A TEAM APPROACH TO SETTING GOALS:The Planning Phase, The Meeting Phase

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Sport Psychology (PSY407)
There are three components of a team approach to setting goals and they are: (a) the planning phase, (b) the
meeting phase, and (c) the evaluation phase.
The Planning Phase
Planning is the first stage for setting goals for team. At this phase the coaching staff conducts a need assessment
exercise. In a need assessment, the coaching staff carefully reviews the team as a whole, and each individual,
relative to areas of needed improvement. Start with the team as a whole and list the strengths and weakness of
the team. From the list of weaknesses, you can articulate specific team needs and write them down.
From the list of team needs, you may conclude that the team needs to improve in team cohesion (togetherness),
physical fitness, and ball handling skills. From these team needs, you should write down specific goals that state
in observable terms if and when team goals are achieved. For example, when training camp begins, each
member of the team will be able to run three miles in less than seven minutes.
Areas of needed improvement are listed for each athlete on the team. Following this exercise, goals should be
written that are specific, measurable, and realistic. They should be written and planned in a way consistent with
the SMART principle.
Before moving into the next phase that is the meeting phase the coach must carefully consider how best to
approach the athletes with the needs assessment and goals for the team and individual athletes. Athletes must
accept and internalize the goals that coaches give them. This is the best accomplished by involving the athletes
in the actual goal-setting process. There is no sense in approaching this step from a dictatorial perspective,
because if the athlete does not internalize a goal, then it is not his.
In addition to considering how to involve the athlete in the goal-setting process, the coach must plan how to
implement the goal-setting process and to monitor it once it is implemented.
The Meeting Phase
The most straight forward component of the meeting phase is the initial meeting, in which team goals can be
reflected upon and discussed. This can be very useful in terms of discussing previous year's performance and
giving a realistic assessment of what to expect for the future. Coaches should educate athletes on the differences
between outcome, performance and process goals. Process and performance goals tell the athlete exactly what
they must do as a team to accomplish outcome goals.
In a subsequent meeting, coaches should instruct athletes on the SMART principle and on how to write and put
into words their own personal goals. Together coaches and athletes mutually agree on goals to be targeted.
In addition to setting clear, measurable goals, coaches must implement a plan or strategy to achieve the stated
goals. And in setting goals, coaches must assist athletes in developing a plan to accomplish the goals.
A series of short-range goals should be set to help break the long-range goal into smaller units. The coach and
athlete must decide what daily running schedule would be most beneficial for the athlete. A detailed strategy
must be decided upon if the athlete has any hope at all of achieving a difficult goal. Every goal must have a plan
by which to achieve it.
Sport Psychology (PSY407)
The Evaluation Phase
The evaluation phase of goal setting should take place at the end of the competitive season, but also
throughout the season. Goals set by the team and by individuals should be monitored regularly.
Monitoring of process and performance goals should take place following each competition, as well as
after practice sessions. It is critical to the evaluation component of goal setting that performance statistics
be kept on every game and match.
Outcome goals are easier to monitor because they relate to success or failure. Without constant
monitoring, feedback, and evaluation, the goal-setting process will not be effective.
Common Goal-Setting Pitfalls
Failure to consider the principles of effective goal setting would represent ten different ways to
undermine the goal-setting process. In practice, though, there are several common pitfalls, or reasons
goal setting does not result in improved performance.
These pitfalls come under the general headings of:
Poorly written goal statements
Failure to devise a goal-attainment strategy
Failure to follow the goal-attainment strategy
Failure to monitor performance progress
Poorly written goal statements
One common problem for athletes is that their goals are so vague and general that they cannot tell if they
are making progress (Weinberg 1997). Violation of the SMART principle in setting goals is the most
common reason goals are not met. Among other things, a goal must be specific, measurable, action
orientated, realistic, and timely.
Failure to devise a goal-attainment strategy
A goal without a plan to achieve the goal almost always results in ineffective goal setting. Without a well-
conceived plan to improve drive distance and accuracy, approach shot accuracy, and putting accuracy, it
is unlikely the athlete will achieve the goal.
Failure to follow the goal-attainment strategy
Once a goal-attainment strategy or plan has been decided upon, it is necessary to follow the plan. Not
completely committed to the program, the man fails to lose any weight during the first six months, so he
gives up and decides goal setting dose not work.
