Everyone suffers from a lack of motivation at certain periods in their life, even Olympic swimmers, believe it or not. Competitive swimmers, no matter how driven they might seem, suffer from burnout or a lack of desire to continue competing. The various reasons include a serious loss in a competition, being overworked by a trainer and general burnout. There are various ways coaches can help swimmers gain their motivation back.
Offering incentives to swimmers works just as well as in other areas of life. Incentives give swimmers a reason to want to try their hardest, whether in practice or at actual meets. Coaches who use tactics, such as awarding a swimmer of the week or month based on various themes, motivate swimmers to want to do well. There does not have to be an actual prize at the end of the period, but if you do wish to give a prize, there are several swimming medals available to use as incentives. There is nothing better to swimmers than to have a decorated bag filled with all their achievements to help ignite motivation.
Setting goals that are achievable is key to keeping motivation levels up. When swimmers try to achieve a goal that is too far out of their reach, it is easy to lose the desire to try. Taking baby steps is a better choice for swimmers of all levels. Whether you set a goal that has to do with shaving time off a race or reaching a certain endurance point, giving swimmers the opportunities to reach their goals will give them their passion and desire to swim once again.
No one likes to be yelled at, even competitive swimmers. Even if your swimmer is having a bad day, finding a positive point in their race will help them not to lose their motivation. Coaches that dwell on the negative, make swimmers not want to try harder in their next race. Focusing on the positives allows swimmers to see the best in themselves, keeping their self-confidence up and their motivation to continue swimming strong.
If you coach swimmers or are a swimmer yourself, understand that losing motivation is normal. Finding positive ways to gain the motivation to swim back is the key to your long-term success. Finding ways that work for you and your swimmers will yield everyone the best results.