PLANNING: Goal setting

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland 

Helping the athlete set effective sporting and career goals

Parents/Guardians can properly support the Dual Career athlete if they understand what their role is. For younger, say school age athletes, there will be a greater involvement in the design and action of the plan. However as the Dual Career athlete moves towards the transition to adulthood the Parent/Guardian becomes the facilitator of the planning process, possibly a quality controller and supporter.

Planning is a process that needs to be discussed thought and through. This is best done in discussion and Parents/Guardians can act as critical friends to Dual Career athletes developing their plans. In this module we will give you some examples of tools you might assist the Dual Career athlete in using. First to identify their goals, then create a plan and some useful tips for time management to be able to implement that plan.

Why goal setting is important

Goal setting is important for the Dual Career athlete as it can really help motivate them in their training and academic studies. Goal setting provides clarity of purpose for the Dual Career athlete, clear expectations, which can be checked and realistic, provides a focus and a pathway for their ultimate success and helps make them accountable especially to themselves. Setting long term goals, which may be many months or years away, are often “dream goals” that are achieved by setting smaller medium and short term goals that are clear steps of improvement towards the long term goal. Most of all goal setting provides a context for planning.

Goal setting tools

First set some goals. The athlete must “own” these goals so the Parents/Guardian role is to ask some relevant and probing questions that ensure that the goals are appropriate. The Parent/Guardian should ensure in this process that there are dual goals set, for academic and sporting careers and that they are appropriately in balance for the Dual Career athlete. We recommend using the tried and trusted “SMARTER” method.

An example of some Dual Career athletes short, medium and long term goals.