Category Archives: life

D is for…….


The next in my A-Z of coaching…..

d is for…..

Every child that joins a swimming club has a Dream. They want to win races, to get better and, ultimately, go to the Olympics.

Dreams  are aspiration desires. Dreams should be BIG, dreams that don’t scare you, dreams that don’t get you out of bed every single day are simply not big enough.

Those people who achieve their dreams are those who have the DRIVE to transform their dreams into goals.

The D in my A-Z is therefore Drive. 

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To be driven is to be compelled to act in a particular way, especially one that may be considered difficult.

There is no doubt that sport if difficult. No ‘normal’ people would do it. Its a lot of early mornings and long weekends. Its dealing with injuries and disappointments. Its antisocial.

It takes special people to stick at sport for the long haul, to reach the very top.

It takes people with Drive

Personally the thing that drives me is the desire to prove that I know what I am doing smiley-face-flat

I consider myself to have been incredibly lucky as a coach, I have coaches some athletes who have been exceptional Irish swimmers but there is always that little doubt at the back of my head. The reality that those athletes would in all likelihood have achieved at least as much, if not more, elsewhere.

If my desire is to become as good as I can be, to be as close to world class as possible, then I believe I need to assist athletes to reach their fullest potential on a consistent basis. It is this drive that wakens me every morning at 5am, that makes the decision to say no to nights out an easy one.

It is my belief that no matter what area of life you have ambition in, without drive your dreams will remain just that.

 

 

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MO-vember


Its that time of year again.

Time to forgo the beard i love so much and take a stand for something more important than my facial hair.

In a year when I think that maculinity and ‘being a man’ has taken some hits I worry that men will do what we generally do and not talk about what bothers us.

Suicide is the biggest killer of men my age in the UK. That is a shocking fact!

We need to break the stigma that we can feel around mens health issues and shine a light on the reality that men suffer too and that its ok to not be ok.

It is good to talk – its not just a handy hashtag.

In a time when it generally seems to be ok to bash men for being masculine in a way its not ok to bash any other group, men need to stand up and show the difference between masculinity and masogyny or chauvinism.

Men cry

Men get sick

Men have problems

Men need help

Men need to realise that they are men and ask for help

This year I became a father for the first time, a truly wonderful experience. An experience that got me thinking about my own mortality, I want to gros old to walk Harper down the aisle (in the unlikely event that she ever finds someone I deem good enough). I made a decision to be more proactive about my health.

Scariest thing? Phoning up to make a prostate exam appointment.

Second scariest thing? Going for it.

The truth however is, it was a blood test, not scary at all.

I dont have a huge circle of friends……not sure if there are even enough to form a rudimentary circle, but I know if I need them, they can be reached and will listen and, I hope, they know the same.

Again, in my experience, starting the conversation is the hard bit, but friends wont judge you and will listen and support.

Men are facing a crisis right now – WE ARE DYING TOO YOUNG

If you feel you can, help me raise a little cash through the MOvember foundation by clicking the link to my page below. More importantly help us break the stigma surrounding mens health – start the conversation

https://mobro.co/13599598?mc=1

#itsgoodtotalk

#movember

#menshealth

#itsoktonotbeok

6 great life lessons


A fantastic video from Goalcast with 3 of the very best life lessons you will ever hear on how to live..

1. Dont judge others.

2. Never be late. Its better to be an hour early than a minute late

3. Make sure your serving towel is begger than your ego. Ego is the anesthesia that deadens stupidity

John Wooden – greatest college basketball coach ever – his calling was to impact on peoples lives. Ever day he could be fund with a broom brushing the floor of his own gym.

You want to impact on people….find your broom

4. Be kind. It cost nothing to be kind.

5. If your going to do something, do it right.

Being good is not good enough if you can be better, being better i not good enough if you can be best.

How are you living?

6. Just stand. No matter how rough the seas of this life get, no matter how tough things are you dont give up you dont back down you keep standing.

Everyone fails in their life. And sometimes you even hit rock bottom but you know what, rock bottom is a pretty good foundation.

How are you living?

Love this video thanks to those who shared it and brought it to my attention.

Peter

A is for…..


I thought that I would try to start a new series of blog posts.

‘The A – Z of coaching’

Now I should point out that I dont intent for this to be a ‘how to’ manual, or even overly in depth breakdown of how I coach. Rather, I intend for it to be a series of thoughts about elements of coaching that I feel resonate with me.

So here goes….

Ais for……..

