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Old 12-31-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default Andy's 'Accountability Project'

I've got one more note to add about initiatives Andy has undertaken. My last post commended him for undertaking an Improvement Project. You can see an example of my most recent Improvement Project on the thread A Month of Backstroke Excellence, during which I improved my time for 200y Backstroke at 15-16SPL from 3:30 to 3:08 -- not shabby considering I've been working on backstroke for over 20 yrs.

The purpose of an Improvement Project is to raise your sense of purpose to a sense of, perhaps, mission.
The elements in an Improvement Project that maximize your prospects for engagement, enjoyment and improvement are the following, as I see it.
1) Make your project objectively measurable. In my Backstroke project I did a baseline set I swam 50+100+200 backstroke @ 15-16 SPL and timed each. I repeated that exact set a month later (but modified to [4 x 50 + 2 x 100 + 1 x 200]). Also, measuring via two metrics is better than one. Not just time, but time+SPL or time+tempo.
2) Give your project a defined time period. Andy defined his as 21 sessions.
3) Add an element of accountability. Report progress to someone. Reporting on the Favorite Practices and Sets conference on this forum is one way. You don't need to do this with as much detail as I did on the backstroke forum, but in more general terms, how you're progressing, what you're learning.

A second project I think would be worthy of considering is an Accountability Project. Andy's signature includes his best practice times for both 2011 and 2012 for 100-200-400-800-1600m, updated as they improve. I hope he'll continue with that for 2013. (Note -- Andy, you might consider adjusting the 1600 to 1500 since it's a standard race distance and will allow you to compare your times with others of your age who swim it in Masters meets.)

I think I'll begin doing the same thing in 2013. Rather than record my freestyle times I think I'll record my times for 100-200-400 IM since during my pool-swimming season I focus on Different Strokes and shorter distances, to balance my focus on longer freestyle during OW season.
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Terry Laughlin
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Last edited by terry : 12-31-2012 at 07:41 PM.
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