by Martyn Ford April 27, 2018

When an athlete sets goals, they have a clear objective as to what it is that they are trying to achieve, allowing them to be tunnel visioned and focused. When you set a goal, you must be aware of what level you are currently at so that your set goal is achievable and also so you can measure and gauge your performance. 

Mental skill training consultants or sports psychologists will try to teach an athlete how to set systematic goals that focus on process and performance, rather than the outcome of competition. 

Subjective Goals

These are not related to a specific performance but more so to setting a personal best.

Objective Goals

These are based on athletic performance such as trying to shave 10 seconds off a personal best. These goals allow the athlete to be really focused on performing for a specific goal, which they carry full control over. Only they can adjust the outcome. These allow the athlete to really be focused on their individual performances.

Outcome, Performance and Process goals

Outcome goals are related to winning or losing a game, and placement in a competition.

Performance related goals are linked to various statistics that can help a person improve what they are trying to do.

Progress goals are related to performance goals. A process means to have a set means to have a set of rituals before a movement. The golfer for instance, may swing his club 5 times before he decides to lash one out.

Athletes will often set goals such as “we will win today”. This is a goal that is not possible to set and have full control of the outcome. There are too many variables that can affect the outcome of a competition. Just remember, the key to writing up specific life goals could be really helpful.

Goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Sustainable
  • Realistic


Setting goals over a timescale is essential when it comes to achieving life changing goals that need a certain amount of time to come to fruition. For instance, the old saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. If I was building Rome, how would I do it and stay motivated? I would break down each important part and set completion goals. 

Building Rome in 18 months:

  • Week 1 – to have my whole team in place and decide upon where I was going to build. 
  • Week 2 – Have all the building layouts drawn up and be sure to have a clear plan of what is going where.
  • Week 3 – Complete a list of all the materials needed to start building.
  • Week 4 – Have all the materials ordered in and set job list for all the workers.
  • Month 3 – Have the foundations dug out for all of the buildings.
  • Month 6 – Have foundations built.
  • Month 9 – To complete the first phase of build, and have all the foundations and roads in place.
  • Month 12 – To have half of the buildings complete.
  • Month 18 – To have all of the buildings complete.

Although it is unrealistic with the timescale for the job in hand, it shows us how breaking down each goal is key to stay motivated and on track. It is key that you have short term goals to stay motivated. Daily goals and weekly goals are essential to stay on track. 

Martyn Ford
Martyn Ford

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