I could have went for Aerobic (or Anaerobic for that matter), then I thought maybe Attrition was a better word, a word that ment something to me personally. By attrition I was thinking the relentlessness of the grind, but when I looked up the meaning of attrition it said

the process of reducing somethings strength or effectivness through sustained attack or pressure

(kind of the opposite of what a coach does or tries to do)

But thats not the attritional bit for me, the part that gets tiring , the part that can reduce you effectiveness is maybe the relentless nature of sport, the no rest til we’re done approach, the no compromises.

But those things are the things I like about sport, they are the reason I coach, I like the honest of it. I guess I dont find it attritional at all really. So back to the drawing board….

Then it struck me….. Attitude.

Wonderful-Attitude-Wallpaper-Attitude-Is-Everything-Life

In the squad system we have adopted in Larne, the difference between being in the Junior National squad and the age group program comes down to attitude.

I dont believe in talent as a concept, I believe that everyone have the potenial to achieve all they wish to in life if they work towards it.

It wont be easy, there will be challenges, there will be failures along the way. How close you get to achieving your goals depends on how you react to these things…….and that comes down to attitude. 

The right attitude makes athletes coachable, and it makes coaches approachable. 

Your attitude impacts on every area area of your life, your performance, relationships and everyone around you.

We have a choice every day, we can choose to have an attitude of self-encouragement and self-motivation or we can elect to have one of self-defeat and self-pity, we all face this choice and the important thing is to remember that its not what is happening to you that is important but how you respond to those things. (easier said than done)

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is key to success

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man Up


So, it appears everywhere I turn lately, men are getting a hard time, or, more specifically, masculinity is getting a hard time.

Masculinity is a set of attributes, behaviours and roles, generally associated with boys and men. It is both socially defined and biologically created.

The attributes we generally associate with masculinity generally fall into 2 groups

  1. The stuff we wrongly think is exclusive to men
  2. The stuff that really is exclusive to men (but which doesn’t do us any good)

In this first category we put things like courage, stoicism and a competence in traditionally manly tasks. The only problem here is that, having seen my wife give birth, this category is nonsense. In the second we put what we can probably best refer to as ‘emotional reserve’ but is really ‘emotional incompetence.

I believe that, inherent in the way a great many of us have been raised, a key feature of masculinity is an inability to answer the simple question – “what’s the matter”

As a man it feels somehow less masculine to be able to say, “actually yeah there is something I need to talk about”

Masculinity has somehow been turned into a negative thing.

Who says that men can’t cry?

Who says men can’t open up and talk about their feelings?

Who says that doing either of these things make anyone less masculine?

Surely being able to openly discuss your feelings takes a great deal of courage!

lets talk

I’m not suggesting that men should cry at the drop of a hat, that would annoy everyone, but being able to talk honestly about things that are affecting you is something that everyone should feel they can do.

Everyone has problems at some point in their life – its normal

Everyone goes through things that they find tough – its normal

In a world where the largest killer of men under 40 is suicide it is high time we reclaimed the word masculinity, embraced our differences, opened up about our problems and talk to each other.

I have been through some pretty dark times and, in my experience, your friends don’t judge you the way you fear they will. The hardest thing to do is take that 1st step and start the conversation but once you do you realise that you are not alone, that people do care.

#worldmentalhealthday

#itsoktonotbeok

#itsgoodtotalk

There are people out there who care and can help, if you want someone to talk to check out CALM

World-Mental-Health-Day-10th-October

Parents in Sport Week


Date :- 2nd – 8th October 2017

 

This is week is parents in sport week

The primary focus of parent in sport week is to highlight the valuable role parents play (and the positive influence they have) in ensuring that young people develop to their full potential and enjoy their time playing sport. Parents play a pivotal role in sport and young people depend on their support and encouragement.

I have, in the past, possibly been a little tough on parents (see my last post maybe). If this is the case then it is only because, as a coach of a youth team, I know 1st hand how important parents are in the development of their children. I witness the positive influence many, many, great parents have on their young aspiring athletes.

I understand the power a negative word or a negative outlook by parents has on the dreams and ambitions of many children.

Larne Swimming Club is an athlete centred, coach driven program designed to help every child reach their full potential in a safe and encouraging environment.

This would not be at all possible if it wasn’t for the tireless work that goes on behind the scenes by a small number of parents who sit on the committee and run the administrative and financial sides of the club. These parents set aside the personal ambitions they have for their own children to help the club develop every child within it. The coaching team is very ably augmented by a team of parents who come on poolside to help deliver the best program possible.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every volunteer parent who assists with the smooth running of the club, without you youth sport in general, and Larne SC specifically, would cease to exist.

 

I would also like to thank my own mum an dad for everything