We Are Here To Serve You

Who:  Club Olympia Swim Team a USA Swimming member club designed to meet the needs of local swimmers and triathletes wanting to maximize their competitiveness and technique through proper training without having to leave Columbus.

What:  A USA Swimming and Indiana Swimming member club designed to meet the needs of local swimmers and triathletes wanting to maximize their competitiveness and technique through proper training without having to leave Columbus. The primary purpose is to assist swimmers and triathletes looking to advance from state to zone to sectional to national to international competition.

Where:  Columbus, Indiana. The club utilizes local pools such as Northside Middle School (25 yards, 6 lanes) and Donner Aquatic Center (outdoor 50 meters, 8 lanes).

Why:   A significant number of swimmers (and/or parents) were interested in forming a new swim club in Columbus in 2015-16 because they believed they were not getting the coaching/training that they need to continue to improve in order to meet both their short term and long term goals (natural progression to national competition, state/zone champions, college athletics grant-in-aid, professional opportunities, open water training, triathlon training).

When:  The short course season is August 20 through the completion of a swimmer’s season in March (Championship season). The long course season is the end of March through the completion of the swimmer’s season in late July or early August.

Coaching:  Currently, Club Olympia has three coaches, but we are looking to add 1-2 more coaches to help with the growth of the team. We try to keep a 10:1 swimmers to coach ratio (or lower) as much as possible.

Eligibility:  Swimmers must have the ability to swim 2-3 different strokes for a 25 without stopping. We have different levels and swimmers must master specified skills to advance to the next level.

Practice:  Swimmers, depending upon their level, will be offered 5-9 practices per week of 60 minutes to 2 hours duration per practice. Swimmers will be expected to make a minimum of 4-6 practices, with illnesses, school work, and family commitments as permissible excuses to meet this requirement. While the schedule varies, here is a sample week for the short course season … based upon availability at Northside: 5:20-6:50 a.m. T-W-F, 5:30-7:30 p.m. M-T-W-Th, 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, and 8:30-11:00 a.m. on Saturday.

Dryland:  Club Olympia will have a dryland program for each group. Swimmers are expected to give their best effort during dryland. The dryland is to help strengthen the muscles used in the water for swimmer. Stronger often means faster!

Meets:  Swimmers will be expected to participate in at least one invitational or triathlon or open water competition per month (on average). The club typically schedules two meets per month, except for September and April. Swimmers are expected to attend the highest level of championship meet that they qualify for each season.

High School: Swimmers are encouraged to compete for their high school team as long as they believe the high school workouts will not hinder their development as competitive swimmers. There will be 1-3 workouts offered per week during the high school season to complement their training (at a time that does not conflict with their high school swim schedule), especially as it relates to distance events, open water events or triathlons. Club Olympia is willing to work with the high school coaches (through open lines of communication) to ensure the swimmers are receiving the type of training encouraged by the high school coaches in the off season (which happens to be 8-9 months a year).

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Coaches, swimmers and parents should strive to set goals that are SMART. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

To be useful, a goal needs to be specific, such as “To be eligible to move to the next higher team because of consistent good performance” as opposed to “To move up to the next level.”

A specific goal is one that is very clear. It breaks down a big vision into something small and manageable. This helps because when a swimmer or parent gets confused, frustrated, or overwhelmed, the goal shines bright as a small, actionable next step forward.

Goals are only good if they can be measured. If a parent’s goal is to “Help Johnny develop into a better person,” then there should be some metrics around that. In what specific ways does Johnny need to be a better person? What character traits can he improve on? How can those be measured?

A better example of a goal would be “Instill in Johnny a respect for teammates, demonstrated in his willingness to put others first.” By stating the measure – “willingness to put others first” – Johnny’s progress toward the goal can be evaluated.

 

 

This one is all about putting an end-date on the goal. Is it possible to truly achieve the goal? If the goal is “Improve sprint times by 10 seconds,” then yes, it is achievable. If the goal is “Become the fastest sprinter in the country in the next 10 weeks,” then it’s probably not so achievable.

Setting goals that aren’t possible to achieve is an exercise in futility. Parents will get frustrated that swimmers never meet the goals. Swimmers will get frustrated that such unattainable goals have been set without their agreement or participation. They will begin to stop trying, since they believe they will never reach their goals.

This is a dangerous mindset to instill in an athlete, because it often spills into other areas of life and can cause some negative behaviors outside of sports.

 

 

Just because a goal is achievable at some point does not mean that it is realistic in the timeframe of the goal. Let’s use the goal of “Improve sprint times by 10 seconds” as an example.

Yes, it is probably possible to improve sprint times as stated. If the timeframe of the goal is one week, however, it’s not realistic to think that such improvement can be achieved in so short a time.

Just as the ability to achieve a goal is important, so is the ability to complete it in the time stated. For goals to be useful, they have to be realistic, or athletes won’t even try to achieve them. Parents setting goals for their children should be especially careful to be realistic, because athletes will use this skill throughout life.

So how do you set realistic goals? Goals should be attainable, but only through work. If a goal is too easy, an athlete won’t strive to reach it because they know it’s possible. If it’s just out of reach, but probably attainable, they will work their hardest. If a goal is way too ambitious, they won’t even try.

Parents looking to set goals for their children should evaluate their current skill, think about where they want to be, and be realistic about how quickly they can get there.

Timely goals are ones that have a deadline. If a parent’s goal is for a swimmer to improve sprint times by 10 seconds, but there is no end date, then the swimmer never has anything to work for. If they are to improve those sprint times in the next 7 weeks, however, that makes things more manageable.

Deadlines encourage swimmers to keep working, and it gives them the ability to measure their progress. Assuming that a swimmer has 7 weeks to improve 10 seconds, by week 3 they should have improved 5 seconds. This is a quick and easy way for a swimmer to see if they are on track to meet their goal and make adjustments as needed.