If you have followed the previous posts on goal setting, we have gone through the exercise of creating our three levels of goals (short, middle and long term goals). We also created a daily/weekly checklist to help us move closer to our goals…every day.
Now we have hardest task of all. Committing to these goals and putting in the work to reach them. There are millions of people around the country who pass the test of creating goals with flying colors, then fail to commit to what it takes to reach their goals.
There is never a guarantee that anyone will reach their goals, even if they do all of the right things. However, a player has no chance to reach lofty goals without commitment and sacrifice along the way. This is the most satisfying part of goal setting. Investing time, effort, and sacrifice to achieve a level of success unachievable without a lot of work.
While there a numerous strategies to get there, we have provided a few ideas to take a player from just having goals to actually reaching them.
1. Post your goals somewhere where you can see them. Our goals drift away if we write them down and never look at them again. Every player needs a constant reminder of their goals so that their decisions, actions and behavior support the goals that they created. If a player creates goals and a checklist online and stores it in a place that is never to be seen again, that player will likely lose track of those goals. If a player uses a picture of his goals as the screensaver on his phone, he is reminded of these goals every time he looks at his phone. If a player displays his daily checklist on a bulletin board in his room, or on the inside of a door that he uses every day, he is again constantly reminded of what he committed to with his goals.
2. Recruit an “Accountability Partner”. Every person needs someone to help them stay accountable to their goals. Some players assume that their coach is that person. Coaches often play a part in holding players accountable for their goals, but the best accountability partner is a teammate. Find a teammate with similar goals, and hold each other accountable on a daily basis. There is nothing more powerful than a respected friend and teammate that can be a constant reminder to do the right things and keep you on track with your goals. Share your goals with a friend or teammate, and give them free license to challenge you when necessary to reach your goals.
3. Change behavior to support your goals. If you goals are important to you, you should be willing to sacrifice and invest in your goals. Make a list of some of the unproductive activities that do not support your goals, and replace them with more productive ones. If your typical routine after school is to (hopefully) complete your homework, and then watch TV for 1.5 hours per night, a good behavioral change to support your baseball goals would be to cut the time to 45 minutes of TV, 30 minutes of drills, and 15 minutes of reading a book on sports psychology per night. Or, if your routine is to drink a Mountain Dew and eat Oreos for a snack after school, a good behavioral change is to substitute water and fruit (with an occasional Oreo because no-one can quit Oreos completely) to your diet for more nutrition and sustained fuel for your body.
So in summary…you have to see your goals often. You have to have someone you respect support your goals and support you through the process of reaching your goals. Lastly, you have to invest in your goals by changing your behavior to support your goals.
Setting goals is only 1/2 the battle. Creating success in reaching your goals requires commitment and sacrifice on a daily basis. Good requires average effort and commitment. Exceptional requires exceptional effort and commitment.
Thank you for reading and hope to see you on the field this season.
Owner- Woodall Baseball Academy and Silver Sluggers
Major League Player- Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs