In our first team meeting Friday night, I mentioned to the group that things rarely go as you plan. My hope was that they would begin to accept that the season is long, and each athlete will experience their own "ups and downs." The best teams have more athletes that understand that - and win that battle. With that in mind, you learn to place your expectations on what you have control over. In this instance, I was talking about each athletes ability to get in great physical condition during the pre-season. I talked about the control they have over the time they spend working out, the level of intensity during those workouts, and all the decisions they make to help those great workouts become a reality.
In the interview below, we hear from Eric Shanteau - the American Record Holder in the 100 and 200 breast - one year after being diagnosed, and beating cancer. I know for sure this wasn't how he envisioned it, and yet he was capable of taking advantage of the opportunities afforded him. It is inspiring. What is also inspiring is that we had our own athletes go through their own personal struggles, and come out on top. The bottom line is, you have to believe. And believe in yourself - no matter what. Being in great physical shape and trusting your body and mind is HUGE in that belief.
(p.s. also listen to how he reacted to losing the 200 breast in Rome due to what many perceived as an error on his part. He's a class act.)