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How To Achieve Success Being Productive

Written By: Emmanuel Lanzo


“Do I want to be a helpful, successful coach, or a burden to my team and everyone around me?”


I know that sounds extreme, but it is a question that we must answer to achieve success daily.


There is no quasi-magic formula, we would have to start with defining what "success" is. If you ask several swim coaches, you will get different answers, some inconsistent.


However, as it happens in most topics, the fact that there are many answers does not mean that they are all correct:

- have a nice pool, great staff, and a well-paying job with enough income to support the family

- own a condo or a house, car, have a school diploma

- Achieve a high degree of security, stability, and independence (health, pension, retirement)

- have a united family, take the children forward in a well-built family nucleus

- achieve great knowledge, experience, ability to progress

- have power, influence, prestige; have achieved social esteem, recognition, and fame


I would like you, above all, to consider “successful” the person who can earn a living in any situation.


Some, especially those who could be called "failures", declare that to be successful, the main factor is "luck". Such a judgment constitutes a gross error. In general, luck only helps talented and capable people.


"Success" in my opinion is the happy completion of a work to which one has devoted time, focus, effort, and talent. The greater the effort, the greater the emotion of satisfaction. We all feel this way, the ones who have worked hard to achieve something worthwhile. The recognition, applause, and fame are the decorations that highlight it. The feeling of success is experienced by people who reach the degree for which they have worked for years, workers who see the completion of a work to which they dedicated time and skill, swimmers who won a difficult competition...


As I said before, there is no quasi-magic formula, but the philosophy of the three "D's" has proven to be effective: determination, dedication, and discipline. Today I’ll show you “determination”.


Determination To Do The Project


More than desire, it is synonymous with total commitment. Also, decision, a “fixed will” to achieve something.


Success depends proportionally on the level of determination. There is the principle that when a person is self-determined to fight for something, it is almost certain that he will achieve it. If for some outside reason you do not reach full realization, you will get closer to the goal, which in itself constitutes a certain level of success. The person who "knows what he wants" and has faith in his intelligence, is already halfway there. This implies self-confidence and complete self-motivation. When people speak laudatory of a young man, he comments: "he knows what he wants and he is sure to get it."


What you are going to do, do it now, don't leave it for later. The enemies of success are indecision, irresponsibility, and the absence of a noble ambition. You may have the ability to be brilliant and talented, but without willpower, you will not succeed. Indomitable optimism, self-esteem, and self-confidence help. The fear of making a fool of yourself or the fear of failure completely damages things. Instead of thinking about how to overcome difficulties, the individual with little confidence in his fighting humanity, lets himself be inhibited by something that does not matter; the opinion of others.


The newly-advanced society is in our favor. In the old days, the world of success was inaccessible to many. Today you don't have to be wealthy or genius or belong to the elite. If you really want something, you will know how to manage to take advantage of your opportunities. Of course, for everything worth it, you have to wait for the right moment.


Today it can be shown with countless examples from history that the so-called "impediments" can no longer be constituted with automatic excuses. In addition, all of us coaches should ask ourselves daily, what is the solution to this "difficulty". If I am faced with a complex situation, what can I do to solve it? The circumstances of crisis and controlled chaos force the mind to invent alternatives and new strategies. Courage ensures a high percentage of efficiency.


In the life of every coach, some steps go wrong. Be certain that some of the stages will generate special anxiety and even trauma. Naturally, although to a large extent, we are what we think we are or want. There’s always the risk of making mistakes or being the victim of "illusions". Failure is only caused for discouragement for the defeated. Instead, for an enthusiastic soul, stumbling is a mere obstacle to be overcome by quickening the pace, with more energy, and being more alert. The enthusiast grows with adversity; take advantage of critical moments for a greater "display of will".


Dedicate yourself to "Be the one who removes the stone from the road"- Gabriela Mistral


*Part 2 Coming Soon*


Coach Emmanuel is going into his eighth year with RAC. He is Olympic Swimmer Kieran Smith's development coach. Kieran has been named 2019-2021 part of the USA National Team. During the 2021 Olympic Trials, Kieran Smith made the Olympic Team represent the USA in the 200, 400, and 4x200 free relay, winning a Bronze Medal. Coach Emmanuel Lanzo has been coaching since 1997. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, and his master’s degree in Physical Education with Specialization in Sport Coaching at the University of Turabo. Emmanuel is an ASCA Level 4 Swimming Coach and Certified Stroke Technician, International Olympic Committee Level 2 Swimming Coach, AAALF Adapted Aquatics Instructor, ATI-CPT, TRX Certified Group Trainer, and Cross-train Group Trainer at Results Ridgefield and Ridgefield Parks and Recreation. He is the founder and CEO of the non-profit ToxiKHeaD brand, which provides personal training for elite athletes in Puerto Rico and the USA. Professionally, he volunteered for the Eastern Zone Diversity and Inclusion Camp at the University of Maryland. In 2018, Coach E was also chosen to be the Head Coach of the USA Swimming Diversity Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. Also, under his coaching, two swimmers achieved the World Top 100 list, and three swimmers (Kieran Smith, AJ Bornstein, and Connor Hunt) represented the USA in three different International venues: Mare Nostrum Series in Europe, Junior Pan Pacific Championship in Fiji and Junior Open Water World Championship in Eilat, Israel. In 2017, Emmanuel was part of the USA National Junior Team Staff for the FINA Junior Worlds Championship, coaching Kieran Smith to achieve a silver medal in the 200 Individual Medley. The American Swim Coaches Association named Coach Emmanuel a 2015 Coach of Excellence. As a coach, his philosophy is to be able to effectively teach, both fundamental and advanced skills, with a holistic approach, helping each swimmer to achieve their planned goals while having fun!


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