(please note – this page is being updated and added to in response to athlete feedback)
Goal setting helps to focus attention and it is critical to maintain and enhance motivation.
Goal setting gives direction both in the short term and the long term and you can see success as you achieve your short term goals. This increases your confidence as you are being successful and achieving.
Goals should have clarity, be a realistic challenge, promote commitment, and invite feedback and reflection.
There are 3 types of goals that your Individual Athlete Development Plan (IADP) Goal Setting Sheet will ask you to consider.
Focus on the outcome of specific events or a specific time period. For competitive athletes they usually involve some sort of winning. These tend to be quick and punchy.
EXAMPLE: I want to be British Champion
What needs to happen at competition, which will help achieve your outcome goal. Competition is where you perform, so think about the process you go through at events and what needs to happen.
EXAMPLE: At the British Nationals I need to arrive on time, hydrated and fueled, work through my preparation and warm up protocols, win as many pool bouts as I can, making sure to reset when things get tough, hydrate and refuel between bouts, Work my way through the tableau to the final with enough energy and focus to get the job done.
Here is the magic. This is what happens day in day out, in order for you to be able to perform at the standard you wish. These are broken down into sections: tactical, technical, distance, physical & mental load, environment and behavior & commitment. These are the big meaty sections that should include details on not only WHAT your goal is, but HOW and WHEN you are going to work on this area to generate improvement. The most common goal we see is ‘I need to be more confident.’ This is only going to improve if you put some time and energy into improving it, just knowing you need to be more confident won’t solve this for you.
EXAMPLE During competitions I can lose confidence in myself after a tough pool fight. I need to research strategies on boosting self belief, speak to my coach and come up with a plan. Once I have some strategies to try, I will look to explore them at a development event, agreeing with my coach beforehand which ones we are using, and reflection time afterwards. I can then begin to develop a routine for myself at competitions.
Your IADP goal sheet should be a collaboration between you and your personal coach.
You can download a goal sheet template from the resources page here with notes on each box to help guide you.
Reaching out to the ADP is also a good resource if you need any further support.
Remember, your goal sheet is not something set in stone, and is designed to be updated and changed regularly as the season moves on, as new goals arise and as circumstances change.
The main purpose of the document is to be useful to you, not just to let British Fencing know what you are up to.
Lastly, talking about goals should inspire and motivate you, rather than fill you with dread. If you find that they have a negative impact on you, or make you feel more under pressure than motivational, try focusing on making your strengths stronger. Instead of picking something you consider yourself to be bad at, pick something you enjoy doing or you use often, and ask yourself how you can make that even better.
Your goals shouldn’t just exist on a spreadsheet. They should be part of what fuels you when you put that mask down over your face. At club, every time you step onto the piste, if you have an idea of what you want to get out of the bout, then it is going to be time well spent.
Goals that are written down are more likely to be achieved. If you write them somewhere you can see them, you are more likely to hold yourself accountable to them. A notebook. Your guard. Your glove. Your water bottle. Any of these places could be that little bit of motivation for that one last bout, one last push, one more point at training or at competitions.
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