Ian Thorpe Talks Goal Setting

While Ian Thorpe has been battling personal demons since leaving the sport, there is no disputing that he is amongst the greatest Australian swimmers of all time, and one of the most internationally decorated swimmers as well.

In this video Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe talks a little bit about goal setting, and how he used it to propel himself towards the achievement of not only his swimming goals, but also of other athletic pursuits including surfing.

When setting goals for yourself, Thorpe discusses the need to set:

  • short term, day-to-day goals.
  • mid-term, season ending goals.
  • long term, career goals.


The Aussie freestyle legend talks about how you should set goals that will stretch you to the limits of your abilities:

“You set a goal at a level where you think it is achievable if you do everything right, if you can do everything within your power to get those results. It should be at that level where you think or question “Can I do that?” but you have to reassure yourself that yes you can…You always want to set your goals as high as you possibly can, and they have to be achievable, but you have to work hard to be able to achieve them.”


Thorpe also discusses the need to periodically analyze and assess your efforts and results to maximize the goal setting process. Tracking your progress, and seeing where you are improving, as well as studying and improving the areas where you are not doing so great can be a fantastic accelerator of progress in the pool, and it is something that you can do consistently on your own.

Here is the full video, which is a snippet from Ian Thorpe’s Behind the Suit

Recent Articles

Journaling Prompts for Swimmers
Mental Training

21 Journaling Prompts for Swimmers

Feeling stuck with your journaling? Here are some journaling prompts for swimmers to build self-awareness, confidence, and help swimmers maintain perspective over the course of the swim season.

Read More »