Goal setting is a way to improve skills methodically and systematically. By having an idea of where you want to be as you move through your softball career, you can not only actively participate in that development but you can also enjoy your experience.
Goal Setting Activity Exercises
Break your goal setting activities down into physical, technical and mental goals so that you can break them into smaller parts. Be as detailed as you can with the dream goals, pre-season goals and season goals so that you can focus on the most relevant things at the most relevant times.
Physical goals, are goals that you want to achieve that effect the physical part of softball such as speed, strength, flexibility and agility. This type of work is generally done in a gym or on the field and does not necessarily need softball equipment to train. If you are specializing in softball and are at an advance level, you might need to use equipment like an old bat if you are working on the speed of your swing. By swinging a bat and actually letting go of it, you are training the speed of your swing in real time. Make sure you consider the safety factors before trying this activity such as making sure there is no one in the area before swinging.
Types of goals
Technical / Tactical goals are specific to softball. For example, a goal you set might be for you to be able to throw quickly to the exact target 95% of the time after fielding the ball. Or depending on the level that you play at, you might only want to hit the target at least 60% of the time for this season, and your dream goal might be to hit the target 100% of the time.
This is where the attainability is important. If you strive to achieve something you are not yet capable of, you may be tempted to give up through frustration. Make sure the goals are as measurable as possible and they are achievable to guarantee success.
Mental or psychological goals are mostly related to your emotions and how they effect your performance. Did you know that as your anxiety level increases, your skill level can decrease substantially? The ability to compete with minimal psychological interference, will guarantee that you will not only perform better but you will enjoy the experience as well. You will find that many of the mental training skills you learn through this book will be very useful in your daily life as well. How good is that?
What would be the most perfect outcome that you would like to achieve in softball? If you could achieve anything, what would it be? Write this down in your dream goals section. How do your physical, technical and mental skills need to be improved for you achieve your dream goal. Remember that this goal may take longer than one season depending on your current skill level and the path that you take to get there.
A dream goal is your ultimate goal in softball. Something that maybe you might even think you can’t achieve. That’s the point of this goal. It’s your DREAM goal. If you could do anything you want in softball, what would it be? Allow yourself to dream and it will motivate you as you work through your pre-season and season goals.
It may be that you never fully achieve your dream goal. Yes this is in fact possible. This does not mean that you fail. It means that because you have a dream goal, and something to strive towards, it will motivate you to be successful in the rest of your goals.
Using your dream goals as a guide, what do you want to achieve during the season? Being able to break down your physical, mental and technical skills will make it easier to focus on one thing at a time without being overwhelmed by your dream goals. You will be focusing on the details of the process for the season and not the outcome of the dream goals. Again make sure you use the goal setting principles of having goals that are attainable, measurable and adjustable.
What is important in your preparations to have a successful season? This is the time to work on your physical skills, learn new technical/tactical skills and learn mental training skills. This is the preparation time where you look at your season goals and do what you can to give yourself the best opportunity to have success at those goals. Your pre-season goals are your path to what you will want to accomplish during your season.
Competition / Training Goals
Now is the time to break your goals down even further into specific, attainable and measurable goals. The goals for your training sessions or competitions need to be achieved during that specific session. For example a goal for training might be to say only positive things to yourself after every play or it might be to make 70% of your executions perfect or to make sure you say at least one thing positive to each of your teammates during the session. Review these goals after the event and check off your successes.
Enjoy the Process
Playing softball is amazing experience, and will bring every emotion from ecstatic excitement to downright anger. A lot of this emotion is within your control. Choose to make your softball experience enjoyable, by taking steps to make sure you are not overextending yourself, or putting too many expectations on your performance. Set your goals to meet as much success as you can. Congratulate yourself regularly and you will always be looking forward to getting your gear together for the training session or competition. You want to be a participant for life.