What is your vision for yourself as an athlete? What are the goals you want to accomplish? More importantly, how do you plan to get to a place you have yet to reach?
All athletes have big dreams…
Many athletes have created goals they would like to accomplish for the competitive season but few athletes are willing to plan and work each day to achieve success.
The main reason athletes fail to accomplish their goals is due to a lack of planning and preparation.
To use an analogy, think of how a building is created…
First there is a vision of what the building will look like.
Next, phases of the project are created. After that phase, blueprints and drawings are meticulously planned out paying attention to every detail of the project.
Then, after the plan is written down, construction begins. Most of the time, unforeseen obstacles occur causing the plan to be altered, adjusted or, in some cases, redesigned.
After the work is done, the vision comes to fruition.
Steps to Achieving Athletic Goals:
- Vision – What is your athletic dream?
- Goals – Specifically, what do you want to achieve by the end of this season?
- Plan – What are the steps necessary to achieve this goal?
- Action – What will you do in each training session to move closer to your goal?
- Adjustments – What will you do when you meet up with roadblocks?
- Accomplishment – What reward will you receive to you reach your goal?
U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team and Goal Achievement
Team USA started their 2015 season with high hopes. Ultimately, Team USA has a vision of Olympic gold in 2016. But as Team USA entered the 2015 World Cup, U.S. Head Coach John Speraw had a very clear goal.
SPERAW: “We came into this [World Cup] going for gold.”
Despite the fact that Team USA had not won the World Cup since 1985, Team USA has been preparing meticulously heading into the World Cup, an event the USA squad has not won since 1985.
Not only did Team USA win the 2015 FIVB Volleyball World Cup, the U.S. Men’s National Team qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Despite a late tournament loss to Poland which dropped USA’s record to 8-1 while Poland was 9-0, Team USA made some adjustments and beat Argentina in their final match of the tournament, 25-20, 25-21, 17-25, 25-20. The victory gave the U.S. a 10-1 record and won the championship title.
SPERAW had Team USA committed to their plan and, since the beginning of the season, Speraw has kept the team’s focus on their goal of winning the World Cup.
SPERAW: “I always wanted to set the goal higher than to qualify. I think a lot of people come to this tournament and just want to get to the Olympic Games. I really wanted to do more.”
“I want this team to set its site on gold medals at every tournament. I wanted to go through the process of full commitment to that endeavor. Whether we won or lost, I wanted the full commitment to see what we could learn.”
Mental Training Tip: How to accomplish your athletic goals
Create a Plan & Work the Plan – After you specified your goal for the season, write down steps you need to take to reach your goal.
Consider these steps your instructions for success:
- What physical, mental, technical and tactical skills do you need to improve?
- Write out these success instructions and define 1-2 goals for each practice to inch you closer towards your desired destination.
The key is to work your plan and have the attitude and patience to make it happen! We help you with the mental part of the plan.
Pick up Dr. Patrick Cohn’s free sports psychology report titled, “10 Costly Mental Game Mistakes Athletes Make Before Competition“.