This morning I had a swim lesson and I left with an even greater life lesson to jump start my week.
Coach Linda told us nicely a few times, but it is when she used “that tone” to say, “Listen, form always trumps effort” that we all paid attention.
Instantly, my mind left the pool and went to my calendar. What am I doing today that if I worked on “my form” would take much less energy and effort? How do I do more with less effort is a question I am constantly asking myself – how about you?
What I learned in the water was that when the pressure to go faster hits, you start digging deeper into the water which makes you use much more energy than is required. All that extra effort actually works against you because you break that even plane that allows your body to glide through the water. Good to know.
So why do we work against ourselves both in swimming and in life? Linda's answer…and I quote “It feels good”. She is so right. When things get stressful and the pressure to get more done hits we dig in and push harder and harder. Why? It feels good or at least it feels like the right thing to do and yet we know it is not productive, We simply fool ourselves to think we are actually doing something useful.
In coaching vernacular, its about working smarter not harder! It is about good form or in this case alignment of values, priorities, and goals. Doing the right things the right way for the right reasons for the right outcomes.
What is required is not following your natural inclinations under stress but instead to think about each stroke, breath, and kick to keep yourself in that effortless place. It's about your form to make sure you are using your skills to keep on an even plane headed as straight as possible which leads to faster speeds with less effort.
What can you do today to make your day smoother, faster, and a heck of a lot more fun?
Dive in and enjoy the swim!