In 1982, TIME printed that the disease had spread and now, only male homosexuals were at risk. Everyone else was ok. No worries, unless you were a male homosexual. In 1985, TIME's story was that homosexuals, male and female were at risk. No one else need worry.
In 1986, TIME said there was evidence that it was spread through the blood. (and the blood supply for those who had transfusions. No one not homosexual or in need a transfusion need worry.
Then they added that well, maybe a few heterosexuals might have IT also. Then they finally noted that well, yes, it did appear that it was sexually transmitted, as well as blood borne. Now, you note, AIDS is the scourge of the century, with no cure in sight. But in 1980, we KNEW that only black male homosexuals could get it. No worries. Scary. Now, remember, they are absolutely sure that mosquitoes can't carry aids. I'm reassured. How about you?
Five years later, Doc and many other people decided that LIFT and Mr. Bernoulli and his principle was the main thing. (And Doc told us, repeatedly, to "QUESTION EVERYTHING", and we thought he was just being modest.) So I learned and KNEW that the new paradigm of lift was "the Answer". Now I am reading material that says that at certain speeds, the Action/Reaction Drag force is the only way to move fast enought. Hmmm....
Yet many of us insist on "knowing" something. And once we have that "perception" of "knowledge", it becomes deeply a part of each of us. We defend what we know with vigor, enthusiasm, and a touch of....desperation? Why? Because we value, and we hope others value, something called knowledge. If we actually "know" less, we are therefore, worth less. (or worthless?)
When I was a young coach, with no achievements behind me, and a very challenging world in front of me, my "knowledge" was all I had. The same is true for many coaches today. Yet that very knowledge, so precious to us, keeps us from doing the very best job we can do as coaches. That's what makes Knowledge dangerous. Coaches are good salespeople. We sell ideas to our swimmer and parents daily. We are selling our "knowledge". (Gulp)
Because its not really KNOWLEDGE in the sense we think of it. Its not TRUTH. Not permanent. Not inerasable. Its changeable. Its a product of perception. A product of what we see, hear, sense, "hold", smell and taste. To KNOW is simply to PERCEIVE. And perception, by definition is faulty.
How do we think we acquire KNOWLEDGE? By Education. Does this put Education in a bad light? Not if the Educational process presents its material in the correct light. What is the correct light? Its INFORMATION. Its what we perceive about a subject right now. As we get a bigger and better microscope, we get more information about the real size and scope of the whale. If we turn around we see a city, rather than a metal lady standing in a bay. We hear Jesse Jackson as well as Eddie Murphy, we read liberals as well as Rush, we watch Matt Biondi and Popov as well as Janet Evans. We get our science from ICAR, from Universities, as well as from the Chinese and East Germans. We want information from many sources.
In short, we gather INFORMATION. And we put it into our coaching TOOLBOX. One of my favorite expressions is "If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail." No one tool can address every project or problem. Anyone who builds can tell you that having the right tool is 90% of doing the job the best way possible, with the best result.
Our task as coaches is to build our toolbox. Without getting married to our saw, or our planer, or our chisel. No one idea, no one coaching method, no one stroke mechanic principle is "the tool" for everyone or every problem. We have to gain the set of tools necessary to do the job in each situation which we face. And that takes time, and experience.
The same materials go into your coaches Toolbox, as into your KNOWLEDGE, but you recognize that everything is simply information, and it can ALL be useful. Its up to you to apply the information that you acquire. And you don't learn ONE WAY of solving a problem, decide that you KNOW how to solve that problem from now on, and never look for new tools. There is no one way to build a team, win a national championship, teach a stroke, or a start or turn, plan a workout, plan a season, recruit a swimmer. There are many ways for every task, and they will all work well for someone, in some situation.
First, clear your mind of "Knowledge", then, fill it with information. The information forms your toolbox, and your experience will tell you what tool to use to solve each problem.
The older I've gotten the less I know. But the more experiences I've had, and more information I've touched...maybe not "held" exactly, but touched.