Goal setting is a powerful technique for enhancing an athlete's performance. Goals direct an athlete’s attention and efforts and goals encourage an athlete’s determination and resolve. Michael Jordan has said that he took things step by step and set reasonable, manageable goals that he knew he could realistically achieve if he worked hard. Michael Jordan approached goal setting with the end in mind knowing where he wanted to go and focusing on getting there.

There are three types of goal:

  • Outcome goals are to do with the desired end result, for example, winning or performing better than someone else.
  • Process goals are to do with techniques and strategies to perform well. They help focus attention and help to control performance anxiety.
  • Performance goals specify standards to be achieved in play. They are about achieving personal sporting standards and they encourage mastery and excellence and lead to athletes feeling satisfied even if they do not win.

Goal Setting Tips
1 Have you developed a strategy with your coach with clear development stages for improving your overall game?
2 Are you moving modesty, patiently, carefully and incrementally in order to achieve your goals?
3 Do you own you goals, and have you written them down?
4 Are your goals SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed?
5 Have you invited feedback from your coach and fellow athletes on whether you are working on the right areas?
6 Do you review progress towards your objectives/goals and set new goals to replace achieved ones?

What experts say

I think that in order to get better as an athlete and to see whatever kind of results you’re after, you have to make goals. Whether you write them down or tell someone about them, it’s important to set goals for yourself in order to achieve any kind of success.

Abby Wambach Soccer Player

It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.

Paul “Bear” Bryant American Football Player

Do the SPQ20 and find out how good at goal-setting you are