Sunday, March 29, 2015
Sports Psychology: Goal Setting
Goal Setting is used as a mental tool to help an athlete achieve a personal goal within the sport they play. It can be an extremely powerful technique to use when wanting to enhance performance. It has become one of the most important strategies for success. By having goals that they are trying to reach, whether it is short term or long term, this encourages the athlete to work harder and stay more focused on the task they are trying to overcome.
There are three different types of goals in goal setting that include performance goals, process goals, and outcome goals. Brian Mac states that, “Performance goals specify a specific standard to be achieved.”1 They can be used to track achievements and progress towards the desired outcome goals. They also encourage the development of mastery and can make a performer feel satisfied with a performance even if they do not win. Mac also states that, “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.”1 These goals are the ones that help focus attention and are very effective with controlling anxiety that the athlete might get. “Outcome goals are to do with winning or performing better than someone else”1, says Mac. These can be very motivating long term goals, even though they are not under the individual’s control. They are affected by how others perform and are limited without the process and performance goals.
“If you set primarily process and performance goals then you have done all you can within your control to achieve the outcome goal. Doing this more times than not the outcome takes care of itself.”1 This is why it is important for athletes to make up realistic goals so that they can be achievable and the athletes will not get down on themselves for not achieving their goal. It is always best to start small and work up to bigger things.
1Goal Setting. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://www.brianmac.co.uk/goals.htm
2Goal Setting. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://www.thesportinmind.com/articles/goal-setting/