“Perfection is the enemy of the good” YES

Posted Ella Villas Articles

There was a coach I used to follow a while back who emphasized “perfect practice” when it comes to swimming.

I totally got where he is going. Do the drills exactly right as opposed to 99% right, and your freestyle will thrive.

But I disagree. Whether it’s swimming or other parts of life, when you continue to aim for “perfection”, it will often prevent you from getting just plain “good”.

Swimming freestyle takes a while to really start getting into a groove.

Add to that, if you’re doing triathlon, you are not typically aiming to be “perfect” at swimming, or any of the three disciplines.

There’s a saying in business that applies to swimming.

“Good enough is good enough”

That doesn’t mean to skip out on drills, or to only give it an 80% effort, or that we’re not trying to do things the right way.

It means, you do your best and move forward.

It will not be peferect.

Heck, it won’t even be “good” for a while.

But I believe you can get good at swimming, whatever that means to you.

You don’t have to put in “10,000 hours” or anything like that to get there, as long as you’re not training for the Olympics!

You just keep plugging away. You just keep making mistakes, learning, growing, moving forward.

You just keep swimming. When the tides are against you. When you’re having a bad day. When it feels like you’re regressing.

Every day is a new day, filled with opportunities for improvement in whatever you are wanting to accomplish.

When you think of each day as a clean slate, little, incremental improvements are daily wins.

When you need to achieve perfection to move forward, you may be chasing an impossible dream at each step- things take much longer, and you still never feel “good enough”, or satisfied with your performance.

A challenge for the week is to keep this in mind with whatever you are working on- could be the shark fin drill, could be a new, faster interval you’re trying to get to.

What can you take away from your workouts this week that went well (even if it seemed so much was not going well)?