Sports Psychology, Part 1 – Goal Setting

Life is hard. Sports are harder.

We often have a hard enough time organizing our own daily lives in a way that we have a direction. Then add on top of that the stress of competition. To some it comes naturally. To the other 98% of the population, we must work at it.

Often times the first step is the most difficult. Having a plan, or a direction, can start you on your way to success. This can be done by setting goals. There are a couple of guidelines to doing this in a way that you can achieve your goals and succeed in your sport.

First and foremost the goals must be attainable. If you are a baseball player and you want to get a hit every time you step to the plate you are in for a rude awakening. While that is the goal every individual time you hit, it is not realistic over the course of the season. Make your long term goals just above your normal performance. If you get a hit 3 out of 10 at bats, then create a goal for 4 out of ten at bats.

Next, it is important top make sub goals. For every long term goal you need to create 3 daily task oriented goals that will help you reach that goal. For example, if your goal is to run a 4 minute mile, then create 3 daily routines that will support that goal. One might be to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night. The next can be that before you do your training for the day you will complete a 1 mile run at a full sprint. And finally you could add your nutrition guidelines to it. These are measureable, daily goals that will help you to reach your final long term goal.

Finally you need to remember that goals can change. Do not be afraid to change your goals or adjust them as you complete them or even fall short. Being able to do this will help you transition from an unrealistic goal to a more attainable one.

Mental preparation is key to every sport and exercise activity. Knowing how to approach this will not only make you a stronger athlete, but a stronger person as well. These trained behaviors will soon begin to change all aspects of your life. You will become more prepared and more focused in every task you undertake.

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