5 Ways to Set Your Swimming Goals for the 2019 Seasons
Every swimmer has at least a couple goals they strive for every season. But, because goal-setting is an ongoing process which takes time and is something that needs to be actively worked on, not everyone sticks to their goals long enough to see results.So, here are 5 ways to effectively set your swimming goals that you will actually follow through on, to become a faster swimmer in the 2019 seasons.
1. Assess 2018
Take a look back at the previous year. What worked? What didn’t? Were you happy with your results? What could you have done better?
Ask yourself these questions and evaluate where you are today. This will serve as your starting point in setting your new goals, giving you an idea of where the gaps are in your performance, and if your current methods need to change, or if you can continue what you’ve been doing.
2. Set swimming goals at outcome, performance, and process level
Once you know where you are today, figure out where you want to be next season and make a plan for how you’re going to get there.
Set both micro and macro level goals. Your shorter term process and performance goals will pave the way for the accomplishment of your longer term outcome goals.
Break down your outcome goals into smaller, more actionable steps. This will give you direction, something specific to work towards on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
3. Keep it SMART
Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Time-bound.
Every goal you set should have these attributes. Sure, every swimmer wants to swim fast, but what does that actually mean to you?
Know exactly what you want to achieve and have a criteria to determine if you’ve accomplished it. While there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, your goal should still be something you can reasonably obtain, given your current standing and the resources available to you.
And, make sure it’s something you would realistically want to dedicate time and effort into. Finally, put a set date on it, so it’s not something you’re able to put off.
4. Commit and stay accountable
Now that you’ve outlined your goals, it’s time to actually execute them. In an ideal world, this would go by without a hitch. But realistically, life can get in the way. There will be days when you’ll find yourself too tired or busy to come to morning practice or stick to your nutrition plan.
This is why you have to make an active decision to commit to your goals and keep yourself accountable. The only way to get closer to your goals is to stick to your plan, even on days when you’d rather do literally anything else.
If this is something you struggle with, find a teammate, friend, or family member, who can help you stay accountable.
5. Track progress
Take note of your progress. This is a critical step.
Seeing the improvements you’ve made is a strong motivator and a good reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing. It will also tell you if you are still on track towards your outcome goals for the season.
One way to do this is by implementing test sets. This will give you a picture of your progress, help you evaluate if you need to re-evaluate or make adjustments, and guide your future training.
As you swim through the 2019 season, celebrate the little wins, but don’t get complacent. Remember the big picture, and continuously work towards it.