CoachNow Athlete Blog

Mastering the Art of Goal-Oriented Practice

Far too often, your practice sessions become reactive.

You focus on what you’ve been working on, what's been going well, and what hasn’t.

But this approach lacks a key component to any successful practice session: Goal-Orientation.

Truth is, every technical movement consists of countless micro-movements. Performance in skill-sports depends on how these micro-movements work together to create a result.

So, I suggest you set a very specific first goal: perfect the movement in isolation.

Here you should rely on CoachNow’s Video and Image analysis suite to capture and analyze every detail of your technique in real-time. You and your coach should break down the technical pieces of the movement before you even worry about what happens next.

Don’t bog yourself down with tons of criticism - first you gotta start with the basics. This stage is about perfecting movements without the added pressure of results.

Your goal should simply be getting comfortable while learning what the target movement feels and looks like.

Then, once you’ve mastered the technical movements, you set the second goal: maintain your form with a real ball.

Here you introduce the ball, but ignore the result. You don’t stress about contact, where the ball lands, or anything that happens after the swing.

Your goal is to repeat the movement and build awareness now that another object has been introduced.

Then, once everything is dialed in, you simulate a more realistic game day scenario.

In our golf example, this is where you add on analysis of ball contact, distance, speed, and accuracy.

You blend all the skills together and focus on how each piece works together to form a greater whole.

Whenever you begin to struggle with your form, just go back to square one.

Goal #1: Improve your form with no ball.

Goal #2: Add the ball while maintaining good form. Ignore the results, focus on the movement.

Goal #3: Analyze the final result once everything is dialed in.

It may sound simple, but isolating each step like this can help you reach that “ah-ha” moment that every athlete strives for.

Skills should be built up piece by piece. And throughout the whole process, make sure you know how your goals shift as you improve.

Here’s the MOST important part

The improvement process is hard, it takes time and it might make you want to quit somewhere along the line.

But if you stick with it, you’re guaranteed to see the fruits of your labor.

Of course, you can do all this on your own.. But never underestimate the power of a coach providing a third person perspective on your movement.

The advice in this post, in conjunction with a coach giving calibrative feedback in CoachNow, will ensure you get better.. Faster than ever before.