Special from Elite Performance Coaching
One of the best motivating factors for athletes, as they strive for excellence in sport, is to set performance goals. Setting meaningful goals promotes effort and enhances energy by giving you "something to shoot for." Thus, an internal challenge is established to see if you have what it takes to reach for greatness.
Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame head football coach, was a firm believer in setting team goals. He found that pre-season goal setting created an atmosphere of excitement and possibility, and mobilized his team to reach for exceptional performance throughout the long season. If motivation was a bit low in week 8, he would remind his guys what they are playing for, and whether or not they had the fortitude to "aim high and hit the mark."
When setting individual or team goals it is often helpful to use the S.M.A.R.T. acronym: Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic, and Time-oriented. For example, a goal for a talented collegiate tennis player might be to "Achieve the number 1 ranking on my team by the middle of my junior season." That would be an example of quality goal setting because it satisfies the five requirements of S.M.A.R.T. goals. Goals that are too vague, immeasurable, stagnant, unrealistic, and have no time limits are often difficult to formulate and execute.
Once you define your goal it is helpful to ask yourself these key questions: