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Saturday 29 June 2013

The "Performance Mindset" -- an Antidote to Mediocrity

Photo: by Peter Bick, 2005 Indianapolis
For more of Peter Bick's photos: http://www.printroom.com/pro/PeterBick/default.asp?

It is our intention as competitors to "Perform" at Competitions -- rather than to simply "Participate".  "Performance" can be quantified in many ways, most of which are black & white and some of which are personal to an individual.  Unfortunately, unless we put ourselves in the correct mental position, society and normal 'family life' / 'school life' allows us to be OK with simple participation. We get points for 'participation' -- and reserve the great accomplishments and performances in this world for those who we deem capable of accomplishing great things and performing at peak levels. 

Some may think, “Who am I to consider that I may be the best at something?” without having the slightest idea of what ‘being the best’ might look like, and never fully understanding just how close the target actually is.  The mindset of “Performance” that allows one to consider great accomplishments and performances possible – is the antidote to mediocrity. 

We tend to consider ourselves worthy of victory and of a higher status, in whatever field we are in, before we actually get to that level of accomplishment.   As far as accomplishment goes, we rarely move past where we see ourselves performing!

This weekend at the US Nationals in Indianapolis, our small team at T2 Aquatics has come perform.  We are not perfect, and at this stage in the game we are not as good as we can be in the future – and in some cases, have been in the past. 

But each athlete has achieved a few things.  Even though our ages span from 15 to 35, each athlete has swum at least one race faster than they ever have before.  Two of our athletes have achieved high enough to earn the distinction of a “National Finalist” (The fact that each of these athletes is well out of college, and Married {not to each other J} – is a different ‘accomplishment’ in itself).  And most importantly, when considering “Performing” VS. “Participating”: each athlete on our team has earned a “Finals” swim in every event they’ve swum in the preliminary heats.  We have had 11 morning swims, and after tonight we will have 11 swims in the finals.  We have not had a single person sitting on the bleachers at night after having swum in the morning session!

Congratulations to all of our T2 Aquatics’ athletes, and to those at home in Naples. Get ready, because we have a few more of these meets this summer – and we want to be ready to perform well.  We don’t have any room for those who are only interested in ‘getting the cuts’ for the meets.   If we are going to improve as a team, the next step is to understand that it’s performance -- and planning for high-performance in a positive, optimistic way -- that matters most.


  1. Paul, you area gifted and prolific writer! I always enjoy reading you blogs and find them motivational. I know the kids enjoy your "talks" with them at practice.. You should do more if them.. They really do listen to you! :))