PVC Mental Strategy 56

No Guarantee

Swimmers often tell me that they’d work harder on their swimming if they knew they’d be successful later on. Sadly, that’s not how life works, as there are no guarantees. 

Imagine how your life would change (for the worse) if you made the following statements and stuck by them:

  1. I’ll drive to the grocery store if I’m guaranteed the best parking spot. Under these terms, you’ll stay home and starve.
  2. I’ll ask a “special someone” out for a date if I’m guaranteed they’ll say yes. Under these terms, you live a lonely life.
  3. I’ll go to the doctor if they guarantee me that I’m in perfect health. Under these terms, you’ll put your health at risk.
  4. I’ll do a better job studying if I’m guaranteed 100% on the exam. Under these terms, you’ll remain a B student.
  5. I’ll go for an interview if they guarantee me the job. Under these terms, you’ll be unemployed.
  6. I’ll apply to Harvard if they guarantee acceptance. Under these terms, Harvard is beyond reach. 
  7. I’ll go out with my friends if they guarantee me the best time ever. Under these terms, you’ll stay home and be bored.
  8. I’ll buy a lottery ticket if I’m guaranteed to win a million dollars. Under these terms, you won’t buy a ticket.
  9. I’ll race the race if I’m guaranteed to win. Under these terms, you’ll end up watching from the stands.
  10. I’ll take my driver’s test if I’m guaranteed to pass. Under these terms, your parents will continue to drive you to practice.
  11. I’ll swim harder in practice if I’m guaranteed a personal best time at the next meet. Under these terms, you’ll continue to train on cruise control.
  12. I’ll get my haircut if I’m guaranteed to look like a Vogue or GQ model. Under these terms, you’ll end up looking like a cavewoman or caveman.

The message here is very straightforward. You do multiple things every day with no guarantee of a successful outcome, and swimming should be no different. Don’t put “conditions on your effort.” Your best chance of making it in swimming involves putting forth 100% effort with no terms or conditions. And that’s the best guarantee of all! 

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