By Bill Doughty//Head Coach, DART Swimming | Monday, December 16, 2019
When I was asked to write about my own personal health and wellness, my immediate thought was that I still have so much to learn on this topic.
I need to lose some weight. I need get eat healthier, and I need to work out more. These are all areas in which I must continue to set goals for myself to create a healthy balance in my life.
Besides my health improvement goals, as most of you can relate, I also work too much. The Olympic year run is stressful on me and my family. I’ve added additional workout hours this year to maximize training opportunities for our Olympic hopefuls. I’m also traveling more to TYR Pro Swim Series meets and doing a full month training camp for four weeks in the spring in Sarasota. These changes and travel impact my daily family schedule and puts a huge burden on my wife becoming basically a single parent for a month.
So why am I contributing to this topic?
Because over the years – through my coaching mentors – I have seen one common denominator: balance.
I am planning a three-month sabbatical from coaching this next year after the 2020 Olympics. I plan to take August, September and October off from coaching and dedicate it to spending time with family and doing some things I love.
My family has an RV trailer, and the plan is to head to Yosemite and up to Oregon for some camping time. I might even read a book for fun or work on improving my terrible golf game.
Mostly though, I plan to attend every baseball, basketball and water polo game my kids have this fall. This is a strong approach to balancing what is shaping up to be a very skewed 2020. Three months might seem drastic to some of you, but so is an Olympic year. All I am saying is, plan these times out for yourself. Take a proactive approach to recharging the batteries. Knowing I have that time set aside and already in the schedule has only increased my intensity and drive to coach. My athletes can see it, and that is important to me.
My wife and kids are all incredibly supportive and understand coaching, especially the run in the Olympic year. That being said, we are all going to need a break and some quality time together. The entire family needs something to look forward to. The DART swimmers need me to return re-energized and excited to help them achieve their goals. Ultimately, this time away will create some balance to return as a better coach, better husband, and better father.
This decision did not come easy, but the most important ones usually don’t.