As I prepare to substitute teach for a sport psychology class, I glance over the topic and material I will be presenting: Goal Setting. For some, goal setting is overrated; everyone does it, it is a natural habit, what is there to learn about it? Even I, an extremely goal-oriented person, forget the complexity within goals. Perhaps, I have taken goal setting for granted and do not realize how important it is to teach others the fundamentals of it.
So this may be a bit of an elementary post, but I feel it is something that needs to be reiterated and rehearsed. Performers and athletes continue to make the mistake of looking at the outcome and expecting a national championship to arrive in their laps, but this will never be the case if we do not look at the fine print of goal setting.
Outcome vs Performance vs Process Goals
• The difference lies in the word; each type of goal needs special attention and there just cannot be one without the other.
Short, Medium, and Long Term Goals
• Understanding timing is everything; one must have the little feats in order to get to the point of big feats.
Follow the ‘SMARTS’ principle
Following the basics from the start of a season or at the start of competition is key. A performer of any kind must understand that it is vital to start with the basics. Relying on setting a goal without purpose and without strategy will only lead to performance drawbacks such as anxiety, frustration, and defeat.
Goal setting is complex; we as performers must slow down and respect that complexity.
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