I thought it would be an interesting exercise to write a post in the form of guidance that I would provide to someone with goals similar to myself. I figure that I should follow the advice I’d give other people – so maybe I should right that down and follow it myself!
The first thing I’d do with the athlete would make them sit down put their goals down on paper – quantified in terms that are 100% in their control. Hopefully, they can limit their goals to 3 or 4 – much more than that and it will become difficult to wrap our heads around. A goal of “Win X race”, isn’t a good goal because you can’t control all the variables. For me, the best approach to that goal is to determine what it would take to accomplish that – and set that as your goal.
The second thing would be a self inventory – this is especially important if the athlete has an objective like winning a race or qualifying for Kona that we translated into a controllable goal. Questions I’d like answers to are
- What prevented you from accomplishing that goal or objective this past season?
- Why do you think this is a realistic goal for you next year?
- What do you think you will need to do to bridge the gap?
- What do you feel are your strengths?
- What do you feel are your weaknesses?
The third thing would be for me to answer those same questions from the coaches perspective.
Once that is done I’d spend some time and develop a strategy to help the athlete be prepared to achieve their goals. This would be a pretty high level plan – more concepts and less detail.
That’s the basic process I would follow, and it’s actually the hard part. The physical aspect of the training and planning is actually easy. What’s hard is the execution of the training, and honest self evaluation and accepting honest external evaluation.
Typically the things that will help us the most are the things we least want to hear.