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Making Your Bed and Addressing Habits!

Hi All,

Coach Justin here again. After some delay, I am pleased to bring you the second part of our two-part post on Ownership and Habits. If you haven't had a chance to look at Part 1, please make sure to click HERE as it focuses much on the ownership and self-reflective introduction to our topic. Additionally, there is great information on the Growth Mindset and other topics from some of our earlier work, so check it out! As we move forward, we'll be discussing what it means to build habits and implement our core values to maximize these habits. Do you have difficulty finding the time to implement new routines? How have you adjusted priorities throughout the year based on what the pertinent tasks are? Are you a part of the New Year's resolution evaporation come February 1st? Habits apply not only to our athletic training, but also to our work and school schedules, our relationships (family, friends, significant others all apply), and our daily goals. Take a look at the video and article below to get some of these gears turning.

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I know just as well as anyone that new habits can be a chore. We've heard the concept of "make your bed" as a means to literally AND proverbially kickstart our day, but what does that really mean? First and foremost, it's a commitment. It's committing to the idea that I want the very first thing I [should] do to be productive, and reflect on my personal organization values. It also speaks to cleanliness. No, when your parents ask you to clean your room before guests, they aren't expecting those guests to immediately sprint up to your room first. Perhaps guests just are a scapegoat to complete the needed chores, but it should still create some schema about how you want to present your "space" to others. Thirdly, making your bed speaks to the idea that habits DON'T have to include saving a cat from a tree, running a half marathon, and reading a full book every single day. Build your routine, one (1) brick at a time. Make your bed, you'll thank yourself later.

The video on "10 Habits" does a suitable job in highlighting necessary elements to an athlete's routine, though I'd like to highlight some of my favorites. First, it cannot be overstated how much visualization can affect performance and training. I've spoken on several occasions to my swimmers about removing question marks from your swimming. If you know how many kicks allow you to break out with maintained velocity, you've effectively removed a question mark - that's your angle for approaching underwaters/walls. Similarly, if you have a big presentation, visualize it! Run through your pitch. Big test coming up? Try to imagine what questions you'll see on the paper. De-stigmatize the final competition/test/speech with your preparation.

WATER and WARM-UP/COOLDOWN! Hydrating is so very important that I could repeat it until I'm blue in the face. As someone with renal dysfunction, I know how imperative hydration is. Don't limit your body's homeostatic function by remaining dehydrated. Try to substitute at least 1 non-water beverage in your day for another glass or two of water, and build from there. The supportive studies for hydration in athletes are numerous, so don't hesitate to consult Google. Secondly, recovery to accompany this hydration is so key to success. Take the time - PRIORITIZE SUCCESS. A 10 minute dynamic warm-up before each practice and stretching/foam rolling/massaging afterwards go a long way. It may be one of the top items I wish I had prioritized better during my own swimming career. And for you parents, grandparents, and friends reading this, don't think I'm not calling you to improve these too. Don't go to sleep immediately after a stressful environment. Take 15 minutes to stretch, drink a glass of water, and sloooooow doooooown.

I'm very partial to the learning process. Everlasting intellectual curiosity is invaluable. Learning throughout your day helps you create neural connections, mesh ideas, develop schemas.. Ding ding ding, Eureka! There's a reason our recognition skills get better. We've built a storehouse of experiences/relationships that make these connections possible. Learning doesn't need to be in a class of 24 in front of a big whiteboard. Nor should it always be a chore. Find ways to just be 1% better. That's learning. Ask yourself "why" more often, and you may find you understand topics at a deeper level, or even knew all along. Learn, learn, learn. Sponge your surroundings and you may soak up new passions, interests, and self-reflections in the process. And, too, don't be afraid to consult an authority on a topic, as they often will be teeming to share what they know to an interested peer.

Fact of the week: The habits of the best are clearly defined but not rigid. Be clear in your expectations; talk to yourself (literally and figuratively) to reflect on experience and current emotions; learn from the best; TAKE OWNERSHIP and BE INTENTIONAL; stop fearing prioritization. The sooner we can implement these into our daily lives, the sooner we have control. There is nothing more satisfying than self-efficacy, and the human psyche is in a constant power struggle to understand what we can VS cannot control. Just make your bed, and maybe that will lead to reading 5 more pages, drinking one more glass of water, and giving it 100% for one more 50 butterfly in practice. Thus, goes the snowball. Hope this can be a start! Stay tuned and check out YouTube for more!

How does my child move up? Come to every swim class, bring your progress report, earn those stickers, and ask your child's instructor or location's deck manager if you have questions.

How do I move up? Attend as many of your classes as possible, communicate with your instructor on your struggles, goals, and where you're at in our curriculum. We also have many adults who purchase a gym membership to 24 Hour Fitness or LA Fitness while they are taking lessons so they can practice 2-3 times between classes.

Habits are the key to the gateway of consistent success! Glad your swimmer is learning to swim with us!

Justin Roy & The Sigma Team

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