Coach Jim’s Swim Blog:

Setting Goals for Youth

Takeaway Tips for Developmental Swimming

Build your confidence: Regular practice helps reinforce the skills that you’ve already learned while providing an opportunity to try new things, set goals and expand your knowledge.

~ Life skill: Preparation and persistence prepare you for challenges.

Challenge yourself: Give yourself a goal that seems out of reach today, but is achievable with hard work. Don’t worry whether you’re the best. Rise to the level of others who are better than you.

~ Life skill: Associate with people who are better than you and learn from them.

Develop a plan: Work with your instructor or coach to establish goals that are:

  • Specific: Make the goal measurable, such as reducing the amount of time to swim the length of the pool or mastering a new swim stroke.
  • Action-oriented: Start tackling the goal as soon as you set it. It may take a longer than you think to swim five seconds faster or learn a new stroke technique, but you’re making progress if you reduce your time by one second or master an achievement standard in one of JMSS developmental classes.
  • Open-ended: Readjust goals once they’ve been accomplished. Can you stretch longer or work your kick harder to help you swim faster. Are you ready to tackle the next Swordfish level or try out the Sailfish swim team?

~ Life skill: Reach lofty goals by taking small steps to get there.

Focus on your goals: Don’t worry what others are thinking. Concentrate on your own game.

~ Life skill: Focus on what you need to do to excel and reach your goal.

Praise skills that can be developed: Parents and coaches should praise a skill the child is developing, such as motivated practice or open-minded attempts of a new technique. If you praise something that is fixed, like beauty or talent, then there is no way to advance.

~ Life skill: See rewards come from perseverance.