Being a Team
BY DR. ALAN GOLDBERG//Sport Psychologist
Probably the very best way for a captain to
motivate teammates in practice and at meets is to directly model the behaviors that you want them to take on.
For example in practice, if you as the captain work hard, go all
out on every set, closely follow the coaches’ instructions
and do so with enthusiasm and a positive attitude, then you will be
doing a lot to get your teammates on board following your
How you act as the captain will always speak much
louder and more powerfully than what you say. In
addition, help your teammates remember exactly why they should be
working hard today. That is, if you can periodically remind your teammates of the team’s
goals and that the way to best achieve them is by working hard
today (and every day) in practice.
However, keep in mind that sometimes you may have a teammate or two
who haven’t bought into the team’s goals or who really
don’t care as much about swimming as you do. Understand that
it is very difficult to motivate someone who isn’t motivated
to begin with.
At meets you want to keep in mind that swimming fast largely
depends upon staying loose and relaxed and having fun. If you model
these behaviors for your teammates, you will be doing a lot to help
them relax and go fast.