Realistic goal setting Part 3 – by Iain Wilson21st September 2020
Thoughts on Goal Setting
Life plans are very personal to the individual, in that they have to be thought out, and in great detail. Since a life plan is so personal, it has to be something that the individual themselves wants to achieve, not what someone else says it should be. Any plan will fail if the individual doesn’t want to do it, or goes into it half-heartedly. The individual has to commit to the plan fully.
It pays to discuss the plan with the people who are involved. As previously stated, the archer may be an individual, but there are a lot more people who help the archer along the way. Coaches, parents, partners, family, teachers and work colleagues all play a part. The quest for excellence is a long, sometimes difficult slog, and other people need to be accounted for in the plan. Without the support network behind the archer, there is a chance that the plan will fail.
Planning requires a certain amount of flexibility because no plan will ever work the way you want it to.
If you find you are ahead of your plan (or behind where you wanted to be), discuss the plan, and change it if necessary.
If you are ahead of your plan, you have to discuss with your Coach and support group how to bring forward any future activities on the plan. Some activities may be time-dependent, such as attendance at specific tournaments.
If you find you are behind your plan, again you have to discuss it with your Coach and support group. What has caused the delay in the plan? Is it something that can be remedied? If not, does this change the plan? Things that can affect the plan might be nothing to do with archery. It could be exams, relationships, having family, work – either in being made redundant or getting a promotion.
All of the discussions involving the plan have to be open and honest, otherwise the plan will ultimately fail. Depending on certain circumstances, the plan may have to be rethought, or worst of all, abandoned.
Achieving your goal is not the end of the plan.
Just like a shot in archery is not finished when the clicker drops, a plan should contain a next step, rather than just stop dead. Many athletes have suffered mental problems as a result of stopping competition. There has to be a plan for what you do after you achieve your goal.
Many sports have an exit strategy for their performance athletes, which might involve coaching or any other support roles in the sport.