SwimMark Club
Club Mark

'TRAIN TOUGH' by David Terry

The Train Tough strategy is a powerful way of thinking – based on the military way of dealing with the enemy. The strategy controls everything. The strategy will take you from ‘See what happens’ to ‘make things happen.’ It uses every factor affecting outcome and turns it to your advantage. It’s always looking for that winning edge.

First select a target. As a swimmer ‘target selection’ is part of your job. It’s your job to define your destination and develop a strategy for getting there. Once you know your target, you can focus your efforts on hitting it!

Then make a habit. Good habits strengthen performance, while bad habits add friction that makes achievement very difficult. Every habit builds on every other habit. Identify, breakdown and destroy bad habits (…the one-hour toilet time brigade please note 😉) identify, build and reinforce good habits.

Give 110%. This effort level cannot be proven; it exists only as a very powerful idea. It lifts human effort beyond what can be measured to a whole new level. Imagination is there. Creativity is there. Finding a better way is there. Go there sometime soon.

Be a warrior. Becoming a dedicated swimmer is not an easy decision – but it’s a choice that leads to extraordinary results. Dedicated swimmers are like warriors. Warriors proceed as though the limits of their abilities do not exist. Most swimmers try -  warriors don’t just try, they perform as though their lives depend on it.

Want it BAD. If you want something badly enough, you will find a way to get it. You close off distractions, negative thoughts and negative people, concentrating on the task.

Get the stance. Confidence exudes confidence, so train like a champion does. Be an eagle, not an aimless sheep.

Harness fear. There are times when we are all scared (yes, of course I get scared) – fear of failing, of not achieving, of getting it wrong. How you act when you feel fear defines the warrior in you. Use fear as a motivator.

Get your act together. Be prepared for every training session in every way. This goes beyond ‘you’ packing your swim bag, adjusting your goggles, filling your drinks bottle – those are givens. Do something today that will make your racing better tomorrow. Make the link between training and racing - the better your training is, the better the reliability of your performance in races.

Do the work. The most direct line to success is to do the work. Swimmers that are honestly convinced that they have worked harder and smarter than their rivals are also convinced that they deserve to win. The larger your investment, the more you have to lose, but the greater the rewards of winning will be.

Set high goals. Dare to be great.

Prepare over time. You can’t cram for swim meets like you do for tests or exams!

Train hard. You have to have a work ethic. If you pace yourself in training, if you are not pushing up and trying to do more than you thought possible, unconsciously you’ll do the same in a race, so push up and get hustling!

Communicate. Support your squad mates and team mates. Help to create an atmosphere of positive energy where motivation is high and people can achieve. Do not be around negative people (sheep) because they will drag you down.

Get on board. Believe. If you believe it, you can achieve it. Know you are training the right way for success.

Pick yourself up. When things go wrong, get yourself right back on track. Look at what has happened and think about what you can learn from it. Ask for help from your coach.

Know your enemy. If you want to win the Hampshire County Championships, South East Region Championships, National Championships, then do some homework. Look at previous results and see the time of the winners. Where are you in relation to them? What will you have to do to make those times? Understand that to win you need to train better than the current champions do!

Be inspired. Try to emulate the best. Find something big to achieve and then GO FOR IT!

Hopefully this has inspired you all to greater things. The Train Tough strategy is something I live and breathe in my quest for sporting success. I hope that you will do the same too!

David Terry

ASA/UKCC Level 3 Performance Coach

Fareham Nomads Club Coach