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Motivation in Sports Through Goal Setting

By: Ken Austin

In sports, coaches and mentors have been providing effective and sound motivation to athletes through goal setting.

The practice is being recognized as effective and potent in the sports training scene for the past three decades already.

Because sports training is taken more seriously now by handlers and athletes alike, it is imperative that the athletes be conditioned mentally, emotionally and physically during trainings and practices.

To be able to achieve such targets, there are various techniques and measures that are used to provide motivational devices and tactics to the athletes.

In general, nothing else will come close to the motivation being provided to the athletes by effective and practical goal setting activities.

Motivation and Goal Setting

Thus, in the contemporary sports arena, motivation and goal settings are two different concepts that are now inter-twined and inter-connected.

That is because goal setting provides motivation to athletes, and in turn, motivation provides goals. The two concepts are really working hand in hand in making the best come out from every successful sportsman or athlete.

Goals that are set by athletes provide them direction, and motivation fills it up with fuel to keep everything---the mind, the body, the determination---going on and on.

Motivation is what keeps athletes going and keep on striving, while goals, set through goal setting activities, put up targets and direction to help monitor and gauge the efforts and initiatives.

Characteristics of Good Goals

Goal setting, thus, has to be effective and well-planned. There are several attributes of good and effective goals, which should be paid particular and utmost attention to during the tedious and ardent goal setting tasks. Here are some of them.

►     Goals must be specific and measurable. They are to be made specific in a sense that particular targets and aims are set. Measurable, when they can recorded and compared to previous performance and records. By that, goals are becoming more effective when looking out at progress and developments in sports trainings and practices.

►     Goals must be realistic, but at the same time difficult. Challenging goals provide more motivation and force athletes to strive better and release more effort, making them stronger and more determined, traits that would really be advantageous in the long run.

►     Goals must be achievable in the long term or in the short term. There is no sense setting out goals that are practically and logically unachievable. Even if the effort is raised 100 times, 1,000 times or 1 million times, if the they are really unachievable, nothing will do to make the athletes realize them. Short term goals are far better motivation tools than long term, but they can be used to eventually lead to longer-term goals and targets.

►     Goals should reflect priorities. Make sure goals are in line and not conflicting with priorities. Otherwise, the efforts to achieve the set of goals would be futile and inutile despite a good and strong set of motivation and determination.

Overall, motivation should, at the same time with goals, get athletes going with greater and more significant focus. Otherwise, measures and actions should be done, or goals reset, to help the athlete attain the much needed concentration.

Motivation fuels goal setting and strategies. Focus make up the steering wheel in the long and winding drive to the attainment of the ambitious and noble goal.

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