No shortcuts to greatness

Last week I visited one of our training groups in Asturias, northern Spain.

I really enjoy seeing what they’re doing at different times of the season. In the Autumn/Winter periods the volume is higher both on and off water. It’s great to see how they’re working on the technique, aerobic capacity, strength and other important areas. Then, in the Spring/Summer months it gets more specific and I love seeing them achieve race speed and race technique with such ease.

So far, Autumn has been very warm, and although the weather is finally changing and the morning started fresh, it soon warmed up and we all enjoyed another lovely day.

There are some big names in this training group. Most of them are already Olympic medalists but they still work with the same dedication, humility and discipline.

Marcus Cooper – Rio 2016 Olympic Champion & Tokyo 2020 silver medalist. Current K4 500m World Champion.
Carlos Arévalo – Tokyo 2020 silver medalist. Current K4 500m World Champion.
Rodrigo Germade – Tokyo 2020 silver medalist. Current K4 500m World Champion.

They know that there are no shortcuts to greatness.

Discipline is worked on day by day. Without haste. Creating habits and behaviors that help us achieve our ambitions. Constancy is a virtue and we should not rush on the path to our goals.

The Greek philosopher Epictetus said that we must overcome a long winter of training and not rush into things that we are not prepared for.

Discipline, perseverance, patience and preparation. Our athletes keep working towards their goals, with purpose, however difficult it may be.

To make those tough moments more bearable, a healthy team climate is essential. Some months ago I wrote about nurturing team climate.

The following day, I decided to join them on the water for an easy 12km session. It felt great being next to them as I used to when I still raced.

It was the right decision because the next time I visit them I won’t be able to keep up with their speed.