Accelerated Learning: The Competitive Advantage of 21st Century Swimming

Accelerated learning sports
Listening to my podcast will not make you better. It might make you feel better, but feeling better and being better are two very different things. It’s easy to feel better when you consume information, but knowledge itself is not an advantage. It’s only when we begin to apply knowledge that we can truly say that we have learned and if learning is essential to improvement then it makes sense that the swimmers (or anybody for that matter) who can learn faster and more deeply than others will have a significant competitive advantage.
Olympic swim coach

“The general idea that whoever is fastest is doing it right is foolish. There’s got to be something right about it, but it’s not necessarily the best.” — Sean Hutchinson

We are living in the 21st century and thanks to utilities like Google, filling our mental pools with knowledge has become almost effortless. The difficulty we now face is teaching our brains to swim efficiently in this information economy.

In part 1 of my conversation former Olympic coach Sean Hutchison and I delve into how his attitude towards learning allowed him to become a world class swimming coach. In part two we’ll hear how he is using neuroscience to encourage accelerated learning in swimmers and many other athletes.

Conversation Timeline

  • How Sean’s Olympic coaching career started (3:50)
  • Reflecting on the factors that made him successful (9:06)
  • One of the smartest things Sean ever did as a young coach (14:05)
  • The inevitable future of technology and sport (21:53)
  • Future threats to coaching (27:32)
  • Identifying and learning worthwhile skills (29:08)


Mastery by Robert Greene
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