Part 2 of the 5-part series on the most common challenges athletes face. The key to achievements is goal-setting.
Pretty straight and upfront, right? I mean what an athlete is known for, is setting and achieving goals, a no brainer duh!
Not that simple though.
First and foremost, there are many types of goals and mostly what athletes tend to do is to take care of the short-term, “easy” ones.
And for those outside, seems quite an easy task. After all, what is there to think of? You just go in that game, race or tournament and try to win it! Who has heard of someone trying to lose? That is true, but that is what lies on the surface of it all.
What are all those processes that take place before we even step a foot on the court?
A variety of goal types is what an athlete must take into consideration.
Short term- Long term
Short term goals are the ones that are seen today,tomorrow,next month and this season. The ones you prepare for right away. Those are easy to spot and along with the coaching team, the best approach is preferred.
We have a game tomorrow, what is the goal and how are we going to do the best to succeed?
Long term goals may stretch to the four-year span between the Olympics, two years for World Championships, and all the way to the extent of one’s whole career.
Not many athletes get into the process of clearing out how their career should look like and never taking the time to draw an image of it.
You should always know where your ship is headed to and always adjust the sails.
Another important category is the performance-based goal. These are all goals that are about how good you get to be in your sport. Close ties to the actual physical training as the one depends on the other.
From those goals, the Result- driven goals derive. Meaning that after achieving maximum performance, one should get the results aimed at. If not, then it’s back to ye old drawing board to see where adjustments can be made. Some sports are easier to set those goals, while others have more factors going on.
One most common issue(mostly team sports) is the stress that comes from chasing the next contract. This is often caused from lack of clear goal-setting and a lack of a step-by-step strategy to achieve the goal.
Where do I want to play next year/5 years?
Can I do it?
What do I need to do-more- in order to achieve it?
Can I handle what it takes?
All these are serious questions that must be addressed. Serious results need a serious approach.
The first step is to have the clear goal in front. Next step is to figure out how to get there. Then implementing everything that needs to be done. At the end, just enjoying the whole journey is what keeps one mentally balanced.
We are going to talk about stress in a next post. As said in pt.1
all of the issues can intertwine and some may have the same roots but with different characteristics when they manifest.
Almost nobody sets out to be an athlete with how their life will look like when they retire, in mind. The normal thing is to enjoy every moment, grasp everything that comes, strive for greatness and at the end you will see the whole picture.
Thoughts of what kind of legacy am I leaving start to emerge when a)things don’t go well(or injury), b)the end is approaching.
As I mentioned earlier, try to play a mental game and see from an early stage what you want your whole journey to look like when it is over?
That might clarify every step along the way a bit and help with goal-setting.
Reach out to those that came before and learn valuable tips.
Learning to set goals often with pen and paper is more valuable than many other activities athletes spend time on.