‘In life it is OK to fail a few times before you succeed’.
These were the words of my swimming coach this morning as he set us a set that I had never heard of before… a ‘Fail Set’.
I have been swimming training for a long time and have heard a lot of terminology, but this was a first.
He designed a set, that wasn’t too hard, nor out of our reach, nor too far. He did however want us to stretch ourselves. He set us a repeat time that he knew that we could do, but not for the entirety of the set. We would make a few of the 50’s in the set and then we would fail, or not make the time, for the final few.
Because we had never done that set before, had never swum at that pace consistently during training before; and in our mind were swimming slightly out of our comfort zone, we were expected to fail. We were expected not to make it. But that was OK. This was a safe environment to do it in.
Plus, we were doing the set twice. We had to learn from our first experience. What we did right; how we could improve; what needed to change. We needed to apply what we had learned in the first set in order to make the time set for more of the 50’s in the second set.
He was right. I only made my time for 3 of the 5 50’s in the first set. I had ‘known from experience’ what I could make and where my comfort zone was. However the experience of doing the whole set, set me up for the second set where I made 4 of the 5…an improvement based upon my new mindset and experience.
A shift. Not just physically but more so mentally.
It was OK for me to fail in order for me to succeed.
There are a lot of lessons that we can learn from sport. This certainly is one. Move out of your comfort zone and fail forward. In the process, enjoy the experience as to the possibilities that lie ahead.
Thank you Carlos and Ann for your encouragement this morning and your training which has life lessons beyond the pool.