The beginning of a new Term, a new Semester, a new sports team, a new production, a new…….
What a great time to be setting some goals. Terry Orlick in his book, In Pursuit of Excellence, says that the journey of a lifetime begins with a single goal or vision that you commit to act on – one step at a time.
Do you commit to your goals one day at a time or do you turn up expecting to know what to do even though you might not have practised, might not have gained the pursuit of excellence by knowing the fundamentals of your sport?
Terry says that most conversations about goals that he has, usually go like this:
“Terry: Did you set specific goals for yourself?
Student/Athlete: Oh, yes – I tried it and it didn’t work, so I stopped setting goals.
Terry: What were your goals?
Student/Athlete: To make my dream team, to compete in the Olympics. (Or “To finish my thesis by the summer,” “To get an A in this class; you get the idea”.)
Terry: Oh, I see. Did you set short-term goals, every day, that were totally within your control – like what you are going to do today, in the next hour, that will bring you one step closer to being your best?
Student/Athlete: No, not really.
Terry: Do you have any specific goals for how you are going to get better tomorrow?
Student/Athlete: No, not really.”
What this conversation shows us is that we often set long-term, far-off goals without focusing on what we have to do today, to reach the long-term goals. Only setting long-term goals can easily de-motivate us, as we are not doing anything on a daily basis to keep our momentum going so that each step along the way, takes us to living the dream of achieving our long-term goals.
What might that be? A small thing to focus on today could be improving a skill, improving game preparation, practising how to focus without any distractions, how to execute your plans of action, how to keep to your routines. All of these have little steps of gain when practised every day and who knows where we might end up if we do.
Sports Mindset Coach