Are you struggling to break your best time or qualify for an upcoming swim meet? If so, keep reading! In this blog post, we will dive into how SMART goals for swimmers can help you level up and achieve your goals.
SMART goals are the secret to overcoming plateaus, reaching personal best times, and swimming smarter, not harder. Just imagine the impact of swimming with improved efficiency, purpose, and unwavering focus.
With SMART goals, you gain clarity and focus in your training. The focus shifts from mindless swimming to instead perfecting your technique, improving your endurance, or refining your speed.
Keep reading to learn what a SMART goal is, how to write one, and to see our examples SMART goals specifically for swimmers.
The principles of SMART goals can empower you to take your swimming to the next level even if you’re a beginner swimmer or an experienced swimmer.
Table of Contents
What Are SMART goals?
A SMART goal is a goal-setting approach that helps swimmers set clear objectives. SMART goals stand for setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
By using SMART goals, swimmers can define clear targets, track their progress, and stay focused on what they want to achieve in a realistic timeframe.
A swimmer’s SMART goals should be clear and well-defined. It should answer the questions of who, what, when, where, and why.
For example, instead of “I want to swim faster,” a specific goal would be “I want to improve my time in the 100 freestyle by 2 seconds.
Make it Measurable
Your goal should have a way to track your progress and know when you have achieved it. It should be something that you can measure or count.
Such as, if your goal is to improve your practice attendance, keep a log of how many practices you attend each week.
Is it achievable?
A swimmer’s SMART goal should be realistic and attainable. It should be something that you have the ability and resources to accomplish.
Setting challenging goals is great, but they should still be within reach.
Thus, if you currently swim the 50-meter freestyle in 35 seconds, aiming to swim the 50 in 25 seconds may be unrealistic in a short timeframe.
Keep it relevant
Your goal should be relevant to your swimming aspirations and align with your objectives. It should be meaningful and important to you as a swimmer.
If your main focus is on distance swimming, setting a goal to improve your butterfly stroke may not be relevant.
Mark your calendar, make it time-bound
SMART goals should have a specific timeframe or deadline. It helps create a sense of urgency and provides a target to work towards.
For example, setting a goal to achieve a time improvement within three months gives you a clear timeline to work with.
Example Swimmer Smart Goals
Remember, you will get the most out of your SMART goals if you make them personalized to your goals. Here are 15 examples of SMART goals from other swimmers to get you brainstorming!
- Improve freestyle technique by attending swim technique clinics twice a month over the next six months.
- Increase weekly swimming distance by 10% each month for the next three months to enhance endurance.
- Achieve a personal best time in the 200-meter individual medley (IM) by the end of the competitive season _(exact date)__.
- Attend strength training sessions twice weekly for three months to improve overall swimming power and efficiency.
- Decrease stroke count by five strokes per lap in backstroke within the next four weeks.
- Qualify for the regional swimming championship swim meet by achieving the required time standard in the 100-meter breaststroke event.
- Increase flexibility and range of motion by incorporating stretching exercises into your daily routine for 15 minutes every morning.
- Improve flip-turn technique by practicing 50 flip-turns during each training session for the next two months.
- Swim an open water race of at least 1-mile distance within the next six months.
- Reduce average lap time in the 400-meter freestyle event by 5 seconds throughout the season.
- Attend mental conditioning workshops once a month for the next three months to enhance mental resilience and focus during competitions.
- Achieve a podium finish in the 50-meter freestyle event at a local swim meet by the end of the year.
- Improve underwater dolphin kick distance by implementing 4 underwater dolphin kicks off every wall in practice for the next six weeks.
- Achieve a qualifying time for the national swimming championship in the 200-meter backstroke event by the end of the year.
- Improve body position in freestyle by practicing bilateral breathing (breathing on both sides) during each training session for the next six weeks.
Share your SMART goals
Grab a pen and paper, and start writing down your SMART goals today. Share your SMART goals with your coach, training partners, or support network.
By sharing your goals, you invite accountability and support, creating a positive and encouraging environment for growth.
Together, you can celebrate milestones, overcome challenges, and inspire other swimmers to reach new heights.
Set SMART goals
In conclusion, SMART goals for swimmers are the secret to overcoming challenges and achieving success in the pool. By setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals, swimmers gain clarity and focus on what they want to accomplish.
These goals provide a roadmap for improvement, allowing swimmers to track their progress and stay motivated.
Start writing down your goals, share them with your teammates and coaches, and swim faster today!
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Katie Schimmelpfenning RD, LD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, USA Swim Coach, and former Division 1 swimmer. She helps competitive swimmers fuel and train to optimize performance, recover faster, and prevent injury! She is passionate about spreading evidence-based nutrtion tips to help swimmers across the globe.