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Monday, December 9, 2013

Graham Coleman Getting It Done

Graham Coleman from Ireland was a swimmer as a child and then didn’t swim for decades.

Several years ago, Coleman got back into the water and starting doing marathon swimming to complement his work at a local software company. He took back to the sport with a vengence. Besides successfully crossing the English Channel while raising over £20,000 for the Central Remedial Clinic in 2007, he also crossed Lake Zurich, participated in an English Channel two-way relay, a Lake Windermere two-way relay, four 10 km Irish Long Distance Swimming Association swims and the Cleggan-to-Inishbofin Swim.

How did Coleman do it?

How did he start from ground zero and be successful on his first English Channel attempt in 16 hours 42 minutes? The important thing is that he accomplished his goals that he set out. Graham shared his goal-setting concepts first-hand:

Setting Goals to Increase Performance

Goal setting is both one of the most important components in achieving success and also one of the most commonly ignored. Often swimmers are so focused on improving their techniques, strength, flexibility and maximising the training hours, but let’s take a look at how goal setting can help endurance athletes.

Imagine if something existed which could make the early morning sessions easier to get up for, those long pool sessions easier to complete, the seemingly endless sea sessions more enjoyable and your race results as good as you’d like them to be. While setting goals certainly won’t make rice taste like chocolate, they give a purpose and help athletes stay motivated to achieve that higher level they have been striving for both in training and in the events.

So what is a goal?

A goal is a specific, measurable target which you would like to achieve in the future. Goals are the reason to get out of bed at 5 am to go training before work. Goals are the reason to go training when all you want to do is sit in front of the TV. The great thing is, setting goals is a simple process. People have been doing it for years – “I want to drop a few pounds before I go on holidays”, “I want to get my work done during the day and stop taking it home”.

The only new thing is, now we’re going to apply this logic to what for most is a life-long hobby to help us achieve the success we want.


Setting Goals

So you think setting some goals might help with your training and events, but how do you go about it? Well firstly there are a few things we have to consider. Whilst this is a simple process, the steps you take to set your goals are very important. If you end up with goals that are too general there will be no incentive to succeed. If they are too easy, you’ll struggle for motivation. Too hard and you’ll end up disappointed or even worse, injured. I use a simple four-step process to set goals:

1) ACHIEVABLE - Of course goals should stretch you and make you aim higher but too often goals are set which are too far out of reach. Goals must be feasible; otherwise the negative effect of not achieving the unrealistic goal can be seriously detrimental. If you currently swim 1,500 meters in 20 minutes, setting a goal to beat the world record may just lead to a sense of failure as the realisation occurs that this goal is not achievable.

2) DETAILED - Detailed goals make it perfectly clear what you want to achieve. Vague goals lead to a lack of focus. It’s better to say “I will reduce my 1,500 meter time”, instead of “I’d like to get faster at swimming”. All too often, general goals like the later end up as aspirations, as opposed to targets.

3) MEASURABLE- Goals and the progress towards these goals must be measurable. This
measurement not only helps you monitor progress, but also provides vital motivation as you train towards achieving your goal. Most swimming goals are measured in terms of speed or time. Taking the first example, let’s add the measurement - “I will reduce my 1,500 meter time by 60 seconds”

4) TIMED - By setting a deadline to achieve the goals, the focus and motivation is maintained. Without a time-frame, goals enter the arena of aspirations again. Taking our example, by adding a time frame we get “I will reduce my 1,500 meter time by 60 seconds by 1st July”. Comparing this to the alternate initial goal of “I’d like to get faster at swimming”, suddenly you can see the power a correctly created goal can generate


Maintaining a Focus on Goals

Keeping focus on the goals is the key to maintaining motivation.

Think of the end result – allow yourself to imagine what will happen if you achieve your goal. How will you feel when you swim faster than you ever have before? When you knock time off events you never thought possible? When you finish higher in the race than ever before? Allow yourself to imagine how you will feel when you achieve this goal, and let that feeling motivate you to train harder

Chart your progress - chart time trained, distance swam and improvements in times each. Many find that using wall charts to graph this progress gives them an extra kick when they’re feeling “what’s the point?” Suddenly you can see how much you’ve achieved so far, how far you’ve come and how you’re getting closer to your goal.

Share your goals – there’s nothing quite like people power to help motivation! Let people know what you are trying to do and who knows you might find that if they get behind you, the extra push they give could be vital to getting that step closer to your goal.

Plan to succeed – to achieve your goals, you also must create a training plan which will help you to get from where you are now, to where you want to be. Consult coaches, experienced swimmers and experts in the area. Make sure you have a plan which you know if you stick to it, will get you to your goal.


Summary

Goals are something which give us targets to strive for, Maybe this is to improve your speed for 1,500 meter or maybe this is to improve your final position in a 5-kilometer race. Whatever the case, remember to keep a focus on why you want to achieve this goal and how you will feel when you succeed and let this feeling motivate you!

Finally, remember that sometimes things happen that mean goals have to be raised or lowered - maybe you’ve had an injury and need to lower your goals or maybe you’ve had an opportunity to train more than expected and need to raise them. Keeping goals at the wrong levels can be just as damaging as having no goals at all, so make the process open to changes as required. So stay open to changing goals if your circumstances change.


Some outstanding secrets of success.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.

Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.

The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."

Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Swim Across the English Channel...

OWSM-CM

Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?

Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!

Open Water Swimming Magazine


Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
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The Other Shore


The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.

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