Some thoughts about goal setting – Part 3

Sports Psychology, July 15, 2019

The final installment of our look at goal setting. Taking a long hard look.....looking at the truth to identify goals.

Great performances are based on good goals; good goals are based on the truth.

The truth in sports performance is a bit like a shit sandwich. Look at the good, look at the bad look for some more good; remember the good, fix the bad. Give yourself some time and do the following properly, it's worth it. 

Step one:

The good - think of your best performance and write-down all the things you did right, try and think of something from each of the following five disciplines: swim, bike, run, transition and other. For each discipline try and remember a keyword to remind you keep doing that thing next season as well.

Step two:

The truth - Get five sheets of paper (or five pages on your phone….) head each sheet with one of the following titles;

Swimming,Cycling,Running,Transition and Other.

These are your five core disciplines.

On each sheet write-down the sub-dimensions for that discipline. For example, on the sheet marked Other, I might write; sleep, diet, punctuality, attitude, preparation etc. Most importantly write down the dimensions in your own words and in your own terms. If you want to understand whether they are useful dimensions ask yourself the following three questions;

1) What is this dimension like when it is good? 

2) What is this dimension like when it is bad?

3) How is this linked to what I do or how I train? 

A good dimension should have an answer for each of these questions. If you need help thinking up performance dimensions read some sports mags or talk to your coach. Better still go on a skills and drills weekend.
When you have completed all five sheets the next step is to rate each dimension in terms of its importance to you: 0 being unimportant 10 being very important. Once you have done this go through each dimension and give yourself a performance score out of 10; 0 is excellent 10 is dismal – the biggest number here should be the thing that you are worst at (yes I know this seems backwards but it works). Multiply the two numbers and you have a work-on score (Yes this is easier on a spreadsheet).

For example:
Running –

Dimension   Importance   Performance   Work-on    Score
Pacing 8 2 16
Strength 7 3 21
Stamina 10 2 20
Speed 5 5 25
Concentration 6 2 12
Technique 8 6 48
If you have done this correctly the dimension with the highest work-on score should be the thing that you must work on before next season. Take this dimension and break it down; What are you going to do to fix it? How you going to fix it? Where or when are you going to fix it? This is the start of the serious goal setting process.
Step three:
Some more good - For swimming, biking, running and transition think of your favourite practice session. If it is possible, think of a time and place when you can repeat that session during the course of next year. These are the sort of sessions that you can use to cheer yourself up or do just before major events.