Staying Humble With Egos In Check In The Open Water

Staying Humble With Egos In Check In The Open Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

At the World Aquatics Convention in Doha, Qatar, coaches were talking about all kinds of issues, from physiological to psychological, from logistical or egotistical.

One particular presentation by South African head swimming coach Graham Hill was interesting to consider. He talked about how his model for managing egos in the swimming world was based on the leadership of Manchester United’s manager Sir Alexander Ferguson.

During his 26-year tenure at Manchester United, the famed Scot is as renowned for his success for developing young players and managing elite athletes with large salaries and egos.

The thought that one individual could keep a room full of athletes with overinflated egos in check reminded us how different the world of open water swimming is.

Open water, by its very nature of pitting humans versus nature, is a venue like no other. Athletes are stripped nearly bare, armed with only a pair of plastic goggles and sheer swimwear, with little real ability to overcome Mother Nature. Even the world’s best open water athletes – gathered together on the shoreline – do not have the upper hand against their most fierce opponent.

Because the winds, waves, currents, the cold and chaos of the open water will always be the dominant factor in the open water, human egos are always kept in check.

In summary, the open water always keeps swimmers humble.

Photo shows the Cyprus-Israel Swim relay swimming across the Mediterranean Sea.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association