Failure to monitor performance progress
Failure to monitor measurable and observable progress in sport makes it impossible to tell if goal setting
is working. for example if you're a quarterback in college football, and your goal is to increase pass
completion percentage, you wont have to worry about monitoring your progress, because the coach will
tell you exactly how many passes you attempted, and how many you caught.
Sport Psychology (PSY407)
There are many ways that discouragement can sabotage the effectiveness of goal setting in sport. Here are some
of them;
Goal difficulty
Athletes get discouraged with goal setting when the goal appears too difficult or nonrealistic. If performance is
being monitored, adjustments in goals can be made. If goals are too hard and seem impossible to obtain, it
makes sense to adjust the goal to make it more reasonable.
Use of outcome goals
When an athlete sets only outcome goals and does not realize the goals, this can be very discouraging. For
example if your goal was to win seven out of ten soccer matches, and you have already lost five games with only
five to go, what you really have to do is just revise the outcome goals down from 75% wins to 25% wins, but it
would be better if you focus on achieving performance and process goals. It is never too late to start setting
personal performance goals.
Too many goals
Whatever the reason, athletes can get discouraged when they try to accomplish too many things at once. If an
athlete is just learning to play the game of tennis, there are numerous areas of needed improvement. The athlete
should not try to accomplish too much at once. She should slow down and focus upon one goal at a time.
Cox, H. Richard. (2002). Sport Psychology: Concepts and Applications. (Fifth Edition). New York: McGraw-
Hill Companies
Lavallec. D., Kremer, J., Moran, A., & Williams. M. (2004) Sports Psychology: Contemporary Themes. New
York: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers
Table of Contents:
  1. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY DEFINED:Issue of Certification, The Research Sport Psychologist
  2. SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Successful Performance, Verbal persuasion
  3. SELECTING SELF-TALK STATEMENTS:Skill accusation, Controlling effort
  4. GOAL ORIENTATION:Goal Involvement, Motivational Climate
  5. CAUSAL ATTRIBUTION IN SPORT:Fritz Heiderís Contribution, Other Considerations
  7. MOTIVATION IN SPORT:Social Factors, Success and Failure, Coachesí Behavior
  9. PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING:Clearly identify time constraints
  10. A TEAM APPROACH TO SETTING GOALS:The Planning Phase, The Meeting Phase
  11. YOUTH SPORT:Distress and anxiety, Coach-Parent Relationships
  12. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Information Processing, Memory Systems
  13. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Measuring Attentional Focus
  14. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Personality Defined, Psychodynamic Theory
  15. THE MEASUREMENT OF PERSONALITY:Projective Procedures, Structured Questionnaire
  16. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Athletic Motivation Inventory, Personality Sport Type
  21. COPING STRATEGIES IN SPORT:Measurement of Coping Skill
  22. RELAXATION STRATEGIES FOR SPORT:Progressive Relaxation, Autogenic Training
  23. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Team Energizing Strategies, Fan Support
  24. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Precompetition Workout, Individual Goal Setting
  25. IMAGERY:Skill Level of the Athletes, Time Factors and Mental Practice
  26. IMAGERY:Symbolic Learning Theory, Imagery Perspective. Sensory Mode
  27. IMAGERY:Paivioís Two-Dimensional Model, Developing Imagery Skills
  28. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Defining Hypnosis, Social-Cognitive Theory
  29. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Achieving the Hypnotic Trance, Hypnotic Phase
  30. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Psychological Skills Training Program
  31. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Performance profiling, Performance routines
  32. ETHICS IN SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Competence, Integrity, Social Responsibility
  33. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:Defining Aggression, Catharsis hypothesis
  34. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:The Catharsis Effect, Fan Violence
  35. AUDIENCE AND CROWD EFFECTS IN SPORTS:Social Facilitation, Crowd Hostility
  36. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Measurement of Team Cohesion
  37. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Predicting Future Participation, Team Building
  38. LEADERSHIP IN SPORT:Fiedlerís Contingency Theory, Coach-Athlete Compatibility
  39. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Special Populations, Clinical Patients
  40. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Social Interaction Hypothesis, Amine Hypothesis
  41. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:The Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Cognitive Theory
  42. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Exercise Addiction, Bulimia Nervosa, Muscle Dysmorphia
  43. BURNOUT IN ATHLETES:Overtraining and Overreaching, Recommended Intervention
  44. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ATHLETIC INJURIES:Personality Factors, Coping Resources
  45. DRUG ABUSE IN SPORT AND EXERCISE:Stimulants, Depressants