Every athlete should have goals! If you don’t have goals I can tell you right now that you will not progress very well! How can you achieve something when you have nothing planned to achieve? Training without goals is like trying to see the planets without a telescope! Pretty difficult if you ask me!
Same thing goes with your training. No goals means you will make some progress and then always fall back. That being said, if you have no plan then you have nothing to look forward to. Now that is pretty boring! All of the hard physical work and you have nothing to work for? That seems a little rough to me.
Take a few minutes and write down 10 goals that you want to achieve in your sport. GO AHEAD! DO IT!
Something that many athletes don’t think about is a time frame. If you are a soccer player and your goal is to score 10 goals, do you want to be able to achieve that this week, this month, or this year? There has to be a time frame. 10 goals in one week is pretty outstanding, but could be unrealistic for you. 10 goals in a month may be more realistic for you.
So now, beside each goal write down a time frame. Example:
Goal: To qualify for world championships Time frame: By April.
Goal: To score 3 goals during my hockey games
Time frame: Within 4 weeks
Now you have a list of goals and times when you want to achieve them. Run this list by your coach and see what he or she thinks about it. Sometimes as competitive athletes we want to achieve something right away! We see someone else do it and then immediately we feel obligates to do it as well. Ask your coach if your time frames are realistic for you. You may have written that you want to make it to Olympic trials in 2 years but have only been doing the sport for 6 months. That makes things a little difficult depending on how much experience is required before competing at Olympic trials. Your coach should be able to help you decide what a reasonable time frame is.
You want to be able to achieve your goals. You do not want to be disappointed with yourself because the time frame was not right. The only time you should be disappointed in yourself is if you did not put forward your best effort to accomplish your goals. You can’t expect success with no dedication.
Keep your goals and make new ones all the time. As an athlete you should have goals for every training day, every training week, every month, and every year. Ask yourself what you want to do tomorrow at practice that will be different from today? What do you want to be working on in a month? Write down some long term goals and short term goals! Short term could be tomorrow or next week, long term could be next month or next year.
Don’t forget the FUN part!!! When you have accomplished them scratch them out with a permanent marker! Make sure you use a pen or maker! That way you can never erase your scratch marks! You worked way too hard to achieve that goal so you should never have to go back!
Let me know how this goes for you. Write to me and tell me how you felt while writing down your goals? Let me know if you found it hard to do or if it was easy for you. Let me know if you were able to accomplish your goals within the time frames that you made?