Don’t Just Change, Transform

The athletes who competed in the London Olympics are models of persistence and what it takes to maintain change.

BY: Dr. Matt Mumber and Heather Reed

9 Holiday Depression Busters
 

Don’t Just Change, Transform

The athletes who competed in the London Olympics are models of persistence and what it takes to maintain change. Change as it pertains to most high-level competitive sports entails working out 2-5 hours per day with the goal of making small improvements over the course of an entire year. For example, competitive swimmers will work for years to drop a single second off of their best time. One one-hundredth of a second can often make the difference between gold, silver, bronze or making the team at all. Of many sports, it’s likely that swimming is oriented most to the individual. As such, it offers some lessons on how we can sustain change in our lives as we search for the balance with our internal and external environment we call health. There are two approaches that help create sustainable change for a competitive swimmer. These are the mechanics, or translational tools, and the intangibles, or transformational approaches.

Certainly change can occur with one and not the other, but it will not be sustainable or optimal. The mechanical/translational approach includes the practical aspects of the sport that can be translated to anyone, anywhere. These include a knowledgeable coach, a good pool, a practice routine with a set time and place, and appropriate workouts with an emphasis on specific techniques and conditioning. In this category, the talent levels of the individual swimmer and the coach are variables that affect outcome. The intangible/transformational aspects are completely individual and cannot be imposed on anyone—they must come from within.

Continued on page 2: Change »

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