Lifestyle & Nutrición

Goal setting in artistic swimming

There are many goal setting tips for athletes as individuals and as team, so they can aim for or get better at. We can plan where we want to end up at the end of the season and work backwards to achieve your short-term goals at specific times throughout the year. However, Artistic Swimming is a team sport and the best way to obtain these goals is to convince athletes to buy into a set of common team goals. The key is to get the whole team to commit to these goals and to work with the athletes to set them.

Outcome goals are long-term goals for the season which have a clear vision of where they want to end up. Many teams fail because of the lack of focus and direction. Agreeing on an outcome goal, a team can provide the direction, inspiration, and motivation it needs to be successful at working together. Outcome goals get everybody, including the coaches to be thinking the same way. They get the team started and they keep it going. These goals are future oriented as they are about where they want to end up. Outcome goals also assist in those rough practices and results.

Helpful hints:

– Set your dream and share it with your team. Tell them through hard work and togetherness and by sharing the same dream it can be achieved.

– Set long-term realistic goals to support that dream. Make sure everyone is involved, because these goals once set must be specific and concrete. If you want to “win championships”, then say it, write it down and go for it. It’s specific, concrete and effective. General goals like “wanting to have a good swim,” don’t necessarily improve performance.

– Set deadlines to achieving these goals and let others know, including support staff and parents. Motivate them to meet the deadlines through self-motivation. Monitor their progress as individual athletes and as a team.

Performance goals pertain to how you train and compete. Performance goals are short-term based goals. Sometimes the season may seem like it is dragging on too long. Setting performance goals helps keeps the team interested throughout the season. They get the whole team thinking the same way. Its okay to say you want to win the championship event, but performance goals help each athlete enjoy being in the present moment of their practice session or competition. The more the team talks about performance goals the more it will improve its chances of obtaining them.

Helpful hints:

– Performance goals are the key goals to keep the athletes motivated. Praise them publicly and use positive comments. Make sure you praise more than criticize. Recognize when they do something well and when there is an error.

– Use statistics to asses team performance and individual performance. Use figure results or get feedback from officials. Know the manual so you can equate the results to the merit of the scoring system.

– Revise the goals if needed, prioritize the revision and speak positively about them. Remember that the focus is not on winning but achieving performance.

Behavior goals are what defines the team and what it believes in, what it stands for and how it is expected to act. This also requires a bit of focus and grit. Sometimes it is hard to walk into your training environment and just focus on the goals when sometimes we want to focus on the social aspect of our friendship with our teammates. But when it’s time to work, it’s time to work. Behavior goals put athletes in charge of their outcome and performance goals. Athletes can learn to control their emotions while coaches can help improve the quality of their development. This helps players, coaches, support staff and parents create a more unified team.

Helpful hints:

– Set a list of successes such as: successful teams are driven by their outcome goal. They are 100% focused. They play and practice with courage and mental toughness. Whatever is on your list, talk about it and prioritize it.

– Behavior goals must also be realistic and must compliment the type of program you want to have. The behavior must feel automatic and not forced. It is also okay to have discussions for poor behavior and how to effectively correct behavior. These goals must also reflect the behavior of the coaches, parents and support staff.
(“I was late to practice yesterday so I had to do 10 push-ups in front of my athletes”).

– Create a good learning environment by motivation and committing so your athletes know how to work together through self-control, pressure, confidence, emotions, performance and attitude.

It’s the beginning of the new season and its time to start the planning of your team’s success. I hope this can help you achieve that!

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