Recently, I attended a seminar with two of the brightest minds in my sport. Our topic centered around advanced techniques to alter a swimmers experience in the aquatic environment. We can save those topics for another post! This post is about what one of these brilliant minds said going into this seminar.

“I want to be the first person to see what is coming in the future, so I can decide whether to put in on the boat, let it sail by, or sink it”

The Horizon.

It separates the earth from the sky.
It is where people have looked with hope for ages.

The present day has brought the horizon to our door step. Through advances in travel, we fly beyond the horizon and across the globe in hours. Technology has brought the ideas and thoughts of millions to our pockets.

As athletes, coaches and practitioners…

We must stay fixated on the horizon. If not constantly, at least consistently. Strive to maintain a ‘future-minded’ practice. Staying a step ahead of the competition requires that we stay ahead of ourselves, constantly striving to upgrade how we think, plan and strategize. With the constant flow of tips and tools, techniques and methodology, fads and trends, the ability to sift through the information as it passes over the horizon can enable us to scale up our skills and abilities.

Now that we have our eyes set on the horizon, what are our options?

1. Put it on the boat

The first option is to put it on the boat.

In life, maybe you have heard of the amazing learning potential locked in the world of podcasts. We start researching popular podcasts, pick out a few, and download one episode. We grab that piece of information and we put it in our boat. Once we have this broad piece of information in our boat, we may realize that we are looking at an entirely new horizon in the world of podcasts. The majority of podcasts we will let sail by, but the ones we keep in our boat will impact our life dramatically.

2. Let it sail by

The second option is the most passive. It is all about blocking out the noise. There are so many forms of media trying to grab our attention and force our eyes onto their product. The ability to let those sail by is paramount. The more experience we gain in our field, and the more we begin to carve out our identity, the easier it will be to let these messages go without spending much, or any, time on them. The easier it will become to let them sail by.

Even more than information, the ability to let other aspects of our life, like say, relationships, sail by, is critical to the success of a young athlete. Look who we surround ourselves with, and who is fighting for our attention. Do these people add to, or take away from, our ability to be our best self? If they do take away from our goals, best to let those sail by.

3. Sink it

Our third option, when staring into the horizon, is to sink that piece of information. In our everyday life, we may be the type of person who has always been told “calories in calories out” is all that matters in nutrition. Though that carries some weight, the modern research is very clear, that there’s much more involved in proper nutrition planning and healthful eating than the “calories in calories out” mindset. Sink that one.

In my day to day life, I am constantly sifting through information and sinking what I do not believe fits into what I do. This mainly comes out in my coaching. Working at a Division 3 school with limited resources means so much of what I read and research about Division 1 programs has to either be modified or sunk all together.

Most of us are in that scenario. There’s too much on the horizon for us NOT to have a keen filter.

Scan the horizon.
Identify what to put on the boat, sink, or let it sail by.



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Author: Sam Davy

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