FitSwim Stamford: Strength. Swimming. Performance.

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The healthy development of the whole person benefits from the ability to move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities. As a fitness professional I firmly believe that physical strength is the basis of all the things we want to do with our body in life: work, play, hike or catching the bus from the station, for example.

The concept of sport performance is at high stake in the swimming department programme of my school, led by Gil Levy, an elite swim coach at the national, international and olympic performance level. Gil came up with a comprehensive plan and he leaves no stone unturned on his way to achieve excellence, and this is one of the reasons that inspired and motivated me to get involved. The swimming performance training approach in our swimming team is centered on the following components: athletes’ neuromuscular factors, the psychological factors, environmental conditions and coaching and external support for the swimmers.

In leading the FitSwim strength and conditioning program I am ensuring that the neuromuscular  components are being magnified through a systemic stress and a systemic response from the muscles during the strength sessions.  We focus on the whole body as a unit, a system, instead of an isolated component. The system gets stronger and the components, too. It is an utilitarian adaption of simple biological principles of stress, recovery, and adaptation that we practice in our progressions.

The strength and conditioning program has a frequency of two sessions a week, with swimmers starting  to train ar 7.00 am. Additionally, short technique sessions are performed during the holiday sessions or swimming camps. This tops up an intesive swimming training  with some of the most commited athletes attending the sessions during school holidays.

In the upcoming posts I will share insights of our strength programme featuring the top swimmers in our school and Singapore. Until then, our swimmers are flying really high!

 

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4 Generations 4 Education – Professional Development 2018

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Worth checking 4 Generations 4 Education for valuable professional development opportunities!

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Willpower

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Delayed gratification is defined as the ability to resist the temptation of an immediate reward and wait for a later  reward ( Wikipedia).

As children strengten their willpower, they need to learn when not to rely on it. In the Marshmallow experiment, many children tried to resist the temptation by staring at the marshmallow and willing to be strong. Staring at it weakened the willpower, they gave in and ate it. The ones that resisted for fifteen minutes tipically made it by finding something distracting. They turned around, covered their eyes, played with their clothes or sang a song. A few videos like this will reveal adorable children facing temptation.

Controlling attention is important. But the most important is that you need willpower to control attention ( Baumeister and Tierney, 2012)

Mihaela’s challenge: wait 15 minutes to get a second marshmallow if you don’t eat the one you have on the plate. Alex’s challenge: wait 15 minutes without eating the chocolate bar. If you resist temptation, you get 3 bars. In a week time.

Refining the basics of self-control involves setting clear and realistic goals, providing quick feedback, and offering encouragement to keep practicing and improving. Succes is within your reach if you build on the discipline to try, try, try again. (Baumeister and Tierney, 2012).

As intelligence is not a sure predictor of success, we can exercise self-control and resilience with rewards at the end of the day, breaking big projects into chunks, writing goals down and making them visible or even cross-country events that may increase the appreciation of long term rewards.

“Willpower is to the mind like a strong blind man who carries on his shoulders a lame man who can see.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

References:

Baumeister, F. and Tierney, J. 2012. Willpower: Why Self-Control is the Secret of Success.