When chasing your dreams, you will have a series of successes as well as a series of failures along the way. The journey will be fraught with peril, and you will often face the fact that giving up in the face of adversity is certainly easier than pushing onward through the challenges that arise. One challenge that all of us face is trying to set effective goals in order to make steady progress towards success.
Most people have an idea about the overall goals, or MACRO-goals that they would like to achieve; however, they seldom have an effective plan of action in order to progress steadily towards the achievement of the goals they set. Most coaches or teachers steadily drum the quest for major accolades and achievement into the heads of their athletes, but they rarely offer guidance in the setting of the Micro-goals, or smaller scale tasks that must be completed in order to achieve the larger goals that you set for yourself.
How can an individual be expected to build the second story of a house if the foundation and the first floor are non-existent? This is similar to the philosophy that coaches and trainers use with their athletes. The coaches and trainers see only the larger picture and typically this warped view into those whom they coach.
The most important aspect of success is realizing that success is not one singular event; but rather, a series of smaller successes that lead up to the defining moment of your career as an athlete. In order to become a champion in any aspect of life, one must first achieve a series of smaller successes that lead up to the actual championship moment. Athletes often lose themselves looking for the singularing defining moment, and they find themselves unprepared when a dare to be great moment presents itself to them.
Setting effective MICRO-goals, or shorter short-term goals, can be an effective way to lead your athletes or yourself in a more positive direction in your career. A MICRO-goal must be something that is attainable in a short period of time such as a week or so. Athletes typically experience difficulty motivating him or her herself to train for months at a time while focusing on a goal that is far off in the distant future. On a daily or weekly basis, an individual can easily lose sight of what they are working towards and this will lower their desire to train effectively. Setting MICRO-goals, an athlete can experience sensations of achievement on a more regular basis, which will boost their morale and their levels of motivation.
An athlete that is motivated to train on a daily basis is more likely to put forth a more concentrated effort during training sessions. This impacts the productivity of their training regimen and leads them to become more motivated to train. Before long, the athlete finds themselves with a positive frame of mind as well as a burning desire to continue training. They tend to focus less on the "daily grind" of their cardiovascular, strength, and technical sessions, and they focus more on the progress they make from one week to the next.
In order to peak at the proper time, a MACRO-goal may be set in stone as an absolute final destination; however, the MICRO-goals must be fluid and subject to reassessment and change on a weekly basis. An athlete that is rigid and unwilling to adapt while training or competitiveness will typically be figured out by their competition and any and all weaknesses will be exploited to the athletes own damage.
Following a plan established with a coach or trainer in order to set effective MICRO-goals can allow an athlete on any level to achieve greater gains in their training as well as higher levels of success during competition. By focusing their thoughts and efforts on a smaller and more focused set of goals that adapt and change on a weekly basis, their levels of anxiety are likely to drop as a result of their elevated success levels. Athletes tend to believe that "perception is reality", meaning that if they consider themselves to be a champion, than life will tend to conform to their beliefs. When an individual has experienced success on a daily or a weekly basis, they tend to feel less anxiety and more confidence when they face the rigors of the competition they have been training for.
The tendency of athletes to focus on the MACRO-goal typically becomes overwhelming and draining over an extended period of time. Adjusting the mindset of the athletes you train can be a positive tool utilized in order to mentally condition them for success. This technique can be utilized in order to guide an individual through a more rewarding and more positive training program. Boosting the morale of an athlete is the most timely and efficient path to creating great from good, and exceptional from great. A coach that is able to attend this system of mental conditioning in their athletes is sure to enjoy a more successful performance from their athlete.
Educating your athletes in goal setting techniques can assist them in their quest to stand alone atop the podium in their chosen field. An athlete that has enhanced their competitive mindset will be more likely to rise above the negative forces and stressors that competitive anxiety places upon them. A result of more effective mental preparation is more confidence during actual competition. Athletes that have a more confident state of mind tend to exceed preconceived notions of their abilities and elevate their performance by utilizing the power locked away within their mind.