The number one thing you can do to be more effective is to increase your plus minus ratio.

The 5:1 ratio is any piece of coaching or interaction with your athletes that fills or drains their tanks. The tank-fillers could include reinforcements of things you want them to do, which is important coaching.  

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to give five reinforcements every time you give criticism. But a balance of positive reinforcements will help your team more readily accept correction.

Achieving a 5:1 ratio is challenging, especially since you need to teach and correct your team if you want them to improve. But when you do get close to that ratio of 5:1, magical things happen. It produces swimmers with full emotional tanks. Kids who didn’t seem to be very motivated get excited, and they end up doing things they didn’t think they could do.