Perfection — friend or foe?

Posted Ella Villas Articles

We hear the word “perfect” all the time, every day.

“It’s a perfect day!”
“You did that job perfectly!”
“They’re perfect for each other!”

The word is thrown around a lot. And sometimes, it’s not meant to be taken literally.

You could have the “perfect race”, but still have some areas where you could have done better. So was it perfect? No, not by definition.

And I think definition does count, because it can put unnecessary pressure on you.

“Practice makes perfect!” is not usually the case.

Practice makes you a lot better. Practice makes you stronger, faster, and more capable.

But perfection can actually be the enemy of the good- or “good enough”.

Maybe if you put all your energy into swimming and made it your major focus, at the expense of everything else, you have the potential of moving to the top 10% of your age group…on the swim.

But who cares? We’re not out to make “perfect” swimmers at Tri Swim Coach, because we know most of you aren’t trying to make the Olympics or win the swim, but rather, want a decent stroke that can help get you through the swim with a smile on your face and plenty of energy left over for biking and running!

So what is “good enough” when it comes to swimming?

It really depends on what your goals are.

We have people who are just starting out, and others who want to land on the podium for their age group.

What I mean by “good enough” is whatever is taking you to a higher level in your stroke or speed…. or fitness goals in general.

Here are some examples:

– You wanted to do 3000 meters today and you did 2750, but they were quality laps
– You wanted to lose 10 pounds last month and you lost 9
– You missed one of your planned workouts last week
– You aimed to be on time but showed up 1 minute late
– You’ve brought your strokes per length down from 20 to 15 at the same speed. Michael Phelps can do 10 but you just achieved a 25% improvement!

I say, keep up the consistency, a little at a time, lap by lap and day by day, when you make the little adjustments and improvements, you will be far better off in the long run than trying to hit perfection at every turn.