If you’re wanting the answer to the question, “What is the key to success in swimming?” then look no further than a clinic with Nic Fink. His enthusiasm for the details of stroke and emphasis on having fun while working hard will inspire participants to take their swimming to the next level. He has walked in their shoes and knows what it takes to set goals and hone potential:
“One of my favorite parts of teaching clinics is seeing the progress. Sometimes, coaches tell swimmers something and it doesn’t click. It helps to have a new voice and someone else to phrase it differently. They’ll swim a 25 that isn’t great, so I’ll explain a concept again and the second lap is much better. They’re getting it – it’s fun to see them progress.”
It is also incredibly helpful for swimmers to watch high-class talent display techniques and strokes in a hands-on manner. “I like to demonstrate, as swimmers are highly visual learners. Sometimes it’s hard to explain it to them, so I like to walk them through it.”
It only takes one or two stroke changes for the most efficient stroke to “click” and transform a swimmer’s career. In particular, Nic focuses on proper body alignment and stroke timing to ensure the most hydrodynamic position. “Getting your head down all the way and getting back into the line of the stroke is important, especially for breaststrokers,” he says. This was a problem in his own swimming career as an age grouper and collegiate athlete, so Nic hopes to help others get farther ahead from where he was at their age.
In addition to the obvious technique work required to be at the top of your game, Nic freely shares the most important character quality to become your best as an athlete and person: patience. “This sport has such delayed gratification: you put in work all year for one two-minute race (or faster). You have to be patient, trust the coaches, and trust the training. And even if you do everything right, you’re still hoping it will all pay off. This translates to life outside of the pool – having that extra experience in patience.”
Patience combined with hard work will make you an unstoppable competitor. “While that’s kind of a cliche, it’s the truth. Even if you’re not as talented as the other kids, if you work harder than them, you’ll get the results that you want.”
While these character qualities might not sound like the most exciting to develop, they must all grow within the context of having fun. “I like telling kids that swimming is a fun sport. It’s also a lot of work if you want to make it to the high school or college level, so you have to have fun with it! If it was easy, it wouldn’t be as fun. It makes those bigger moments and time-drops worth it.”
Join in on the fun at Nic’s next clinic!