Trainer’s Talk – Goals

2013 is upon us… “New Year”, “New Goals”, “New Year’s Resolutions”… Blah, blah, blah. If you want to truly make a change in your life why wait until the New Year like everybody else? Make that change TODAY.  DON’T wait?  Always ask yourself:  “What am I waiting for?”

With that being said, in the spirit of the New Year, I do want to discuss EFFECTIVE goal setting.

Goal Setting- a theory of motivation that effectively energizes athletes to become more productive and effective through using goals.

A basic theory about goals states:
a.) a linear relationship exists between degree of goal difficulty and performance
b.) goals that are specific and difficult lead to a higher level of performance than “do your best goals”

In sport there are three different types of goals.  Research supports the position that a multiple goal strategy is best and most effective in improving performance and psychological skill in athletes. A multiple goal strategy allows the athlete to set goals in terms of successful outcome, personal

performance, and improving technique as an ongoing process. 

Outcome Goals- Focuses on the outcome of an event and usually involve some sort of interpersonal comparison. Such as setting a goal of Sub 10min “FRAN”

Performance Goals- Specify an end product of performance that will be achieved by the athlete as an independent.  Such as getting all 50DUs

unbroken within a workout.  Taking a piece of the outcome and making that your goal.

Process Goals-Focus on specific behaviors exhibited throughout a performance. Small accomplishments/improvements/corrections relative to the big picture. Such as hitting the 10ft target every time in wallballs or achieving triple extension in the snatch/not pulling too early. The idea here is to focus on proper and effective technique for executing a specific athletic task.

Reasons Why Goal Setting Results in Improved Performance:

Goal setting improves performance by directing attention, increasing effort and persistence, and motivating the athlete to learn new learning

strategies. Setting a specific goal causes an athlete to focus their attention on that goal and upon the task that is associated with that goal. Goal setting is one of the best motivational strategies available to an athlete.


Principals of Effective Goal Setting:

1. Make goals specific, measurable, and observable.

2. Clearly identify time constraints.

3. Use moderately difficult goals; they are superior to either easy or very difficult goals.

4. Write goals down and regularly monitor progress.

5. Use a mix of process, performance, and outcome goals.

6. Use short-range goals to achieve long-range goals.

7. Set individual performance goals

8. Set practice as well as competition goals.

9. Make sure goals are internalized by the athlete and coaches are made aware.

10. Consider personality and individual differences in goal setting.


People often set goals, but very few know how to set effective goals and the steps necessary to reach them. It is even more challenging to write goals down in a form that makes them motivational, measurable, and achievable.  Please use our expertise in helping you set your goals. That is why we are here!  The most common goal setting pitfalls include (a) poorly written and conceived goal statements, (b) failure to devise a goal-attainment strategy, (c) failure to follow the goal attainment strategy, (d) failure to monitor performance progress, and (e) discouragement.  Discouragement is often associated with goals being too difficult, too many goals, and the inappropriate use of outcome goals. Let us help you not only reach your goals in 2013 but also effectively set and obtain them as well! 


Be SMART when setting your goals!



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