Thursday, 20 December 2012

Goal Setting

Goal Setting (GS) is a cognitive technique used by many athletes to control stress, nerves and to keep an athlete’s focus on training and competing. Over the last decade GS has become an increasingly popular tool used by track, field and cross country athletes.

GS works by allowing an athlete to set a long term goal, which should be worked towards over 3 to 5 year.   An example of this would be running under 17 minutes in a 5k race, or to place in the top 10 of a specific event.

To help the athlete achieve their long term goal they will set small term goals, such as taking 20 seconds off of their 5k time in 3 months, or to qualify in a specific event at the end of the year. By setting small term goals an athlete’s stress will be reduced as the focus on achievements will be spread over time and not built up on the result of just once occasion.

By GS an athlete will notice and take pride in their achievements, understand their abilities and raise their self-confidence. When GS the saying is that the athlete should set them SMART.  By this we mean they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.

As a basic rule goals such as winning a race, where factors other than the athlete’s ability will affect the outcome increase stress and are less reliable measuring tool. Ability specific goals such as reducing a 5k race time by 20 seconds are easier for the athlete to control therefore cause less stress and are easier to measure.

1 comment:

  1. I have been setting myself short term goals for the last few years and it helped me get from running 23 min for 5k down to 18 min. I really helps.