Splash - May/June 2012 - (Page 14)

stARtiNG BLOCKS TRAINING wITh... COACH TERI MCKeeveR “I get that it’s the ultimate, but how many steps are we missing in between? We have to keep looking at long, uncertain journeys,” McKeever says. She tackles this dilemma by focusing on what it takes to become a better swimmer and individual. Then she sees where that takes the athlete, whether the end result affects their performance in the pool, the classroom, a job interview or the Olympics. “You can’t control making the Team because there are too many variables. What we can focus on, though, is improving where we are,” she says. “I don’t expect people who swim for me to make the Olympics. That’s not why I coach. I give just as much to my swimmers who don’t make the travel team as I do to Natalie (Coughlin). I coach to teach personal excellence. I tell them they need to become the best version of themselves through this whole process.” McKeever asks her swimmers to address all aspects of their swimming to hone their strengths and fix their weaknesses: technique, strength, balance, diet, flexibility, mental commitment, consistency, lifestyle and even self-care like massage therapy and sports psychology. The swimmers come up with their own strategic plan, and McKeever helps them execute it. “I basically get permission to hold them accountable to elevated standards,” she says. “I expect them to engage in the highest level of performance.” What the Olympic Dream Really Means by Bonnie Moss U SA Swimming estimates that over 300,000 swimmers are actively registered as members of its organization. Of those swimmers, a maximum of 52, or less than .02 percent, will make the U.S. Olympic Team. That’s a harsh reality for so many who have lived up to the ideal that the Olympics are the pinnacle of their swimming career. In a sports society where so much emphasis is placed on being the best and playing to win, too much value is lost in the journey to that destination. The result? Overselling the Olympic Dream. Teri McKeever, head coach for the 2012 women’s Olympic Swimming Team, and coach of several Olympians, is all too familiar with this scenario. “When an athlete comes to me and says they want to make the Team, I ask if they have a realistic expectation of what that means,” says McKeever. “How disappointed will they be if they don’t make it? Very few people get there and some of it is luck – they just found a way to be their best on that day. I’ve known better overall swimmers than some Olympians who’ve made it.” a BiGGer challenGe Many pieces go into making the Team and swimmers who desperately want it don’t always have the right background or the time it takes to make the dream possible. 14 splAsH • May/June 2012 • The TRIALS ISSue

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Splash - May/June 2012

Splash - May/June 2012
Contents
About Trials...
Mike Gustafson
Swim Briefs/Justin Case
Top Ten Tweets/Point-Counterpoint
Keys to Success
Training With
Athletic Foodie
Olympic Trials Preview
The Swimmers
Rank & File
Third Is No Charm
Repeat Performance
Trials Pressures
Behind the Scenes
The Venue
Alex Meyer
Making the Team
Interactive
Swim Nut Zeke
Ultimate Pump-Up Song
Best Race Ever
America’s Swim Team Athletes

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