Do you have the Correct Goals?

Jul 24th, 2010No Comments

Goal setting is used by sports psychology coaches as a key fundamental to help athletes perform better. Goals can lead to motivation, good work ethic, and enjoyment when goals are achieved. The problem is that traditional goal setting is incomplete. Most are taught to write down their ultimate goal and magically they will achieve it. Every athlete I have worked with could easily tell me their long-term dream goal; however they had no plan to achieve it. I require athletes to break down their goals into three parts:

  1. Outcome
  2. Performance and
  3. Process

Here is an example of a golfer I worked with last year.

Identify the outcome that you want to achieve in the next year. This was to get on the PGA Tour.

Next is to identify the level of performance needed to achieve that outcome goal. An easy question is to ask, “Why haven’t you achieved this goal yet?” What areas of your game need to be improved to get to that level? With this player it was putts per round and greens in regulation.

Once we identified each of these areas we specified what his performance goals were; to have 28.5 putts per round and hit 68% of  greens in regulation.

Finally the most important goal to the goal setting system is the process goal. Here you need to identify how you will reach your performance goals. With this golfer he had three process goals. His first was to take one lesson a week to improve his mechanics. His second goal was to practice specific drills 2 hours per week for putting and increase practice time on his swing to 10 hours per week. Finally he committed to practicing his mental game to improve his focus and commitment to shot.

As his mental game coach I would check in to see if he was moving toward his performance goals and thus closer to achieving his outcome goal. You can always make adjustments to your process goals depending on your results. Remember it is exciting to identify your outcome goals, how you will reach your goal is through executing a detailed plan with the use of performance and process goals.

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