We recently discussed the benefits of goal setting and now it is time to talk about the different types of goals (and why that even matters).

Sport Psychology for Coaches by Damon Burton and Thomas D. Raedeke define the types of goals as:

Process Goal– goals that focus on improving form, technique and strategy

Performance Goal- goals that look at the overall performance (such as your run time, 1 rep max bench press, etc.)

Outcome Goal- goals that emphasize outperforming other competitors (and the objective outcome…winning)

Process and performance goals are important to achieve in order to reach the outcome goals.  If you have an outcome in mind, you must go through the process and performance goals first.

But are outcome goals necessarily ¨good¨ goals to be setting?  Sure, you want to hit that objective target, but that isn´t always in your control.

In sports, many things are out of your control.  You don´t control the opponent, or the weather or the referee or even how you feel that day.  All you can control is what you do to prepare.  With this understanding, it makes more sense to focus on process and performance goals rather than just outcome goals.

It´s also important to build in some flexibility and understand that even if you want to be perfect in hitting your goals, it won´t always work out.  You get sick, injured, work or family conflicts…life happens and you should be ok with being flexible when that comes up.

Next, let´s look at how to set effective goals!

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