Well the Aggies ‘fell short’ last week against Memphis. Aggie fans (or those who picked them to win in their bracket) should not be bummed out, nor should they be kicking themselves over that loss. I read some article from a link on texags.com about the game and the journalist really nailed it when he pointed out the athletic upperhand that Memphis had. Both teams fought hard, but that slight advantage of quickness kept costing us. In fact, I was surprised to see it come to down to the final few seconds because it seemed like Memphis could make a run at any point. The home crowd was our advantage.
So the season ended ‘early’ and trips to Atlanta have been cancelled. I often tell some of my triathlon peers to ‘never been disappointed with improvement.’ Falling short of your dreams should not cloud the goals that an athlete or a team has achieved. You have to set your sights high, but there is only so much you can actually achieve. Obviously a team wants to win every game, but only B Knight has done that. He pointed this out in an interview I saw with him and said (abouting winnine every game); “by those standards I’ve failed every year, but one.” (For the record, I think that his undefeated IU team is one of the most impressive performances in sports history).
Aside from winning every single game the ultimate goal is to win the national championship, but when you come from 0-16 in Big 12 play its going to take time. Gillespie reminds me of what I often hear about Brett Sutton (triathlon coach): “Lots of coaches can make a good athlete great, but Sutto makes average athletes great.”
That’s Gillespie. Law is a good athlete turned great. But TAMU was a piss poor program one year and a favorite for many in the Sweet 16 3 years later. Please hang around Coach G. You don’t owe TAMU anything so I hope the university commits itself to keeping you.
I finished up a three week cycle of training yesterday and I will be resting up for this weekend’s race; the Lonestar HIM in Galveston, Texas. This will be a good chance to get a glimpse of my early season fitness before I head off to Boulder for another summer. This year is much different from the past as I put training in ‘moderate mode’ throughout January and February (and all that after a light December and hardly anything in November). It feels great to have held back for that long. I feel as though I have another gear to go to as the training in Boulder begins in April. However, I still think I can get a decent result this weekend with what I have done.
U of H hosted a Sectional Masters Swimming competition (hope I got that right) this weekend and some friends of mine from the Worth of Fort came into town to race.
Swimming became an obvious topic of discussion and I always love to hear the war stories of swimmer kids. This time I was fairly impressed when Nicole told me she swam 15 x 1500 Long course in a workout once. That’s a good week’s worth of volume for me. It just goes to show how marginal the gains are at the top and what athletes do to try to gain an edge.
So is it necessary to do a workout like this? Probably not as it relates to physiological gains, but the psychological gains can be tremendous. Coaches have to take their athletes’ heads into account when designing a training program. Author/Coach Cecil Cowen talks about one coach is his book, Breakthrough Swimming, who prescribed weightlifitng for his sprint swimmers. He wanted his athletes to look in the mirror and see strong arms; strong arms that could outspint anyone. He cared little about what the weight training did for their actual times.
I knew another athlete, an All-State Offensive lineman in high school (Stephenville), that told me he worked his biceps and triceps every day when played. He knew that this sort of training had little functional use, but he said he did it for intimidation. “I wanted the defense to see the most powerful arms in the state. And those arms were guarding our Qback.”
You have to love that.