For several years I arose at 4:30 am in the morning to go swim under the leadership of a great coach. Here are a few life lessons and training lessons I learned during those years that have changed my life.
1. If there is someone placed in your path that can teach you something you want to learn or improve at, then by all means be a good student. Here’s how:
A. Show up for the lessons. Every time. All the time. Not just when it is easy, comfortable or convenient.
B. Do what your teacher says. Don’t think you know better. Don’t think you can’t. Don’t look around at what others are doing. Just follow directions.
C. Respect their knowledge by treating them with respect. Be quiet when they are teaching. Show up on time. Do your homework.
D. Ask someone to teach you if needed! If we are good at something it is likely because we enjoy it. So asking someone to teach is probably something they will be very receptive to. Understand if they can’t and seriously consider any referral they give you.
2. Don’t presume that this teacher will always be there. Don’t hesitate. Don’t delay. Start learning immediately. They could move. The good Lord could call them home. Carpe diem!
3. Let the teacher know you appreciate what they are teaching by telling them how it is improving your life, the skill or the talent. Those that teach, encourage and motivate pour out energy and simple words of appreciation provide a lot of fuel to a teacher so they can keep teaching!
4. As you are learning, expect times of great progress. Expect times of immense frustration too. Anything we are learning and growing through will take time. There will be good days, bad days and break through days. Relish and record the break through days so that on bad days you can look back and see how far you have come.
5. If you are learning with others be open minded….often you will make a new and wonderful friend or business contact. What you are pursuing, the people learning beside you are also pursuing. Enjoy the journey together!
During the height of swimming early in the morning I achieved some accomplishments in the water I never dreamed possible. I shared a swim lane with 5-7 others and together we became a mini swim team. Each of us helped the others improve. Sometimes I was given goals by my coach and I would roll my eyes in disbelief and doubt at their absurdity. But, about 99% of the time the challenge was on target and I achieved the goal! With a good teacher and a team to learn with….you will be amazed at what will become possible and then achievable!
Sometimes we can’t find a teacher. Sometimes, we must determine to learn on our own for awhile. I encourage you to not lose faith or hope because you can’t yet find a good teacher. Do as much as you can while you wait for God to provide you a teacher, in His time He will!!
Remember, the best teachers give their best to the most teachable students! You don’t have to be the best in the class. Just strive to be the best you can be and stay confident in the teaching and allow the process to bring you through to your potential!
This blog is a tribute to my great friend and swim coach- thank you from the bottom of my heart !