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Whoa! Slow Down and Do A Goal Breakdown

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.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 10.21.15 AM


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

• Specific
• Measurable
• Attainable
• Realistic
• Timely
• Self-Determined

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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