A goal is a "mental projection of something we wish to achieve within a given period of time."
It is important to differentiate between a 'result' goal (winning the league) and a 'process' goal (measurement of strength, fitness, speed, etc).
We must have learning goals: "What are you going to learn today? What are your concrete learning goals other than that you'll just go out and train?"
- Security goals
- Realistic goals
- Barrier-breaking goals
The dangers of only working with 'realistic goals':
Danger #1: As soon as goal is reached or nearly reached, mental energy sinks. E.g. Mats Wilander wanted to be #1, once reached couldn't sustain desire to maintain it. Bayern Munich led 1-0 till 2 minutes left of injury time in the Champions League final 1999. Lost 2-1.
Danger #2: It can function as a barrier instead. You only do enough to reach the goal.
Associate feelings of joy, freedom, and opportunity to barrier breaking goals, never demands or obligations. It should never feel like failure or disappointment if we do not reach that goal.
The main function of a barrier-breaking goal is to prepare the subconscious for the idea that we want to go further than we previoiusly thought was possible.
E.g. A high jumper that regularly jumps 2.30 and sometimes 2.33. A conventional trainer would say 2.40 but instead have 3 goals:
- Security goal of 2.30
- A realistic 'jobbing' goal of 2.36. Not impossible just a bit higher.
- A barrier-breaking goal of 2.42
Effective Goal Requirements:
- Goals must be concrete. It cannot be "we must improve" or "I'll do my best"
- Goals should be consciously accepted by all those who are to attain them.
- Goals must be connected to the daily grind
- A goal must be sufficiently high. Can it be too high? Yes, then the athlete defends himself agains it. But neither too low or there is no pulling power.
- Goals must be anchored in self-confidence
- Goals must be accepted mentally and accepted completely. The problem is not setting up the goal--it's getting it accepted mentally
- Goals must be learnt systematically
Mentally Accepting Goals -- Progression:
- We don't accept the goal at all
- We accept the goal intellectually but not emotionally
- We accept the goal both intellectually and emotionally, but only consciously.
- We fully accept a goal, both consciously and subconsciously deep down. Our goal then becomes a part of us, not simply something that we have 'set up'
It is always the subconscious that wins.