Half-Season Report Card: A goal-oriented motivational idea from Executive Swim Club

Thanks to Brian Crawford and the Executive Swim Club for sharing the following story and this cool coaching idea with SwimSwam and its readers:

“January can be the toughest month to stay motivated”, says Head Coach Brian Crawford of the Executive Swim Club, in Manchester, NH. “It’s right after the mid-season bigger meets, and kids have a lot going, with mid-terms, high school meets, sickness, and not to mention the cold. This was a different way, and more visual, that the coaches could evaluate them”.

The swimming “Report Card” touches on the many important factors that make for a great season. Some of the top swimmers aren’t always the best trainers or competitors. A swimmer can also be extremely accountable, but not perform as well as others. The four categories also help them figure out where they best can improve. When a set gets tough, some will think again on missing a 50. And even the top swimmers in your group can improve with their character and leadership. With January being later in the season, some athletes don’t always want to hear what you have to say—or actually what you’ve been saying to them since September. Assistant Coach Paulina Ziolek agrees. “They think we didn’t see those lazy turns all week. Many kids take pride in their grades, so this gets them to rethink their attitudes”. When January is finished the majority of the swimmers can see the end of the season and tapering is right around the corner. To get a “letter grade”, simply add up all of the numbers. A perfect score would be 100/A+. Coaches can also grade the sections differently, or give comments on certain ones.

Matt Grauslys, who finished second in the 200 Butterfly at the recent Speedo Winter Juniors in December, said “It reminded me a lot of school when I was young—and it actually came out pretty similar to back then.”

Here is the “Swimmer’s Report Card,” as used by the Executive Swim Club. If you add up your score in all 20 of the categories, you’ll get a number corresponding to a typical letter grade in school (90-100 = A, 80-90 = B, etc.). You can also find a PDF version here.

Name: _________________________
Half season Report Card

Show up on time 1 2 3 4 5
First one on the water 1 2 3 4 5
Inform coaches of absences 1 2 3 4 5
Show up prepared 1 2 3 4 5
attendance 1 2 3 4 5

Practice Performance:
Complete all laps, don’t sit out 1 2 3 4 5
Complete kick sets correctly 1 2 3 4 5
Arrive early and loosen before practice 1 2 3 4 5
Consistently work on underwaters 1 2 3 4 5
Avoid shortcuts 1 2 3 4 5

Character Performance:
Teammate support 1 2 3 4 5
Leadership 1 2 3 4 5
Respectfulness to swimmers 1 2 3 4 5
Respectfulness to coaches 1 2 3 4 5

Meet performance:
Show confidence 1 2 3 4 5
Worry about self, not others 1 2 3 4 5
Trust training prior to competition 1 2 3 4 5
Warm up and down correctly 1 2 3 4 5
Show pride in team and sport 1 2 3 4 5
Can put a bad swim behind you 1 2 3 4 5

Need to work on for remainder of season:

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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