Goal Setting for Sports Performance Improvement

When athletes train they train for a specific reason; to run faster, jump higher or throw further. There’s a plan and an ultimate goal in mind, whether it be a 4.6 second 40 yard dash, 35 inch vertical jump or a 40 foot medicine ball throw. Goal setting is very important part of improving sports performance.  Training just to train doesn’t make sense when your training to improve.  If you want to run faster, you train to run faster, you don’t train to run longer.  So setting specific and accurate goals during your training is imperative to sports performance improvement.

There two types of goal setting:

There are two types of goal setting; short term goal setting and long term goal setting.  Short term goals are usually less than a year from the setting of the goal.  Long term goals are over a year from the initial goal setting.  Short term goal setting is often a stepping stone for more ambitious goals.  A short term goal of gaining 5 lbs in 3 months can lead to a long term goal of gaining 15 lbs in a year.  It’s important to set short term goals to improve you goal setting skills.  You might not gain all 5 of those lbs in 3 months.  But you’ll be better at setting a realistic long term goal.  It’s not always important to accomplish those short term goals.  Remember short term goals are less than a year from when you set them, so it’s difficult to make huge improvements in the short term.  You’ll also see set backs as failures and disappointments in short term goals.  Yet, setting these short term goals develops your skills for setting long term goals that are realistic.  The more goals you set the better you get at setting and obtaining those goals.   Here are some important factors in your goals setting and achieving plan.

  • Ÿ  Decide on your goal
  • Ÿ  Document your goal
  • Ÿ  Know what will signify achievement of your goal
  • Ÿ  Decide your first step
  • Ÿ  Understand how it will impact you
  • Ÿ  Remove limitations
  • Ÿ  Visualize
  • Ÿ  Get help if needed

It’s important to remember that sports improvement is not linear

It’s almost certain you will come across some type of obstacle on the way to your short term goals and most certainly your long term goals.  Your going to see ups and downs.  This is why the long term goal setting is so important.  In a short term goal you might see some set backs as failures.  Yet, in a long term goal they just become bumps in the road to achieving your goals.   Sharp improvements often follow set backs and plateaus.  So it’s very important to not get discouraged and stick to the plan, especially in your long term goals.

Run faster, jump higher or throw further. There’s a plan and an ultimate goal in mind. That 4.6 second 40 yard dash, 35 inch vertical jump or 40 foot medicine ball throw can be obtained if the goal setting and plan are executed correctly.  So setting specific and accurate short term and long term goals during your training is imperative to sports performance improvement.

 

[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”About the Author”]Josh Morrison is the owner of Optimum Performance Training in Mt Zion, IL. He has a M.S. in Performance Enhancement, B.A. in Physical Education, certified as an NASM-PES, NASE-CSSE, NASM-CPT, NESTA-CPT, Human Kinetics-Advanced Exercise Nutrition and APEX-FitPro. [/stextbox]

 

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