swimming and gone back on the team if I wanted to. I don't think any little "gap" is the test. It's whether you want to unquit or not at any point. The fact that there are no do overs only means you should be willing to unquit speedy quick if you realize you errred or unquiting is what you ultimately want, rather than settle for quitting. In other words, you don't have to stay a quitter.

SwimStud
February 7th, 2007, 03:12 PM
No, I don't buy that either. I could have unquit college swimming and gone back on the team if I wanted to. I don't think any little "gap" is the test. It's whether you want to unquit or not at any point. The fact that there are no do overs only means you should be willing to unquit speedy quick if you realize you errred or unquiting is what you ultimately want, rather than settle for quitting. In other words, you don't have to stay a quitter.

I agree with that too. A little gap doesn't count but say quitting and not going back then you get to 25...that's a big gap and you have missed opportunities. Even ifyou get back form and speed...you have missed what could have been. I think that's what the poster meant. It's like that old saying "You can never go back home."
I think we're on the same page though.

The Fortress
February 7th, 2007, 03:44 PM
"You can never go back home."

I don't want to! That place is freezing cold. I'm glad I quit it.

I notice that Gull unquit TI. Geek recently unquit zings after a nanosecond of being nicey mcnice. No real gap there. I unquit ART and now my shoulder's happier. I think you should unquit fins. ;)

There are many people on the comeback trail who have unquit ...

SwimStud
February 7th, 2007, 03:54 PM
I think you should unquit fins. ;)



I never started yet :p

The Fortress
February 7th, 2007, 04:11 PM
I never started yet :p

Then you should unquit your closed mind about fins. You don't want to get a set-Mind. :rofl: Or you might be attacked with a monofin.

poolraat
February 7th, 2007, 04:16 PM
Then you should unquit your closed mind about fins. You don't want to get a set-Mind. :rofl: Or you might be attacked with a monofin.

When I get mine we can attack him from both sides.
When we're done he will love the fly and forget that he used to be a breaststroker. :thhbbb: