Setting goals to reach my performance dreams – College Swimmer

Division III Swimmer:

I am a Division III college swimmer living in Michigan. Last year as a Junior I was very close to breaking the school record in the individual 100 butterfly, but due to an injury I was unable to finish the season. All summer I worked very hard to recover from surgery and improve my stamina. Everyone advised me to keep the faith and work to get my physical strength back to a point that I felt confident to compete.  Consequently, I did not have a plan to improve my technique to the degree required to give me the edge I need this season.  Although, I am confident in my ability I really want to surpass the college record for the 100 butterfly and qualify for the summer nationals. I know this is a stretch, but I really believe I can do it.

Coach John’s answer:

First things first, you are to be congratulated for persevering and keeping motivated during the long process of post surgery recovery.  This is a huge accomplishment.

It sounds like you already know what your long term season and post season goals will be. This is a great first start.  You now need to establish the critical mid-term milestones that when accomplished will give you the opportunity to achieve your long term goals. The 2-3 mid-term goals should be achievable, measurable and accomplished by the mid-point of the season or slightly thereafter.  The most intensive work will be encountered in the short-term goal phase of the process. The short-term goals will be the task oriented executable skills you are required to master to put you on track to meet your mid-term goals. By working with your skills coach you identify your strengths and weaknesses. This is  a critical pre-requisite before you establish the short term goals. With the knowledge of your weaknesses you will define and outline a practice plan including “skill set process focused objectives” for each week and day of practice. Keep track of your success, challenges, and positive self-talk in your journal. By writing down, tracking and reviewing your daily practice performance you will be able to identify common themes of success. In additional you will see themes illustrating where you must continue to enhance your technical and mental game abilities.

To learn more about how the Mental Edge Success Journaling Program works, and the details behind establishing a vision statement, designing performance objectives, creating tools for keeping you motivated, establishing criteria for success tracking, and building confidence along the way please email me at  I am about to release a 12 week program entitled: The Mental Edge: Success Monitoring and Journal System designed exactly for this purpose.

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