At the London 2012 Olympics, British swimmer Rebecca Adlington had high medal hopes having won 2 golds in 2008. She ended up with 2 bronzes at London, and it’s a good opportunity to look at women’s swimming for some goal achievement tips…
Adlington said she was thrilled with 2 bronzes to follow her 2 golds, and would not follow a road trodden by many who say anything other than gold is failure. That’s a great attitude, but since my point in this article is about the development of the sport, I’m going right back to the 1912 Olympics.
Fanny Durack won gold for Australia, and she had to win a long battle just to get there, against authorities that said women swimming in public races would be ‘immodest’.
She also used a stroke that we all recognise today, the crawl, but which back then was called the Australian crawl. It had first been seen in 1898, a new way of swimming which was taken up by everyone.
That’s the kind of development I want to talk about, and if we fast forward to the 1936 Games we can see some more developments. Most swimmers in the breast stroke events were using the new technique of turning the arms above the water in a ‘butterfly’ motion.
It was only at the 1952 Games that the butterfly was first introduced as an event, with the breast strokers then regulated to keep their arms in the water.
Forward again to 1965, and 19 year old Aussie Dawn Fraser won the first of 3 consecutive golds, using a new technique of keeping the head down and only breathing at certain times in the stroke. She was also making full use of the tumble turn which had been developed by the Americans!
If we come right up to date at London 2012, we can see the latest development on display in women’s swimming – the younger age.
It’s been a long time development that the younger swimmers were better, but it was assumed there would be a limit as to how young they could go and still be strong enough to compete.
Well, Ye Shiwen from China won 2 golds at the age of 16, and one of Adlington’s races, the 800 metres, was won by American Missy Franklin, just over 17 years of age!
That seems to be the latest development in the world of women’s swimming, we can trace back a hundred years.
With some goals, and obviously in this case it’s swimming faster, you have to try something totally new to push things further. The ideas that don’t work will be left by the wayside, but those that work will be taken up by everyone else.
That’s my point today. Whatever your goal is, it’s probably already been done by someone else. That means that someone else has already gone through the experiment phase.
That in turn means that you don’t have to. So, look to your own goal, whether it’s swimming or not, and ask if you have properly worked out the steps that other people have already taken – it really could make the journey easier for you!
Let me know what you think – I love the feedback!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
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