Focus on Small Goals, Not Outcome Expectations
Do you find you become more and more frustrated by missing your athletic goal?
Does it feel like each performance that you fall short of your goal seems like failure?
Every athlete has a goal. In fact, athletes are constantly told of the importance of goals for achieving success.
But for many athletes, each missed attempt is filled with frustration and discontentment…
These athletes often question their ability and worth as athletes when they fall short of their goals…
The reason for such a negative reaction is that these athletes are solely focused on results.
Maybe, you are saying to yourself, “Of course I am focused on results… that is what sports are all about.”
While the importance of having a goal cannot be overstated, the key to goal attainment is to focus on the process of achieving your goal. This is called goal getting.
Focusing on the process is like a trial-and-error approach. Every competition provides some feedback that is beneficial in the pursuit of your ultimate goal.
Focusing on the process allows you to make adjustments to your training, technique and your mental approach to competition while sustaining your motivation.
Focusing on the process helps you learn faster, moves you closer to your goals and fosters mental toughness by increasing your ability to work through adversity.
Jennifer Meech is a great example of the power of having a present moment focus. Meech is a senior sprinter on the Dartmouth College track team.
Meech set a goal of breaking the 30-year-old Dartmouth record in the 400m event (54.45).
Each year, Meech steadily chipped away at the record with best times of 56.15 as a freshman, 55.52 as a sophomore and 55.0 as a junior.
Many athletes who focus too much on results might be discouraged by the past and use the past as evidence that something is not possible in the present.
Meech was able to separate her present race from past performances, focus on the process of improving and be totally immersed in the race in front of her.
The result of Meech focusing on the process was setting a new Dartmouth record at the Ivy League championship with a time of 53.99, almost a half second faster than the previous mark.
MEECH: “I definitely take each event one at a time… Breaking a 30-year-old record in the 400-meter this year was another accomplishment that I’m very proud of, especially since it was something that I’ve worked toward for the past three years.”
The key to setting the Dartmouth record was Meech’s ablity to learn from every race that she ran. Every performance taught Meech how to train smarter, run differently or even provided evidence that she was on the right track.
Feedback only works if you have the proper mindset… the mindset of focusing on the process instead of fretting about reaching goals.
Tip for focusing on the process:
Instead of evaluating your performance in all-or-nothing terms (“I succeeded or I failed”), rate your performance from 1-10. Make sure to rate yourself based on the effort, not the outcome.
Then identify 1-2 smaller goals you can improve in your performances by focusing on small things that help you succeed in competition and improve in practice, such as to kick faster in the pool or focus on your race plan.
Keep in mind that setting smaller goals are not expectations. They help direct your attention to what’s important to your performance.
Check out The Focused Athlete CD program for all my strategies to help you focus at peak levels.
Boost Your Self-Confidence With Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach, Dr. Patrick Cohn, can help you or your athlete(s), ages 12 and up, overcome mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our students saying?
“I just returned from Rio for the Olympic tryout, the Fearless Athlete 14-day Program helped my greatly. I did not have this help at the Pan Am Games. I wish I did then, thanks again I will be getting more of your programs on line.”
~Tony Maraj, Olympic Athlete
For All Athletes – Learn Confidence-Boosting Techniques!
D you have a negative self-image of yourself as an athlete that stifles confidence?
No matter ow positive you try to be, are you unable to shake the doubt that rushes into your head when you size up your competition?
Have you labeled yourself as a loser, poor closer, or mediocre athlete and these labels keep you stuck in a rut of self-pity and indecision?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, check out The Confident Athlete!
The Confident Athlete CD and workbook program is a 14-day plan for ultimate self-confidence. This program is ideal for any athlete or coach that wants to discover proven confidence-boosting techniques guaranteed to drastically build self-confidence and improve sports performance.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
What are customers saying?
“I am a ASP world qualifying professional surfer and after beginning the ‘The Confident Athlete’ I had an almost instant change in attitude about my own surfing ability and my mindset going into competition. By using the Confident Athlete strategies, my confidence has done a complete 180 degrees. I won a local pro/am a few weeks back, and just had my best result of the year in one the last big events on the world circuit this last week in Brazil! It is my secret weapon!”
~Shaun Burrell, Professional Surfer (Listen to his success story)
For Young Athletes and Parents – Learn More About How to Help Kids Improve Confidence Quickly!
We’ve got a great program for you called “The Confident Sports Kid: A 7-Day Plan for Building Ultimate Self-Confidence.”
The Confident Sports Kid is a 7-day program for sports parents and kids to boost young athlete’s performance, happiness and success… in sports and life!
The Confident Sports Kid is two programs in one. There’s a manual and CD for parents/coaches, and a workbook/CD for young athletes.
Packed with mental strategies that you and your kids can start using immediately, this program teaches your athletes how to identify confidence busters, proactively deal with them, manage expectations that undermine confidence, and mentally prepare to stay confident when faced with adversity.
What’s more, our program teaches you, as sports parents and coaches, how you may be hurting your kids’ confidence and gives you instructions for changing your behavior in ways that will improve your athletes’ performance, confidence and enjoyment.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Sports Kid Series…
What are parents and coaches saying about our program?
“I appreciate the advice to parents as to how to help your child become more mentally resilient to bullying in sports. The specific advice and scenarios are extremely helpful for any child on a team and very helpful in guiding parents, coaches and administrators in how to deal with bullying in sports. I cannot thank you enough for your input, and I am so reassured to know that there are people like you who are writing articles and doing interviews on such timely and important matters.”
For Mental Coaches – Add More Value To Your Mental Training Programs!
This workbook series was designed for coaches and mental coaches to use with their athletes.
The Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks complement your existing mental training program. Each of the 15 workbooks in the Athlete’s Mental Edge System teaches your athletes a specific mental skill to improve their performance.
For mental coaches, this system is ideal for between session education.
For sports coaches, you’ll be able to conduct 15 team seminars using the workbook system.
In the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbook system, you receive 15 easy-to-read, practical Mental Edge Workbooks on PDF, as well as 16 coaches’ game plan MP3 audio files.
What are coaches saying?
“I am really pleased with the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks – they are fitting in really well with my coaching! I find they offer a great framework for doing workshop sessions. I have also used the workbooks with a few individual athletes – for the younger ones (12 and under). They are giving a good structure and framework to our sessions. The workbooks have worked well with all of them!”
~Kerri Morgan, Mental Game Coach