Saturday, May 1, 2010

Phelps' Coach

I was just 12 and i was preparing for the national swimmmers meet where i had to swim the 200 mtr buttrfly.
The national record stood at 2 min:04.06 secs.

I was excited and enthusiastic to compete in that race,i wanted to win the race and shatter all the records.
However at the end of the race clock read -2min:9.37 secs.
It was really disappointing as i was someone who was supposed to break all the records.
BOB was furious yet attentive enough to make me take note of the lesson.
Coach made me understand that there is no substitute for hardwork,talent is fine but nothing can replace time spent in the pool.

After that I started some rigourous routines.I used to swim some 80,000 mtrs/week.
Be it it thanks giving day..I was training in the pool.
I never missed the routine 5 hour training.It was kind of a third degree drill but i knew it was making me stronger.
In the olympics most are strong enough physically... it's the mental toughness that will decide your fate.

Going through the hardest of routines for the next two years..i was again ready for the 200 mtr butterfly and this time i just wanted to swim the best that i could.
With the kind of practise that i had done i was sure of doing well but at the same time i had to ensure anxiety doesn't get the better of me.

Record stood at 2:04.06secs.I had to better it...

I dived... swam a beautiful race ,enjoyed every stroke of mine...after 4 laps i came up and glanced toward the score board.
It said 1:59:06... i had bettered the record by a massive 5 seconds.All the hardwork of the past two years came down to these 2 minutes.

I was happy ,my family was happy.Infact my mom had prepared a huge banner to welcome me home ,she had arranged a small party for me.
When my coach came to know about all this preparation ,he tore the banner and threw it away.
None of us could understand why he did that.

My mom got disappointed as she wanted to celebrate my success.

Coach asked her to temper the joy and keep everything in perspective of the bigger if I had to go 3000 steps ,this was just the 30th.
The party was cancelled and all of us just had a quite dinner.
Next morning i was again in the pool..

Everything went to normal and it wasn't taken as much of an achievement.
I was again doing those killer sets one after the other.
I continued competing with myself and kept on improving.
Coach always told me to not put any limits on what i could achieve.
He always said  "Two seconds faster than the world record..doesn't matter.3 seconds faster.. doesen't matter.You can swim as fast as you want.You can do anything you want.

Just dream it,believe it and achieve it."

One thing that he has got hardwired in my mind is that never get satisfied prematurely.
Every finish line is nothing but start of yet another race.

I have lived this suggestion all  my life .

Thanks BOB, i owe you a lot.


Saurabh Baghel said...

Thanx for such an enlightening example sir.....this incident reminds me of my first STATE Tournament for U.P at the age of 10....but the incident was a bit different to that of Maternal Grandfather had died and the next day was my STATE Finals for Table Tennis....i had to miss the grandfather's ceremony due to the finals......which i won...but the feeling was a tragic one.....i wasn't happy about it.....Guess this is the life of a SPORTSPERSON.... Cheers to Phelps & All the sportpersons around the World.

PS:- I'm gonna rent that book from u...once u finish reading it.

Rajkarn said...

A very motivating & full of potential post it is. I can't explain in words that how deeper in my heart this post touched.
All we know how gold comes to its final shape after being churned a number of times. That's what creates a real talent.
And yeah, Gaurav Sir, the way you presented this scenario, your writing style, was just awesome. One more thing, add me to your fan list.. (:P).

Abhishek Tondon said...


Competing with oneself is the best sort of competition, I believe.

I'd also acknowledge your emboldening of the words "...swam a beautiful race ,enjoyed every stroke of mine...". That's an essential ingredient to for the recipe of Victory/Success. And, I'd even go on to say, that this ingredient is tastier than the recipe, or to word it better, Victory/Success is just a by product. :)