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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > January 2018 > ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS


Helen Davis looks at how to use goal setting techniques to maximise your swim performance


Goal setting is a technique that sport psychologists employ regularly with athletes, as it is consistently a strategy that can assist athletes in achieving personal growth and peak performance. Goal setting has been shown to influence not only the performance of athletes of varied age and ability levels, but also linked to positive changes in important psychological states such as anxiety, confidence and motivation. For goal setting to be effective it is important to understand the process and the factors that can affect it.


One of the most widely accepted definitions of ‘goal’ is “objective or aim of action defined as attaining a specific standard of proficiency on a task, usually within a specified time limit.” Some sport psychologists like to make specific distinctions between types of goals; a preference of mine is to assess goals in terms of:

Outcome goals

Performance goals

Process goals

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Whether your New Year goal is an epic challenge or your first open water swim, our 2018 Race Guide is the pick of the year’s must-do events. Elsewhere in the magazine, we have inspiring stories of more personal challenges: learning to ocean swim, 50 castle swims and a new English Channel record. Plus, advice from Olympians, record breakers and swim coaches on how to max your motivation without going nuts.