Why The Goals You and Your Athletes Set Usually Don't Work

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Why the Goals You and Your
Athletes Set Usually Don’t Work
Rick Albrecht, Ph.D.
Grand Valley State University
Two Things We Often
Forget About Competitive Sport
1) Sport is supposed to be FUN
2) Success in sport is NOT about
beating another team or another
individual – your true competition
is always with YOURSELF
The best way to keep sport fun and to
remind yourself that YOU are your
only competition is by setting good
goals for yourself every single day
Here’s The Good News
About Goal Setting…
 Goal setting is one of the quickest
and easiest ways to improve athletic
performance
Goal setting is something that comes
naturally to most people – especially
athletes
Now, Here’s The Bad News
About Goal Setting…
Your athletes probably don’t know
how to set goals that will help them
improve their performance
Unfortunately, you probably don’t
either!
Why Don’t We Know How
To Set Effective Goals?
Simple… We were never taught!
Our coaches and trainers never let
us in on a very important secret…
ALL GOALS ARE NOT EQUAL!
Some goals help, some do nothing,
and some even hurt performance
The SINGLE BIGGEST MISTAKE
We Make When Setting Athletic Goals
Goals should ONLY be set to
improve a PERFORMANCE…
NEVER the RESULT of a
performance
You Really Can’t Control
The Result of a Performance
In “Team” Sports
→
→
→
→
Teammates
Officials
Coaching Strategy
Luck
You Really Can’t Control
The Result of a Performance
In “Individual” Sports
→ Other Person’s Skill/Ability
→ There’s NO DEFENSE in
many individual sports
There’s No DEFENSE
in Individual Sports
The Ten Commandments
of Effective Goal Setting
1. Set both LONG TERM and
SHORT TERM goals
Long-Term Goals Are Useless If
Not Supported By Short-Term Goals
Athletes need to set both long-term
and short-term goals
The Ten Commandments
of Effective Goal Setting
2. Set goals for EVERY PRACTICE
The Ten Commandments
of Effective Goal Setting
3. Set goals in EVERY area
related to performance
Using Goal Setting To Improve
All Areas of Sport Performance
Set CONDITIONING goals
Set MENTAL TRAINING goals
Set NUTRITIONAL goals
Set HYDRATION goals
Set SLEEP and RECOVERY goals
Set ACADEMIC goals
The Ten Commandments
of Effective Goal Setting
We need to help our athletes set
S-M-A-R-T-E-R goals…
4. Set SPECIFIC goals
The Ten Commandments
of Effective Goal Setting
We need to help our athletes set
S-M-A-R-T-E-R goals…
4. Set MEASURABLE goals
The Ten Commandments
of Effective Goal Setting
We need to help our athletes set
S-M-A-R-T-E-R goals…
4. Set AGREED-UPON goals
The Ten Commandments
of Effective Goal Setting
We need to help our athletes set
S-M-A-R-T-E-R goals…
4. Set REALISTIC goals
The Ten Commandments
of Effective Goal Setting
We need to help our athletes set
S-M-A-R-T-E-R goals…
4. Set TIME-SENSITIVE goals
The Ten Commandments
of Effective Goal Setting
We need to help our athletes set
S-M-A-R-T-E-R goals…
4. Always EVALUATE goals
The Ten Commandments
of Effective Goal Setting
We need to help our athletes set
S-M-A-R-T-E-R goals…
4. Always RECORD goals
The Problem With Team Goals
No snowflake in an avalanche
ever feels responsible
--Voltaire
Here Are Some Pretty
Common Team Goals:
Our goal is to get 20 rebounds in
today’s game
Our goal is to rush for 150 yards in
today’s game
Our goal is to score 5 or more runs
in today’s game
A Couple “Obvious” Questions...
Have you ever seen a team rebound a
basketball?
YES
NO
2. Have you ever seen a football team
rush for 150 yards? YES
NO
3. Have you ever seen a team drive in or
score a run in baseball?
YES
NO
1.
Not-So “Obvious” Answers...
Have you ever seen a team rebound a
basketball?
YES
NO
2. Have you ever seen a football team
rush for 150 yards? YES
NO
3. Have you ever seen a team drive in or
score a run in baseball?
YES
NO
1.
Problem With Team Goals
Team Goals (like “winning”)
can lead to inconsistent play
and upsets
Goal: To Win
Bob Ladouceur
De La Salle High School
151 Consecutive Wins
An Overall Record of 287-14-1
More Perfect Seasons (17) Than
Losses (14)
ESPN’s #1 High School Team in
the Country 5 of Last 6 Years
How did Bob Ladouceur get a high
school football team to win 151
consecutive games and have more
perfect seasons than losses?
Hint: By NOT setting a goal to win!
Let’s Hear What The
Coach Has to Say…
“Everyone asks me how I’ve
won 151 straight games…
my answer is always the
same…
Bob Ladouceur
Head Coach
By NOT concentrating on
winning! If you work hard
enough, the wins will come”.
John Wooden
UCLA Bruins
10 NCAA Championships in 12 Years
6 Times Voted “College Coach of the
Year”
88 Consecutive Victories
38 Consecutive NCAA Tournament
Wins
4 Undefeated Seasons
How did Coach Wooden become
the most successful basketball
coach of all time?
Hint: By NOT setting a goal to win!
Let’s Hear What The
Coach Has to Say…
John Wooden
Head Coach
“I never mentioned winning
or victory to my players. I
never referred to beating an
opponent. Instead I
constantly urged them to
strive for the self-satisfaction
that always comes from
knowing you did your best.”
Let’s Hear What The
Coach Has to Say…
John Wooden
Head Coach
“Did I win? Did I lose?
Those are the wrong questions.
The correct question is: ‘Did I
make my best effort’? That’s
what matters. The rest just gets
in the way”
The Big “Take-Home” Message…
Your performance – and the
performance of those you work
with – will improve greatly if you
set EFFECTIVE goals!
Effective Goals Are…
Totally under your control
Both Long-Term and Short-Term
Are set for every practice
Are set in all areas of performance
Are S-M-A-R-T-E-R
LET’S PRACTICE
NEED HELP?
Rick Albrecht, Ph.D.
B-2-216 Mackinac Hall
Grand Valley State University
[email protected]
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