Updated: Jan 19, 2022
With the new year upon us, players are making new years goals. So let’s talk about how to reach new goals!
It is best to make SMART Goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
Let’s say you have a goal to juggle 100 times and in the 100 touches get at least one touch on each foot, each thigh, and head. If this is your goal to have it accomplished by July 1st then where do you need to be by February 1st? Where do you need to be by March 1st? What I am getting at it is you need to set smaller micro goals in order to reach your large goal. You need to hold yourself accountable to make sure you are making progress to reach your goal. Ideally it is good if your check-in points are something measurable too. Let’s change the example and say you want to work on finishing with your non-dominant (weak) foot. You make a goal to be able to hit 15 out of 20 shots, bending with pace to the side netting from outside the 18 yard box. Maybe first you start shooting from inside the box. Once more consistent, maybe you back up a bit but not quite outside. And now maybe you are going 10 for 20 from this distance. You see how you can set small goals, work your way up, and start to see consistent success. You can do the same thing with fitness by setting a goal for a faster 2 mile time for example.
Have fun with it! You have to enjoy the process. Mix up your style of practicing to enjoy it. Find what you enjoy. Is it being creative and designing new drills and being competitive with yourself trying to be as quick and clean with the ball at your feet as possible? Or maybe you design little games and you are trying to hit new higher scores. Soccer is supposed to be fun so even though it may be hard work, it should be hard work that you are proud of and want to continue to do. When it comes to running, maybe find some music or a podcast you like. Find a nice, safe area that you enjoy running. It is not just enough to want to accomplish a goal. It is better if you enjoy the process and the practice, in the pursuit of your goal.
One other key point I’d like to bring up is if you are practicing something and failing at it, that is great!!! Why do I say this? Because it means you are practicing something that needs work. I see a lot of players who are happy when they can do something good so they keep doing it and ignore the parts of their game they are having trouble with. I’ve listened to Bill Gates talk about how it is a good thing to get confused, because it means you are learning something new. You have to be comfortable with the growing pains of something if you are going to learn it. Never get down on yourself if you aren’t having success. Be proud of yourself for doing something new and difficult and know you are improving. Good things take time.