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Another Golden Oldie! June 5, 2009

Posted by shaferfinancial in Finance.
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On Mavericks and Success

I swim most mornings at the local pool. There is an older gentleman that I see there often. He likes to talk. This person has a ton of master’s world records and world championships. He has a master’s swim club called the Mavericks. Was talking to him yesterday and he told me he got his PH.D. from Indiana U. and Doc Counsilman was his dissertation advisor. Then he tells me Doc Counsilman was his asst. coach (swimming) at Iowa. Now I know he is going to try to recruit me for his swim team (for about the 20th time!), but this really perked up my ears. Doc Counsilman is an icon in the swimming world. He coached at Indiana U and won many NCAA championships, had multiple great swimmers like Mark Spitz and John Kinsella, and wrote the bible of swimming technique books. In fact his book (The Science of Swimming) was the first book using modern techniques like video taping and applied science to any sport. Soon all sports used the techniques Counsilman figured out for swimming.

So he tells me this story: When he was a swimmer at Iowa, the common assumption was that to swim faster you should kick harder and faster. So the head coach was advising him of this when the lowly assistant coach, Counsilman, piped up with “I not sure about that, try kicking less, I think you will swim faster!” Now to counter your boss is balsy enough, but to do it in a way that challenges a cherished assumption is just crazy. But Counsilman did it, and he was right. My pool friend did swim faster when he lessened his kick!

Counsilman was a MAVERICK that challenged the status quo his whole life. He revolutionized not only his sport of swimming but all sport. He became the oldest person to swim the English Channel at 59.

Understand that it is the mavericks that accomplish much in our society. If you don’t want to end up where the herd is going, then you have to become a maverick. I have posted many times about the herd and where it is going financially. The choice is yours, but I suggest taking on some of that maverick behavior.

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