With High School Swimming successfully ringing in, it is now time to set some goals for the upcoming 2016 season! You must set some direction for your swimming. I mean, you train your tail off, but for what? Do you know? You can be the hardest-working, most intense, dedicated training athlete in the world, but with no goals written down and frequented once in a while, you will be aimless and directionless. With no measuring stick, your progress will be very slow and your drive to get to the pinnacle may be delayed.

So how do we come up with goals or even determine them? Here’s a technique I learned when I was a young swimmer. Come up with 3 things you want to accomplish in the near term (3-6 months) and then maybe a couple more by the end of the year.

1. Write down what you want to accomplish and be specific. I would do it on an index card and put it on my mirror in the bathroom and also laminate a copy of it and put it on my swim bag! The more I see my goals, the more my mind will take over! (I am a person that likes to play with the mind some; you all should know that! But each of us do things differently, so put it somewhere you can see it often!) And then, don’t just casually walk by it, be sure to read it to yourself each and every time you see it. Focus on the goal, become the goal!

For example: I want to go 52.79 in the 100 Free by October 15th.

(If you’re having trouble deciding on an appropriate goal, consult your coach. We will be happy to help you set your sights high, but not so high failure is the only option. We want you to see continued successes during your swimming career.)

2. Make sure you set milestones along the way. Set preliminary markers or milestones to chart your progress, from the example above, let’s say I go 55.20 now, set a milestone for September 25th of maybe a 54.10 or something in the neighborhood. Why? A big jump may seem too overwhelming, so take steps to progress! You should even have milestones for practice. This is a must to achieve your final goals. Even Michael Phelps didn’t just show up fast….he had many steps on his way to greatness!

So by September 25th, I want to go 54.10, if I am either way of that by a couple of tenths, that’s still a great marker.

3. Lastly, write down the different methods on how you are going to get there. Fore example, 100% attendance at practice, or work as hard as I can each day at practice until I can’t do it anymore. (By the way, that is the way for fast swimmers to train—pacing yourself each day is for average swimmers.) Perhaps you write, “Sprinting 6 x 25 after practice each day on my own.” Or perhaps you even the same with kicking…you need your legs as well, to go that fast.

So, remember the 3-Step Goal Writing Process:
• Write your goals down
• Set milestones
• Tell yourself how you are going to get there!

Doing this should give you a great start for you 2016 goals…get started and start making your dreams a reality now! You path starts at the next practice!



Reach SwimmerJoe at Joe@FloridaswimNetwork.com

SwimmerJoe is Joe Auer, an award winning blogger, writes at SwimmerJoe.com, for Florida Swim Network, and for the International Swim Coaches Association at swimISCA.com.