The Importance of Goal Setting in Both Sport and Life.
“Even a journey of one thousand miles starts with one step”
This is so very true, yet so often forgotten. What is also forgotten is that journeys have an end point or a target end point and so should your training.
As coaches, the first thing we do with a new athlete, or with an athlete looking at a new season (or set of seasons) is look at the destination. What do you/we want to achieve? What is your goal? What do we define as a success? All of these questions should underpin sports coaching and indeed business coaching or teaching.
When was the last time you had a one, two or four-year plan whereby you could almost plan each day or session many months or years in advance, not for your sport but for your life? When was the last time that you reviewed your life to allow for more time for training? Or let’s turn that around. When was the last time you reviewed your training to allow for more time for life?
Philosophical questions maybe, yet important ones. All too often as a coach we hear how “I couldn’t complete a session because… x didn’t work out …or y was late …or friends organised an impromptu gathering” Life happens. And when it does happen the key thing is not to stress. If you have a plan in place it means you can react to the unplanned and get back on track again. By spending some time to plan out your year with regards to your family, career or social life, you can actually reduce overall stress on a day to day basis. [Check out this blog about how to plan adjust training and life using a cooker(!?)]
“Lazy people plan more – it gives them more time to do fun stuff they enjoy!”
Athletes are becoming increasingly aware of their training stress. Training Stress Score (TSS™) has been floated by Training Peaks for many years now and is coming to the forefront of general (read (tri)athlete!) conversation. However, stress comes in all shapes and sizes and affects different people differently as a result of different experiences. Remember at the end of your final exam, you would have felt (drunk!? Yet also) knackered from just the mental fatigue you have been putting into learning and revising – this is just one specific example of how stress can impact you. Furthermore, stress has a massive affect on our sympathetic nervous system and this can even be felt in the muscle tissues! Yet very few people work at building resistance to this. People look at harnessing their inner chimp to excel in performance. Yet that can only be done when all aspects of life are aligned and humming along nicely. If people are struggling with a training niggle, they see a physio, yet what happens if there are continual issues stemming from non-training Stressors? Who is helping to put a plaster over that non-physical stress?
This is where goal setting with your coach can be useful, important and also easy in training. Planning your life goal with someone like a mental coach or psychologist ensures that your training is working effortlessly alongside your lifestyle and planning that out can have so many more performance benefits. Equally stresses can seem so much bigger in a closed environment. Working them out with other people, alongside your coach will ensure it keeps your training consistent and better quality which is the key to a successful and balanced lifestyle and race season.
Be lazy: plan.
Do you want some help developing all your goals?
We all know that training impacts our lives beyond the individual work outs. There are sacrifices or choices we make every day which impact our lifestyle and those around us. Don't play with that. Help organise yourself completely.