SMART Goals for Quicker Results
“Process goals will yield greater outcomes”
It’s that time of year folks…the END of the year! At Infiniti Sports Performance, we hope you have reached every goal that you set out for yourself. Now it is time to start thinking about new goals when moving deeper into the offseason.
I ask a lot of the athletes here at ISP one simple question, “What are your new goals for this offseason?” I either get a solid answer or a blank stare. Hopefully we can answer with the former, not to latter.
This lead me to developing the Athletic Achievement Board here at ISP. Although it may only look like a board where we write stuff down, it is a lot more powerful than that. We want to teach our athletes how to set goals, and most importantly how to ATTACK them!
The simplest approach to goal setting is using the SMART technique. Each letter represents a different aspect to goal setting. Let’s dive into each one.
This is the most important part of goal setting because if you don’t know what you want to achieve, then it makes it harder on the athlete and the coach. Whether it be a training goal or a performance goal, we should be specific in what we want to achieve.
For example, you want to become more explosive, you want to lose weight, you want to turn warning track bombs into nukes, or you want to become an All-County player.
To become aware of what your goal is, WRITE IT DOWN and TELL OTHERS! This is a very simple step, but often a step that a lot of people skip out on.
In another example, if your goal is to lose weight, eating fast food will impede you from achieving this goal. Once we know what your goal is, we can really help you attack it from multiple angles.
Therefore, specificity is important.
This is when we must create a certain measure to see progress in our goals. Tracking weight is the easiest to do since it has a numerical output.
When trying to change behaviors and create positive habits, it is difficult to SEE the change happening over time. Therefore, it is important to create a “measure” for the goal you want to achieve.
For example, let’s say you want to become more confident as a player. Although this is an excellent goal, it really makes you think about your goal even more because you should be able to measure it.
Within this same example, you could write down on a scale from 1-10 how your confidence felt today and have a section dedicated to notes. You’ll be able to see what works, and what doesn’t work.
A smart goal is an attainable goal. I know that most of the high school baseball population would like to play college baseball, and then move on professionally, but this is a good opportunity for you to really hone in on what you want to achieve.
Goals that are out of your reach could actually do the opposite for you. They will only set you up for failure, and you won't find out what it really feels like to achieve a goal that YOU set yourself.
It’s also important to realize that goals can either be short-term or long-term. The next question is, HOW will you attain this goal? What is the process that is involved?
If you have a big goal that you really want to achieve, it would be best to create multiple short-term goals. Don’t let anything get in sight of your goal!
Often, positive self-talk and imagery can go a long way when reaching for a goal.
Don’t forget that the result of goal setting is achieving your goal! It’s important to plan for this. If you have a long-term goal in mind, try setting up multiple short-term goals and reward yourself for attaining these mini-goals as well.
The BIG reward in the end is achieving the ultimate goal you have set for yourself. How will you celebrate, and who would you like to be around? Who would you want to tell?
I want you to envision yourself attaining the goal that you have made for yourself. Not only from a first-person view (as yourself), but from a third-person view as well (looking at yourself).
If your goal is long-term, I want you to create multiple short-term goals during the process. Not only does this make the process easier, but it allows for more focus to be put on the long-term goal.
If your goal is short-term, you must give yourself a timeline. This will allow for organization, responsibility, and commitment towards the goal.
No matter training or performance related, you must give yourself a deadline to stay organized, responsible, and committed.
From a coach’s perspective, we look at the Long Term Athletic Development Model. We understand that you may have multiple goals as you move through middle school, high school, and eventually college, but it is our job to also include our own goals for the athlete as we further develop them along the process.
By now, we ran through what a smart goal really is: specific, measureable, attainable, rewarding, and time-based. Now it is time to ATTACK.
To conclude this SMART blog post, I will leave you with some research.
There was a study conducted by the smartest people in the world out of Harvard University. They wanted to see which group would have the highest success rate in the goal that they set for themselves.
The group that the highest success rate did two VERY simple things.
They WROTE their goals down and they SHARED them with other people!
I know you’re thinking, “that’s it?”. Yes, that’s it.
Therefore, we created the Athletic Achievement Board. We want our athletes to write their goals down and share them with other people. By doing this, we are further extending our social support group.
“Process goals will yield greater outcomes”
Jarad Vollkommer, CSCS
Assistant Director of Training