Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Psychological Development in Youth Swimmers

Here's a great video on psychological development in youth swimmers. The speaker is Dr. Dan Gould at the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University.

I think the discussion of maintaining consistency after races is something that swimming coaches and researchers need to explore. There is always a reason to celebrate a good performance, and it's important to acknowledge that a string of good races creates a sense of positive momentum in a swimmer's mind (it can also contribute positive momentum to others by inspiring teammates). However, each race is a separate entity in a swim meet, and swimmers who are able to compartmentalize past performances (both good and bad) seem to be the most consistent performers, especially in pressure situations.

...At least that is my experience as a coach. Now as a researcher, I am more interested in finding concrete evidence for this phenomenon that I observed as a coach.

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