Sport Psychology: Write Down Your Goals

Dick Moss, Editor

Many coaches have their athletes formulate performance goals for the upcoming season: to make five tackles per game, to improve their time by three seconds, to learn how to dribble with the left hand.

Unfortunately, while your athletes start the season with these goals firmly in mind, they can quickly be forgotten as the day-to-day needs of practice and competition take priority.

Write Them Down
For this reason, it's important for athletes to record their goals. This forces them to think specifically about objectives for the season.

Just as important, according to many sports psychologists, they must display their goals in a location they will see frequently. This could be the inside of their sports locker or their bedroom wall. If they want to really increase their commitment to their goals, they can display them publicly on a bulletin board or locker room wall (with your approval, of course).

These frequent reminders will help your athletes stay focused on the elements of their game they really want to improve. It will also give them constant justification for all the hard work and sacrifices they are making.


  1. DC Gonzalez, The Art of Mental Training: A Guide to Performance Excellence, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.
  2. Robert Weinberg (PhD), “Motivation through effective goal setting.” American Football Quarterly, Volume 3, 2nd Quarter, 1997.

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© 2013, Physical Education,

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