5 practical ways to demonstrate PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY in swimming:
  1. FOCUS. Pay attention to the focus of the drill, set, or technique your coaches are teaching. For example, if the focus is holding your breath off the wall, put in the effort to hold your breath. If it is explosive fly kicks - kick with all your might. Over kicking the last 50?  Staying smooth on backstroke? Think about purposefully focusing on something specific and make it better. 
  2. TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR OWN LEARNING.  If a new skill, drill, or concept is introduced, try diligently to learn it. You can even keep your coaches accountable to make sure you learn.  Ask questions like: "Coach, were my hips up higher that time?"  "Did my hand cross mid-line?"  "Was my streamline perfect when I left the wall?"  "Was that turn correct?" "Did my kick look stronger?" "How was my timing?"
  3. DON'T MAKE EXCUSES.  A list of excuses such as being tired, sore, burned out, stressed, fins don't fit, goggles leak, etc., will not be posted next to your results at a meet as reasons why you didn't do your best. Get past what is bothering you and get the work done whether you feel like it or not.
  4. STREAMLINE.  In swimming, this is the one corner you should NEVER cut. Always streamline.
  5. NEVER BLAME OTHERS.  Perhaps you don't like your lane mates.  Your mom forgot to send a snack.  The coach didn't pay attention to you. Someone was in your way. Take responsibility for how you practice and don't blame others for something you can probably change if you try hard enough.