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How Swim Coaches Can Help Develop Highly Motivated Swimmers



We need it, we love it, and we are stoked when swimmers walk out onto the pool deck full of it.

Every coach’s dream scenario is to have every swimmer on the team rolling in to the pool with 25 mega-watts of motivation.

Of course, you know this isn’t realistic.

Even your most motivated athletes will have motivational lapses when they are injured, during exhausting stretches of workouts (heavy training sends our mood profiles crashing), or when they experience feeling stuck.

While ultimately it is on swimmers to decide to want to be there, there are some ways that you can create a climate and culture at the pool that brings up the motivational level of all the athletes on your squad.


Although swimmers tend to focus on their individual goals, cooperation and a feeling of togetherness can help boost intrinsic motivation.

One study of PE students found that when the participants worked in pairs or small groups to help one another reach common goals relatedness, intrinsic motivation and intention to do sport all went up.

There are lots of ways to help implement a sense of cooperation on the team. Some ideas include:

  • Group bonding exercises

  • Regularly doing peer coaching/mentoring

  • Pairing up swimmers as accountability buddies

  • Holding weekly team goal meetings

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