An Old Man’s Perspective on Athletic Performance and Goal Setting

An Old Man’s Perspective on Athletic Performance and Goal Setting I find the topic of Athletic Performance personally a very engaging one. This time through I thought it might be good to chunk things down a bit – get away from the more specific theory/opinion to the practical management of performance with a look at goal setting. Goals – how do you get to where you want to be? It has been said if you don’t have goals in place you are like a ship without a rudder or if you are failing to plan you are planning to fail. For our purposes, I don’t think we need to be as intense about it as that sounds however the truth is there no matter the journey. I believe one of the key benefits of the process is being able to get some real clarity about why we are doing what we do and most particularly what we want to get out of that. This can be as big, or not big, as you want it to be. Staying fit, maintain a particular weight, staying healthy – you set goals that are going to work for you in terms of what you want and then lay down the plan and a set of behaviours you believe will get you there. Wanting to compete at Regionals 2018 or win your category in the open are just another set of goals that would require different plan and set of behaviours…. What are your current goals? Have you set any? Have you told anyone else? Writing down your goals/plan and behaviours (or actions) can help to clarify them in your own mind; give you a chance to take a moment to step back and see how it feels. Without getting too “Nymphs and Shepherds” about it there does need to be an alignment between your goals and your life, your lifestyle – dare I say reality, yes I do there you go it’s said. If the goals/plans/behaviours are not clearly congruent with the reality that is your life or congruent with the plan you have to change your life then it is not likely to go as well as you’d like. Telling someone, discussing your plan with your coach or friends can raise the level of personal commitment and accountability. You can ask your coach and friends to check in on how you are progressing from time to time or they’ll just ask anyway because they want to encourage and support your achievement. If you are truly clear that you want to make a plan to achieve a goal then it ought to be no big deal to have someone ask you how that’s going – remember you know the person is on your side and wants only what you want for yourself. If you notice this all feels a bit uncomfortable then it might be the goal/plan or required behaviours are outside of what you are capable of or ready for at the moment or simply not aligned closely enough to what you ‘really truly’ want. You’ll have to run through that conversation yourself if or when you find yourself in that space. Please remember you don’t have to do that alone either btw; find yourself a sounding board and preferably a trustworthy no judgmental one. Note To Self: this is about a journey as much as it is about a destination. A key point with this process is you can have a better idea of where you are on the journey… in relation to whatever your chosen destination is. I have included a SMART goal template at end of this to provide an example of how you can work through this goal/plan stuff if you feel inclined to do so. You might not like to do that sort of stuff, and that’s no biggy either. Some aspects of performance management plan might be. Are you giving yourself enough sleep? Are you taking on sufficient fluid prior to a workout? An indication of how important a factor your hydration can be is that the measurements for sweat loss are in quoted in litres/hour. Factors influencing the sweat rate include age, sex, level of fitness and intensity of workout, ambient temperature and humidity. AIS – Hydration Information This link will take you to a page on the Australian Institute of Sport website where you can see the variations from different sports different temp ranges etc. from 0.29mls per hour loss up to 2.6ltrs per hour. Are you eating to exercise? Is your intake sufficient for what you want out of each training session? Are you putting time into mobility and recovery? There are always going to be supplements but nothing is really going to replace movement, stretching, rolling and all that Supple Leopard stuff. Is you head in the game? Next time I’m going to spend a bit of time on how we speak to ourselves and how that can be a factor in our overall performance. I don’t think I got right away from the theory and opinion side of things but I do hope you have found something useful here. Cheers Uncle Pete

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