This was originally written and posted here on April 1, 2015.
In the recipe for being successful and improving, having goals is the ingredient that every single person shares. There are different levels to goals. It’s kind of similar to how some foods you can choose between mild, hot, or extra hot. You can have a goal be, “Have a good time while being safe” and/or a goal like, “Become an all star jammer for Team USA.”
Goals are what keep you focused. You wouldn’t pass boot camp and skate at all, if you were completely without goals. They motivate you and most importantly allow you to measure your progress.
I said it when I wrote about positivity, and I will say it again: you should probably invest in a notebook. It is much easier to keep track of any and all goals when they are written. Written goals will also hold you more accountable and give you a better sense of what you have done, what you need to do, and how long it took to get there (date those accomplishments). It also makes this next step possible.
Break them down! Big, long term goals are scary and daunting. Take your bigger goals and divide them into smaller short-term goals. This way you can see your progress and feel like the bigger goal is within reach.
A small example:
- Spinning out of hits (semi-effortlessly)
- Turn around toe stop to inside
- Turn around toe stop to outside
- Transition comfortably to inside
- Transition comfortably to outside
- Extra stretching daily.
Sometimes you will find more mini goals that apply to your larger goal and should definitely add them in. For my “making charter team roster” goal, I was constantly adding lots of little goals and also some accomplishments I/other people noticed.
In my notebook I also keep my skills assessment results. I am able to look back each time I have taken the assessment and see how I have improved without necessarily realizing it. I feel like I barely scraped by in January of 2013, but by December 2013 things were starting to come together for me.
Outside of your goal notebook, it’s good to set PRACTICE, SCRIMMAGE, and BOUT goals. I wouldn’t try more than three at a time for any of these settings, less if you want. If you have too many you will lose focus and struggle to notice any improvement. Your goals could look like, “jam at least 3 times during scrimmage,” “get lower,” or “controlled positional blocking rather than swooping hits.”
Give yourself time. You will not become a charter team member overnight. You will not be able to jam every other jam without the work it takes to get your endurance there. Remember that everyone is going to meet their goals differently and at different speeds and that is okay. Allow yourself flexibility. Newfound obstacles might appear, but if it’s something you truly want, you will keep pushing forward.
If you have the drive, you can most definitely meet your goals, no matter the size. I will elaborate on that soon.