Rice swimming isn’t too far removed from regaining a spot atop Conference USA. Head coach Seth Huston knows the Owls are close to breaking through.
Every second matters in swimming. The slightest deviation from the optimal course, whether in an individual event or a training regiment, can change a result — or a season. That’s why Rice swimming head coach Seth Huston doesn’t obsess over individual results when plotting the course for his team’s future.
“I try not to get too caught up in like, hard, goals, like win conference or something like that,” Houston says, pointing instead toward the process inputs rather than the outputs. Like many coaches at Rice, his default mode is controlling the controllable.
Mere seconds separated Rice from FIU at the Conference USA Championship Meet. Things that don’t typically happen — a slow start or a bad transition — happened. That doesn’t mean he’s throwing out the process because of the results.
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Instead, Huston says he aims to teach his swimmers how to live in the moment. “If you’re in the moment, you’re minimizing your distractions, you’re probably going to be performing at about as high a level as you can at that point in time.”
Finding that place takes practice. But it’s achievable. And it isn’t dependent on what’s happening in the lane next to you.
“If you learn how to be in that place all the time. And your body is rested, and you’re ready to perform at a peak. And you’re in the moment, and you’ve got all the other distractions set aside, you’re gonna perform at a really high level,” Huston said, almost as if the philosophy were an iron-clad rule, an expectation.
If each swimmer can do that, can be ready when they step onto the block, Rice swimming will have a chance to win each race and each meet.
The Owls have the athletes to be true contenders no matter the scale of the competition. They work hard and are diligent when it comes to perfecting their craft. They’re doing the right things. The results will follow.
Huston remains steadfast. “One day it will go our way,” he declared. After winning multiple conference titles, overseeing countless school records being broken and sending several Owls to the Olympic trials, Huston has proven the process works. All that’s left is for his team to get back in the pool and keep swimming.
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