The first are your long-term or dream goals. These are the driving force behind playing a sport; every other goal supports this dream goal. What do you want to accomplish in the next two to three years?
Write down your long-term goal or “dream goal” for your sport. A long-term goal is what you want to ultimately achieve in your sport. It may be something like, “Make my high school soccer team,” or “Play on Coach Bill’s traveling team in middle school.”
Next, you should set intermediate goals. These are goals that you want to accomplish in the next six months to a year. They will help you achieve your long-term goals. They should focus on what you want to achieve this year (or season) with your game. They might include, “Go jogging every day to improve my physical fitness,” or “Improve my offensive skills,” or “Learn how to shoot a soccer ball with my left leg.”
Make a list of the things you want to accomplish this season. This can include fitness goals, training goals, off –season training goals, etc.
After you set intermediate goals you should set short-term goals. Short-term goals are those you hope to accomplish this week or month. These goals will help you stay focused in practice and play for the next week. What do you want to achieve in practices or games this week?
Make a list of the goals you want to accomplish during the next month. These can include goals such as developing your fielding skills, improving your arm strength, making the varsity team, or being team captain. You can include mental game skills in these areas. For example, you might set as a mental game goal, “Lower my expectations before a game.”
Finally, you want to create immediate or “process goals.” Process goals are related to the short-term goals that you set for the week. Process goals help athletes strive for success. They are what you want or need to focus on in the present moment to play well.
Process goals are manageable objectives that help you focus on small tasks.. They help you become immersed in the present moment. These goals will help you take the steps necessary to attain your short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals. Some examples: You want to make 90% of your passes. You want to hit 10 fairways in a round. You want to have 100% positive self-talk during the next game.
Pick three skills that you will work on this week to help you move closer toward achieving your short-term goals. Now, write an action plan to help you work on the three skills you identified above. You may need some help from a coach or parent. For example, to improve my arm strength I will make deeper throws to first base, and do long toss before practice. State your action plan for each process goal in the space below:
Remember you have a responsibility to yourself to stay motivated and commit to your plan. However, it’s also important to evaluate and maybe and change your weekly goals each month if they seem too hard, too easy or if they suddenly aren’t important anymore.
If you enjoy sports, are committed to it, and are eager to establish some goals, you’re well on your way to improving your performance!