Jul 24

New Goal Setting Ideas

I came across a great new idea regarding goal setting for athletes while reading Lynn Kidman and Stephanie Hanrahan’s book “The Coaching Process; A Practical Guide to Becoming an Effective Sports Coach 3rd Ed” this week. They have some great ideas about learning objectives which I think can be tied into goal setting so bear with me as I lay this out.

We are all used to the typical goal setting categories:

  • Performance–score 15 points, block 10 shots, run 10.9 in the 100m, etc.
  • Outcome–win a league or conference championship, become a conference all-star or All-American
  • Process–develop better core strength, learn to throw a change-up, learn to relax more during games

Kidman and Hanrahan talk about three learning objectives for each practice based upon the three domains of learning:

  • Performance (different from above)–physical movement skills
  • Cognitive–tactics, strategies and decision making knowledge skills
  • Affective–mental skills, attitudes and values

I love the cognitive and affective learning objectives, and I think they could easily be used as a subset of the above mentioned process goal. In my coaching, process goals are those stepping stones that set the stage for the possibility of achieving performance and outcome goals. Plus process goals are in the hands of the athlete while their competitors will have a stake in whether or not they achieve their performance or outcome goals.


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