Using Fun To Motivate Your Star Swim Club Member To The Top

Posted on: 11 February 2016

Everyone in your swim club is a vital member of the team, but there is one member who stands a little bit above everyone else. They are faster, have more stamina, and tend to win more events. However, they don't seem to have the motivation to compete. That's probably because they don't find swimming fun anymore. Make it fun and you will motivate your star towards success.

Identify Your Swimmer's Motivational Level

Motivation is a funny thing: often, highly skilled people lack motivation, meaning they flounder and fail to achieve success. Don't let this happen to your swimmer: identify what motivates them and tap into it to push them to the top of the pack.

First of all, you need to understand the different levels of motivation:

  • Amotivation - A person lacks the desire to try or may feel incompetent or disconnected.
  • External regulation - Motivation comes from outside the athlete, such as pressure from parents or coaches, rather than a true desire to win.
  • Introjected regulation - The athlete is motivated by feelings of guilt or a need to achieve recognition.
  • Identified and integrated regulations - Motivation is done by choice, even if the activity isn't considered enjoyable.
  • Intrinsic motivation - The athlete feels compelled to compete for the love of the sport and the joy of achievement.

Where is your swimmer on this list? Are they competing because dad was a champion? Are they trying to please you? Straight up ask them why they swim. If they seem unsure or don't enjoy the sport, you need to push them up the motivational ladder.

Making It Fun

The best way to move your swimmer up the motivational ladder is by making it it fun. Yes, you can spend hours with your swimmer and force them to take endless laps. But are they enjoying it?  A few might: but most teens will find it difficult and boring. That's why you need to, at least occasionally, make it fun by playing a swimming game.

In fact, games are a useful motivational tool because they set a goal for your swimmer to meet and a simple set of rules that they must follow. This creates a playful and motivated state of mind that you can tap into to increase their skills. Try out some simple swimming games with other swimmers in your club, such as:

  • Sharks and minnows - Swimmers are split into two groups (two sharks and multiple minnows) and the minnows try to swim across the deep pool without getting tagged by the sharks.
  • Water polo - Split swimmers into two groups, give each swimmer a scooping net, as they try to move the ball through the air and score on their opponent's goal.
  • Relays - Teams swim specific distances, passing a small baton or ball back and forth as they go. They compete against other teams to post the fastest score.

Making everything more fun for your star swimmer will also remove some of the pressure they've likely been feeling. It can also help integrate them back into the club, if they felt isolated from other members. That way, if your star is having fun, it will rub off on the rest of your swimmers, and they'll become even stronger.

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