Goal Setting

These lockdown breaks give us a good opportunity to think about the season ahead. What better time to start setting some goals!

This article will help give you a better understanding of methods to set your goals. The ability to set meaningful goals can have a profound impact on the performance towards these goals when the season does happen.

Goal Setting

Goal setting is a mental training technique that can increase an individual's commitment towards achieving a personal goal. Having a short or long-term goal can encourage an individual to work harder, be more focused on the task, and overcome setbacks more easily.

Goal setting, is a technique that can effect performance in four ways:

  • Focuses attention

  • Mobilises effort in proportion to the demands of the task

  • Enhances persistence

  • Encourages the individual to develop strategies for achieving their goals

Outcome Goals

Outcome goals are to do with winning or performing better than someone else. They refer to the desired result, e.g. selected to represent England. These can be highly motivating long-term goals, but as they not under the individual's control and are affected by how others perform, they are limited without related process and performance goals.

Process Goals

Process goals, over which the individual has complete control, deal with the technique or strategy necessary to perform well. Process goals can also be established to map the route to achieving the desired Performance Goals.

Examples of process goals are:

  • Maintain controlled rhythm in your bowling run up

  • Run at 5-minute mile pace

  • Engage head towards the ball first when playing forward

  • Use the same pre-delivery routine before each ball when batting

Process goals help focus attention and are very effective in helping to control anxiety.

Performance Goals

Performance goals specify a specific standard to be achieved. Performance goals are about personal standards (for a bowler this might be increasing bowling pace by 5mph) and are unaffected by others' performance and so totally under the control of the individual.

Performance goals can be used to monitor process goals and progress towards the desired outcome goal.


Outcome Goals, Process Goals and Performance Goals all need to be SMARTER:

Specific - make them as precise and detailed as possible

Measurable - quantify your current position and determine the levels of improvement

Accepted - goals need to be shared and negotiated with all others involved

Realistic - the goal is realistic yet challenging

Time-phased - the date is set for when the goal is to be achieved by

Exciting - goal motivates the individual

Recorded - the goal and progress towards it are recorded

GROW Model

As a coach, you too may help others solve problems, make better decisions, learn new skills or otherwise progress.

G for goal

  • Find out what they want to work on/discuss, and their specific goal in both the short and long-term

R for reality

  • Ask questions that help them to think about the current situation related to the goal. Asking questions that raise awareness and promote self-reflection / thinking.

O for option

  • Encourage them to generate as many options as possible without judging. This is the time to help your player think outside the box to find more creative solutions.

W for will

  • Use questions to help them determine which option to take, how and when to take it.


Goal setting is about identifying what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it (process goals) and measure that achievement (performance goals). When challenging goals are broken down into realistic steps and then systemically achieved motivation, commitment and self-confidence will grow.

Goals must be set according to the age, stage of development, confidence, ability and motivation of the individual. Beginners require short-term easily achieved goals to boost their self-confidence, whereas the experienced individual needs more challenging yet realistic goals.

This is a great article from BrianMac Sports Coach where has has done a number of articles online regarding all things sports related.

Please check out his website here if you would like to read more.

SOURCE: BrianMac Sports Coach