Swimming is the Thinking Mans Sport

How are the skills you need to run a business are the same as competing in a race?

I was out this week and lucky enough to meet the Gold Medal winning Olympic Swimmer Adrian Moorehouse. He mentioned something that has completely inspired me in business.

I swam competitively in my ‘early years’ and very aware of the huge amount of discipline required to reach and maintain a high level. I only realised this week what was happening at the time.

Business is like Olympic training.

You need to follow a systematic pattern of processes that result in the final goal. To win a Gold Medal at the Olympics (I never quite had enough stubborn desire to do so) I should have had careful plans to go through ALL the steps and take me to the final destination.

So…that’s what Adrian did

He worked on every individual area that would come together to be used in the final competitive race. That included things like stamina, diet, mental strength and self confidence.

There is no surprise then that when he applies the same principles to running his business, by focusing attention on every area (sales, marketing, accounts, production etc.) the results are just as impressive.

Think of the goal

Set a goal to achieve, and then stick to a regime of doing what needs to be done, at a very high standard.

So I now feel inspired to think of my business in the same way. Not to try and win the race right away, but build up towards the ultimate achievement.

And in the words of the great athlete himself:

“there’s nothing else to do except think when you have to swim all those ******* lengths of the pool”



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