We always hear that goals provide a path for the athletes, and that, goal-books (logbooks) make you better. With this context, many athletes try their best to keep up with setting goals... Simple tasks which could get complex, and usually does get complicated! The busy school schedule, busy training regime, stress, competitions, school homework and home-learning etc. makes it even more difficult to keep up with GOAL-BOOKS.
Coaches have a hectic schedule, coaching, teaching, feedback, analysis, planning, keeping up with admin work, seasonal planning, parent committee meetings, club committee meetings, competitions and etc. This could lead the coaches to become disconnected from individual swimmers' "GOALS." When this happens, almost always, the age-group athletes get lost, confused, stressed, and ultimately fail with their LOG BOOKS.
We use simple plans, as we value each athlete, and want to be part of their JOURNEY.
tacklE this by HAVING EXPECTATIONS
It is all about how you start: it is wise to start your season by establishing the goals they wish to achieve.
Besides, meet each athlete to identify her or his level of expectation for the year. Expectations that are toward achieving their goal.
Let's call them TARGETED EXPECTATIONS E+E... = G
Athletes measure their effort through short, medium and long term goals. We help them use these outcomes and results to their advantage, ultimately to accomplish their desired goal. In your team, all age groupers and all athletes should be part of the goal-setting process.
I think, when setting goals, athletes should focus on both TEAM and INDIVIDUAL GOALS Example: Some age group athletes might have their goal as participating at the "OLYMPICS" which is perfectly fine, however, this is not a goal. "DREAMS" & "GOALS" Having "DREAMS" is equally important as "GOALS" but we need to be able to differentiate what a goal is and what a dream is. We need to learn how to walk before we run, run before we sprint, sprint before we compete etc.
Short-term (or immediate) goals should be established with the medium and long term goal in mind.
As the season progresses, it will be required and an absolute necessity to modify the goals depending on whether they were too easy or too difficult to achieve.
EVENTUALLY, AS THE SEASON PROGRESSES
THE LONG TERM GOALS ESTABLISHED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON BECOME SHORT TERM GOALS
NEW MEDIUM/LONG TERM GOALS WILL NEED TO BE ESTABLISHED
THE NEW CYCLE BEGINS
GOAL SETTING IS AN ONGOING PROCESS.
It's how you present it and how you talk about goals. Athletes need to learn from you, so effective leadership and humble examples are all important.