Learn to Love the Process

Five tiny little actions done on repeat for years

Reed H. Steele
3 min readAug 13, 2022


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

A number of years ago, I came across a swimming video breaking down the breaststroke pullout. I’ve always loved the details of swimming, and this drill series gave me details to obsess over.

To this day, every time I do a breaststroke pullout in swim practice or in a swim competition, this video pops into my head.

Tight streamline position.

Separate the hands.

Strong dolphin kick.

Pull with your arms.

Tuck ’em under while dropping your head and arching your back.

When done correctly, you rocket forward and quickly approach the middle of the pool.

Five tiny little actions done on repeat for years.

On Wednesday at swim practice, we did a hard set of descending IMs — one length of each swim stroke. The hardest part of this event is the transition from backstroke to breaststroke. You go from a leg-driven stroke — one that is oxygen-depleting — into a stroke that requires significant underwater work.

When your lungs are screaming for a breath, you have to push back against that urge in order to be effective underwater.

After the set was over, the coach was standing over my lane.

“Reed, your breaststroke underwater pullouts are amazing.”

It caught me completely off-guard.

Obsessing over the details for years — consistently attending to the little things — had finally paid off.

I looked at him and simply said, “Thank you. I’ve been working really hard on them for a long time.”

It was one of the most rewarding pieces of feedback that I have ever received.

Progress takes time.



Reed H. Steele

Coach | Speaker | Writer | Designer | Helping you focus on the little things to improve your performance to finally achieve the BIG thing | reedsteele.com