In a recent RISE UP Skill Map we focused on Goal Setting for training and performance. One of the articles we highlighted is Tiina Booth’s “Don’t Choke: Optimizing Performance Through Mentality & Goal Setting“, in which she writes about process goals, saying:
“The task at hand is to have each individual player improve; the best way to do that is to focus on process goals. The job of every player is to identify and reach their process goals. The coach may oversee the work, but players have to be committed to and responsible for their own improvement.”
Coach Booth’s focus here is on personal ownership of a goal. Being able to see the process of goal setting through from start to finish is a large part of finding success. Knowing where your contribution is needed, defining how to achieve it and then making the effort to bring it to reality is an extensive process, but as a player it forces you to be both intentional and dedicated in your progress.
Long term goal setting is an ongoing challenge in ultimate. Process goals focus on the method and experience of improving rather than just the payoff. Although we may have goals that extend to our team, our region or our country, the only way that we can make an impact is individually. For this reason, process goals help us stay keyed in to what we are working towards while also giving achievements along the way.
Dr. Alan Goldberg, who Coach Booth has worked with extensively, reframes this idea by emphasizing the unique connection that each player is able to have with a goal that they created:
“Motivation is a personal thing and is most powerful when it flows straight from the athlete’s heart. What drives you to achieve should always belong to you. You must have total ownership of it. When you’re working towards a goal because YOU want to and it’s YOUR goal, your drive and persistence will be that much stronger and longer lasting than if you were working to please someone else.”
These two perspectives give us both the practical and the emotional reasoning behind goal setting. Even if you’re certain that you know what you are training for, it’s important to check in with your progress towards your goals. Remember that they are yours and that you are the key element in making their progress towards completion worthwhile.