The Learning Process
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Setting Sports Goals

Acceleration of the Learning Process

      Setting goals creates a path for athletes to follow so they may achieve a mastery of the necessary primary and secondary sport skills. It is the objective of setting obtaining goals to be used as an effective motivational technique that boosts the learning of skills as well as their performance in competition.

      Athletes tend to be more focused and committed to training when goals are clearly established and they know unquestionably when they have achieved them.

      There are three different types of goals coaches can set to help athletes develop sport skills:
  • Outcome goals are goals that compare the performances of athletes with those of other athletes. For example, place in regionals and qualify to enter the sectional championships.
  • Performance goals measure the improvement an athlete's individual performance. For example, represented by an increase of the skater's seasonal IJS scores.
  • Process goals are very specific goals that demonstrates an improvement of the execution of a skill. For example, extend free leg fully upon landing a jump with speed on a clean, fully rotated edge. 
Setting Goals and Tracking Progress
      There is a distinct balance that must be established in very goal:
  • Is the goal realistic given the timeline?
  • Is the goal achievable, yet challenging?
  • Extremely difficult goals may lead to better results than easy goals, but what is the expectation that this will occur?
      It is highly recommended that as a coach, you craft narrow, specific goals you feel are necessary to broad goals like winning a championship. This allows the skater to narrow their focus and benefit from the positive feeling of crossing off items from their seasonal "bucket list".

      Specific goals are more effective than a coaching and/or parental attitude of "do-your-best" or the complete lack of any goals.

      Goals must be meaningful to the skater. Athletes must understand the relevance of goals if they are to be motivated to achieve them.

      Identify the target skills that an athlete needs to develop, as well as the conditions under which the athlete is to perform these skills. For example,     

      Offer constructive coaching feedback feedback and be precise about the ways in which athletes are progressing. Feedback produces better performances than no feedback at all.

      Invite athletes to participate in the goal setting process and provide input about their progress. This leads to better results than assigning goals without their involvement.

      Adjust goals to accommodate individual differences, such as age, gender, physical attributes, abilities, stage of learning, past experience, or other pertinent qualities.

      Provide scores, such as from fitness or sport skill tests, to show objective measures of how the athlete is progressing.


Goal Setting Sports Psychology, Imagery & Simulation Mind tools features fundamental sports psychology tools which help you control your mind and body to give optimum sporting performance.

Effective Goal Setting | The Sport Digest  Businesses, individuals, and sports teams have sought out many ways to improve performance. Goal setting can be a way of improving motivation and helping athletes to enhance performance. Reaching an appropriately set goal can represent a small victory and show athletes that they are on their way to continued success.

PDF Setting Goals in Sport and Life For Watching Sporting Events with Children. Setting Goals in Sport and Life. Watching a sports event can be a valuable learning experience for young people.

Setting Goals in Sports   Setting goals for sport skill development accelerates the learning process. Athletes are focused and committed to achieving specific goals.

Top 10 Secrets To Setting Sport Goals & Finding Success  Nov. 3, 2000 ... People with goals tend to out-perform those without. In a short but powerful article , this sport counselor teaches you the 10 most important secrets to setting successful sport goals.

Motivation and Goal-Setting for Exercise - Sports Medicine -  Realistic fitness goals that will help you stay motivated and keep you exercising consistently through the years.

Skill Development Environment:


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Mental Training:

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