Setting Goals As An Athlete - 2016

Welcome back.  Continuing the topic for the month; this week I am going to talk to you about setting goals as an athlete and how to manage them. 

Setting goals can be difficult, not because we don't know what we want, but because it is sometimes hard to have a realistic view of where we are, or what we are capable of.  My first piece of advice is, ask people who'd know.  Ask the people closest to you, what kind of work habits you have and what kind of potential they see from you.  Once you know that, you can decide if you like the answer or want to improve on it and change your work habits.

Goal setting can be done in a lot of ways.  The simplest to explain is to start by picking an Overarching Goal: what you'd like to attain when it's all said and done... The Big Picture.  After you've got an Overarching Goal in mind, you can start on your immediate goals.  Try not to pick more than two to five immediate goals.  The focus should be narrow, not too much to manage at once.

For me, passing through the 8th grade, I made my Overarching Goal to make a Varsity athletic team at my high school before I graduated.  In order to achieve that within two or three years I decided on my immediate goals.  I picked three that were attainable in the near future, with some work.  Playing at least once a day, six days a week, was one goal that was completely dependent on me.  My second was to make a team at the high school, whether it was Freshmen or Junior Varsity didn't matter.  That was achievable in the near future.  The third was to be in the starting lineup by the middle of the season.  All of those things worked me toward my Overarching Goal.  The most important thing to pay attention to is that my Overarching Goal is unachievable with the short-term goals preceding it.

For you, maybe graduating school is your Overarching Goal.  Maybe becoming a CEO or a manager at your job is the Overarching Goal.  Perhaps your goal is athletically related.  Whatever it is, pick some things that aren't too difficult, but aren't too easy, and get started on achieving them.  if you aren't about their level of difficulty then talk to your peers... or reach out to me.

If you have trouble reaching your short-term goals and you don't think it is because of a lack in effort, then adjust them.  Although, if you do achieve your short-term goals, and it leads to reaching your long-term goal, then set new goals.  Once I made my first Varsity team, immediately, I allowed that to become the standard and set my new Overarching Goal to playing Division I Volleyball before I graduated college.  That meant developing a new set of short-term goals, which were: playing club (outside of high school), getting in consistent contact with a minimum of five schools every month, and trying to win a State Championships before I finished high school.  While your short-term goals should directly correlate with your Overarching Goal, it's not always mandatory to achieve every short-term goal to achieve the long-term goal.  In my quest to play DI Volleyball, i missed out on one of those three short-term goals.  I was fortunate enough to still get enough help to make my goal come true.  That goes back to what we discussed in 2016 - Post 1; don't give up hope.

If you'd like to continue the discussion then you can post in the comments section below.  Come on back next week, I will be talking about the next steps for athletes to maximize their potential.

- Have a blessed week.

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Chris P Austin