Journey to Achieving a Successful Outcome

March 13, 2020 0 Comments

In preparation for a season or a tournament, it’s important to set goals that provide a target toward which you can direct all of your effort and attention. Once you have clearly defined goals that are specific, measurable, adjustable/attainable, realistic, and time-bound, you should organize them into a structure. The goal setting structure allows you to break down your longer-term goals that have a greater outcome associated with them into shorter-term objectives. It helps you move from where you are to where you want to be. Your objectives help you take action by highlighting the first steps to take through your actions daily.

Here are some examples from a coaches perspective:

  • Ultimate goal:
    • To win the championship at the end of the season
  • Outcome goals:
    • Finish the season with an undefeated record
    • Earn the MVP of the season as voted on by the league coaches
    • Have the fastest team in the league by mid-season
  • Performance Improvement goals:
    • Increase the amount of high percentage shots taken from last season (40%) this season to 60% in regular offensive situations
    • Increase the average speed on the team by 2 seconds by the middle of the season; Improve the moral and confidence of the team pre-season by helping them create team mission statements, values, and goals
  • Process & Objective goals: 
    • In pre-season, schedule 15 minute one on ones with each athlete to help them develop their own understanding of their role, pre-game energy levels, and goal plans
    • Every practice for the first five minutes, explain the practice plan in detail to the athletes and check for understanding of the purpose behind the drills
    • 4 practices throughout the season, lead the team in a sprint test and track time improvement for each individual as well as for the team average
    • On game days, lead the team through a pre-game routine that includes a mental, physical, technical, & tactical warm-up component specific to each athlete’s unique needs and the scouting report of the opponent
    • During games, practice diaphragmatic concentration breathing to control my stress and give myself the best chance to operate with clarity of mind

As you may be able to tell from this example, the process and objective goals are much more actionable and able to control. It would be important to remind the team of the outcome and ultimate goals at times during the season but focus on the process goals daily. In games, the process goals need to be organized into a game plan. Sticking to the game plan is the same as sticking to the process. If you execute the process and stick with it through the “messy” mistakes, challenge, and adversity then you will achieve the larger results that you ultimately want.

The goal setting structure and process to creating it can be painful as you get started. However, you learn to respect the process as you move through it and  constantly adjust details as you learn more. As you see small successful results, you start to believe in the process. It’s important to understand that these steps are all a part of the journey toward success.

Author: Brian Alexander | Date Published: 3/15/2020

Brian Alexander, MA, CMPC is a mental coach and co-founder of WellU Mental Training. He works with the USA Men’s Water Polo team and in private practice with athletes, coaches, and teams at the youth, high school, collegiate, professional, and Olympic levels in sport. Please visit to download the WellU app and start your mental training program.

 If you would like to train your resilience, you can follow training programs by downloading the WellU Mental Training App on apple and google play devices. WellU provides engaging mental training opportunities to help athletes develop peak performance. Visit to download the app!

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