One Strategy That Helps All Athletes While Self-Isolating

How to Stay on Track With Goals

The coronavirus has thrown the world into uncharted waters. The widespread impact of COVID-19 has forced everyone to find some way to navigate through unique and unprecedented circumstances.

During these difficult times, athletes are also facing distinctive challenges due to the COVID-19 virus.

As an athlete, it would be is easy, and even understandable, to be upset over
things you have lost due to the suspension or cancellation of your athletic season.

Maybe, you can you identify with some of the following scenarios:

* “I’ve been competing since I was 8 years old. I wanted to end my career on a high note but now I’m going to miss my entire senior year.”

* “I have trained so hard this year, and now I will need to go through that training all over again.”

* “I really felt this was going to be my break out year. I can’t believe I won’t have the opportunity to accomplish my goals this year.”

* “My teammates were my best friends. I feel so isolated without them.”

* “I put in a lot of time and effort improving my technical skills. I’m afraid that this much time away from training will cause my mechanics to deteriorate.”

* “I love being an athlete. It’s my entire life. I don’t even know what to do with myself now.”

Other athletes are experiencing similar circumstances due to the pandemic. Being upset is normal, but that doesn’t mean you need to obsess over your circumstances.

There are things you can focus on while sidelined from your sport that will make good use of your time, keep your head in the game and allow you to work on skills that you may have neglected due to your busy schedule.

“So now what can I do since I’m stuck at home?”

While you may be home because of COVID-19, you can still do something.

One strategy to keep you motivated, confident and make best use of your time is to set small goals each day.

Small goals will give you direction and focus. Each time you complete a task or make use of your time in a purposeful way, you will feel a sense of accomplishment.

You can turn what you don’t have into what you can do.

Ask yourself, “What technical skills can I work to improve?” “How can I maintain my level of fitness?” “What are the mental skills I can develop to advance my performance in the future?”

Obsessing over missed opportunities will negatively affect your confidence and motivation. Athletes are driven by goals. As you work towards your goals, your confidence grows.

Every step forward, every improvement in training and technique helps you maintain a high level of confidence.

Every advancement, mentally and physically gives you the confidence to push forward despite any obstacles you may face.

If you pause to think about this timeout, you can use your time to build upon the athlete you are.

Steps in Goals Setting

  • Set long-term or season-long goal (based on current game)
  • Assess where you are today – look at stats and performance
  • Identify areas or stats to improve (or performance objectives)
  • Set smart goals that are measurable and have a time to accomplish
  • Decide on goal-achievement/practice strategies; “goal getting”
  • Monitor, evaluate, & modify
  • For most athletes, it’s easy to set goals. The most important part of goal setting is goal getting. Goal getting is the daily strategies you set to improve your physical and mental game.

Create three small goals to work on each day. Take into consideration mental, physical and technical skills.

What do I want to work on in terms of my technical skills? What mental skill do I want to develop? How will I work on my fitness while at home?

If you focus on goal getting each day, you will make the most of your opportunities, actively engage your body and strengthen your mental game as well.

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