In the poem Beowulf, there are many monsters that are slayed by the hero. Like in the poem, many monsters exist in our world today. One of the monsters that attack people is a negative attitude. This monster attacks numerous people everyday, limiting their potential to succeed. However, there is a hero who battles this monster everyday. This hero is my swim coach, Jim Keogh. Coach Keogh fights off the negative attitude that attacks his swimmers in every practice. With Keogh’s help, his swimmers can accomplish their goals by fighting off the negative attitude.
A negative attitude is a monster that attacks many people in my life. People who live with a negative attitude are always depressed and worried about what they face everyday. I see this feeling in many of my fellow swimmers, as well as myself. The monster attacks us when we are most vulnerable, working hard at practice. The monster jumps into our brains and begins to make us to see ourselves failing. When we begin to worry about failing, we leave no time for ourselves to think about how to succeed in finishing the workout. This horrid beast lowers our self-confidence and limits our chances to put forth a full effort. The beast will engage in people if they are down on themselves about not achieving the standards they had set forth. When a swimmer swims a race and adds a couple of seconds to his best time, he will get upset. That is the moment when the monster attacks. The negative-attitude monster will make this person believe that he could never go any faster and that he had wasted all of his practice time. Along with attacking one of us at practice, the monster attacks others through a skillfully thought out plan. The way the plan works is that the monster makes one person believe they cannot make it through the workout. This person then begins to talk negatively about the set being too hard or too long. The other swimmers who have not been attacked listen to the infected one. They subsequently begin to doubt themselves. Then, in a matter of minutes, the monster has successfully conquered a whole group of swimmers and makes them believe that they cannot succeed.
Our hero who fights the negative attitude everyday is Coach Jim Keogh. Everyday at swim practice Keogh’s swimmers encounter many tiring moments when they are vulnerable for attack by the monster. Keogh makes his swimmers believe that they can finish the workouts and encourages them to keep positive attitudes. If anyone begins to speak about not being able to finish, he removes that person from the lane and makes him sit out or swim by himself. Keogh reminds the group members of other hard swims they have accomplished in order to make the current practice schedule seem easier. There are many times when a swimmer does not achieve his goals, but Keogh is there especially then to prevent the monster from attacking at that vulnerable time. He makes the swimmer look at the situation again. Between the two of them, they figure out what needs to be done or changed to accomplish the goals. Keogh will not allow the monster to make the swimmer to get down on himself or begin to doubt what he is doing. With the encouragement and enforcement of his positive attitude, Keogh kills the negative monster that attacks his swimmers at the pool in every practice. Since the swimmers are freed from the monster, they are able to concentrate on working hard to achieve their personal goals.