As a coach, it is important to help your athletes set goals so they have something to work towards. Setting goals are crucial for athlete success. It helps them stay committed and work hard. Whether it’s a long or short term goal, it is important to establish that early on. It’s also important that goals change.

How are goals important?

athlete goals

Setting goals in sports helps athletes not only with their sports performance, but it is a tool that will benefit them off the playing field as well. It teaches them to work towards what they want to achieve.

Goal discussions

When you help an athlete set a goal, first have them pinpoint what they think are their strengths and their weaknesses. This will help them come up with goals that are fitting to what they need to work on. After those are identified, start setting their goals. Start out with short term goals, such as making 20 free throws in a row or pitching 20 strikes. From there, once they reach their goal, it is important to make new goals to help them continue to advance. If they are unable to reach their short term goal, try switching it up to cater it to their needs. The athletes should verbally discuss their goals during sessions as well and talk about what they are going to focus on that session to meet their goal. Make sure the goals are something you both agree upon so you are on the same page. Good communication is key.

Team goals vs. individual goals

Athlete goals

Team goals and individual goals may be very different for athletes. With teams, the process of setting the goals can be similar but everyone from the team must be present. It is important to regularly do check-ins on how the goals are coming along. Talk with your team and discuss the goals daily. Before every practice, go around and have the athlete say one personal goal and one team goal. This will help you be aware of their goals as well as help them see what they need to work on from everyone’s perspective.

Tips for setting goals

Sports Psychology Today says when setting goals, they should identify a specific action or event that will take place, the goals should always be obtainable and you should always have a time period. Also, their goals should allow them to be challenged, but it needs to be something they can reach.