“Normal is not what it takes to be successful” – Paul Penna

  1. Home
  2. Uncategorised
  3. “Normal is not what it takes to be successful” – Paul Penna

More than 80 swimmers, parents and coaches attended the recent Sydney University Swimming Club’s education seminar with Paul Penna. The session was designed for the clubs high school aged swimmers and was targeted at being able to “Juggle your Education and your Swimming commitments”.

As some young swimmers drop out of the sport when they enter ‘Year 12’, the challenge is to focus on a balanced work load between sport and study. In this case, ‘Normal’ is not what it takes to be successful. Penna explains that “It requires something different: to be committed, focussed and organised.”. The most important aim is to get the most out of your self and not to stress over swimming qualifying times or study load.

Not everyone will make it to the Olympics but the challenge is to give it a go. Penna added “success is not measured by medals, dollars or even school grades but rather the excitment of the challenge of giving your best shot.”

So, to achieve at school or in sport Paul Penna says there are five points to consider…

1. “Control the controllable.” Don’t waste energy concentrating on things you can’t control.

2. “Balance unconfortable feelings with comfortable feelings.” Need to change things to improve. “Who wants it…?” v “Who doesn’t want it…?”

3. “Performance under pressure.” Train hard and race easy.

4. “Improvement every single day.” Always trying hard to find the extra 1%.

5. “Reaching your Potential.” Talent is not enough, hard work is always needed.

Paul Penna is the Sports Psychologist for the Australian Swim Team and works with the Elite Athlete Program at Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness. He has worked with many of Australia’s top swimming stars and has a passion for junior development.