Sports & Wellness
How To Set Sports Related Goals
Did you know that a quarter of people in the UK planned to make health-related New Year's resolutions in 2022? Did you? Were any of your resolutions sports-related goals?
As 2023 approaches, it's the perfect time to start setting goals for a new year. When it comes to setting goals, many people immediately think of resolutions related to their health or fitness. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s important to remember that goals can be related to anything – including your favourite sport.
No matter what level you play at, setting and achieving goals can help push you to improve your performance. Keep reading, and we’ll explore how to set sports-related goals that are realistic and achievable.
Why Should You Set Sports-Related Goals?
Setting goals is a great way to stay motivated and improve your performance in any activity, including sports. Having specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals will help you focus on what you need to do to improve.
Here are a few reasons why setting sports-related goals can be beneficial:
Identify Areas for Improvement
Are you huffing and puffing with only one lap around the track? When you take the time to set goals, it forces you to assess your current level of performance and identify areas that need improvement. This self-awareness can be very helpful in terms of making progress.
Saying you want to do something is great, but what keeps you motivated? Having clearly defined goals gives you something to strive for and helps keep you motivated to train and compete. Seeing yourself making progress toward your goal can also be a great source of motivation.
Once you've set a goal, you're more likely to stick to your training plan and put in the necessary work to achieve it. This accountability can be especially helpful when things get tough or when you're feeling lazy!
Improve Your Focus
Are you having a difficult time staying focused long enough to read a short article about setting fitness goals? You could try setting a goal of reading a certain amount per day and gradually increase your focus when reading.
The same is true when it comes to setting sports-related goals. By zeroing in on specific goals, you'll naturally become more focused on your training and competition. This improved focus can lead to better performance as well as increased enjoyment of the sport.
Learn Valuable Life Lessons
The process of setting and working towards goals teaches important life lessons such as planning, commitment, perseverance, and resilience. These are all skills that can be beneficial both in and out of sports.
What Are Some Good Sports-Related Goals?
There are a few different types of goals that can be set in regard to sports. For some people, their goal might be to improve their overall fitness level and become more physically active. For others, their goal might be to compete at a higher level in their chosen sport, whether that’s winning a championship or just improving their personal best.
No matter what your specific goal is, there are a few things that all good sports goals have in common. They should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Let’s take a closer look at each of these characteristics:
A good goal is something that is clearly defined and easy to understand. For example, “I want to run a 5K race” is much better than “I want to get in shape.”
A good goal has some sort of metric attached to it so you can track your progress. Continuing with the above example, you could measure your progress by the number of miles you run each week leading up to the race.
If you're struggling to walk one kilometre, it's unrealistic to expect that in a week, you'll be able to run a 10K.
A good goal is something that you can actually attain with hard work and dedication. If your current fitness level is such that running a 5K race is not realistic, then perhaps your goal should be to walk the race instead.
A good goal is something that aligns with your overall objectives. If you’re a competitive athlete, then your goals should be focused on things that will help you perform at your best. If you’re just trying to get in shape, then your goals should be focused on activities that will help you achieve that.
How likely are you to procrastinate if you don't have a deadline?
A good goal has a specific timeframe attached to it. This helps to keep you motivated and on track. For example, “I want to run a 5K race in 6 months” is much better than “I want to run a 5K race.”
How to Stay Motivated
It can be difficult to stay motivated when pursuing sports-related goals, especially if you do not see the results you want. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track:
Find a Support System
A support system can be key in helping you stay motivated. Find someone who shares your goals and who will help hold you accountable. This could be a coach, friend, or family member.
In addition, if you work with a coach, they will help you set goals and create a plan that's tailored to you.
Take Small Steps
Don't get overwhelmed by thinking about everything you have to do to reach your goal. Just focus on taking it one day at a time, and eventually, you'll get there.
Find a Balance
Pursuing a goal can be all-consuming, but it's important to find a balance. Make sure to take time for other things in your life that make you happy. This could include spending time with friends and family, pursuing other hobbies, or taking care of your health.
Write it Down
When was the last time you actually kept your New Year's resolution? Setting goals is one thing; you also need to motivate yourself to keep them. Once you've decided on your goal, write it down somewhere visible so you can be reminded of it every day.
Have a Plan
"If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail."
Having a plan of action for achieving your goal is essential for success. Decide what steps you need to take and when you'll take them.
Track Your Progress
Keep tabs on how well you're doing by tracking your progress along the way. This will help you stay motivated and see just how close you are to reaching your goal.
Try to keep it as visual as possible, so put up a big calendar with a big red X on each day you complete the task. If your goal is to work out every day for 30 days in a row, then put a huge red X on each day that you do.
The more visible your progress is, the better. You'll be surprised by how quickly those Xs start adding up.
Meet Your Fitness Goals With the Right Coach
By taking the time to sit down and figure out what you want to achieve, you can put yourself in a much better position to succeed. And, if you're smart about it, you can use sports-related goals as a tool to help you stay motivated and on track.
Are you ready to start building your support system? Connect with a coach and start building goals that are tailored to you.
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