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Goal Setting

Every swimmer wants to get better and better right? And at times we struggle to improve and wonder why! So this swim blog is all about goal setting, target setting and helping you to achieve the very best results possible. So what is it that you actually want to achieve? Is it to be the best swimmer at backstroke in your swimming club? To be able to swim 800m front crawl without stopping? It doesn’t matter what your target or goal is or what ability of swimming you are at, what matters is you achieve them and get to feel that sense of accomplishment and satisfaction! Goal setting is a great way of helping you to achieve whatever it is you’re aiming for. So make your goal simple – to swim 400m, to swim 200m in under 2 minutes, to lose 2 stone. For competitive swimmers, give yourself a deadline to reach your goal, for example swim 200m front crawl in under 2 minutes by January 1st. This way you can monitor your progress and make sure it happens by a certain date. For casual swimmers who are just looking to see an improvement leave it open ended. By not setting yourself a deadline your goal is there to be achieved for as long as you need it, whether it takes you a month or a year! Take responsibility for reaching your goal. Only you can make this goal happen and there is no one that can stand in your way and stop you from getting there. One you realise this you know it’s totally down to you and you can take total credit for it when you have done it. Ask yourself a few questions about your swimming goal. Why is it you want to reach this goal? To qualify for a big competition or improve your health? Write it down and don’t forget it. When you start finding reaching your goal tough you can use it to motivate you and spur you on. Why would you not want to achieve your goal? Now this question often surprises people, it seems counteractive and you’ll straight away think ‘why wouldn’t I want this?!’ But seriously think about it. The coaches will expect a little more from you, you may have to miss social events, do you want extra pressure? At this point you become aware that achieving your goals is going to mean sacrificing some other points in your life, it prepares you for some of the mental challenges coming your way. So the main purpose for asking these questions is to find what you really want and to help you get rid of some of the outside things that could end up standing in your way. Then after you’ve done these things you goal is in place, you know why you want it and you understand what obstacles might come up. Set small targets for the short, mid and long term to help you achieve your overall goal. If your stroke needs a bit of work to make you swim faster then begin working on that now. If you’re looking to achieve a certain distance when swimming without stopping then add a length or two to your usual distance every time you swim. Ask someone for help if you need it! There are always going to be people around you that want to support you in reaching your goals. So now, all you’ve got to do is do it!! Good Luck! With thanks to lululemon athletica for the banner image, Dimitri N and billsoPHOTO for other images.