Setting goals in basketball: How to set and achieve your targets
"Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now" - Alan Lakein
Setting goals is a critical part of any player's success, yet it is often overlooked.
No matter what level you play basketball at, setting goals is an important part of improving and becoming the best player you can be.
But how do you go about setting goals? And once you have set them, how do you make sure that you achieve them?
In this post, we will look at some tips for goal setting in basketball, as well as some advice on how to make sure you reach your targets.
The importance of setting goals in basketball
Whether you're a professional player or just starting out in your basketball career, setting goals is essential to success. By having specific targets to aim for, you can stay motivated and improve your game more effectively.
But what makes a good goal?
A good goal should be BIG and SPECIFIC.
BIG because I want you to challenge yourself and reach outside of your comfort zone. As Tim Grover said, "I want you to set unrealistic goals and expect to achieve them".
Of course, you should understand that certain things take time. There should be a real reason for these "unrealistic" goals, not just some hope. I'll go deeper into how to make sure you stay on track of achieving these near the end of the post.
A good goal is also SPECIFIC because, at the end of the day, we want to measure it. We need to have some anchor data on whether we came closer to achieving this goal or not.
For example, instead of simply saying "I want to get better at shooting," try setting a goal like "I want to make 50% of my shots from the three-point line (in games)".
How to go about setting goals
There are a few different ways that you can go about setting goals in basketball.
Perhaps the most important thing is to first figure out what kind of player you want to be. Are you looking to become a star scorer? A defensive specialist? Knowing what role you want to play will help give you an idea of what statistical goals to set for yourself.
Once you have an understanding of the type of player you want to be, it's time to start thinking about specific numbers. How many points do you want to average per game? What do you want your shooting percentage to look like?
If you want to dive deeper and understand what you need to work on as a player, check out this post below:
When it comes to actually setting your targets there's a really great approach I learned from the book "The One Thing" by Gary Keller. It's called goal setting to the now.
Basically, it works like a chain of dominos (goals) from right now, all the way to that one huge goal we want to reach someday.
As you see, each one of them has a deadline - the specific time period assigned to it.
Here's how you can think about it (READ ME)
"Based on my someday goal, what's the ONE Thing I can do in the next five years to be on track to achieve it?
Now, based on my five-year goal, what's the ONE Thing I can do this year to be on track to achieve my five-year goal so that I'm on track to achieve my someday goal?
Now, based on my goal this year, what's the ONE Thing I can do this month so I'm on track to achieve my goals this year, so I'm on track to achieve my five-year goal, so I'm on track to achieve my someday goal?
Now, based on my goal this month, what's the ONE Thing I can do this week so I'm on track to achieve my goal this month, so I'm on track to achieve my goal this year, so I'm on track to achieve my five-year goal, so I'm on track to achieve my someday goal?
Now, based on my goal this week, what's the ONE Thing I can do today so I'm on track to achieve my goal this week, so I'm on track to achieve my goal this month, so I'm on track to achieve my goal this year, so I'm on track to achieve my five-year goal, so I'm on track to reach my someday goal?
So, based on my goal today, what's the ONE Thing I can do right NOW so I'm on track to achieve my goal today, so I'm on track to achieve my goal this week, so I'm on track to achieve my goal this month, so I'm on track to achieve my goal this year, so I'm on track to achieve my five-year goal, so I'm on track to achieve my someday goal?" - Gary Keller, Jay Papasan
If you skipped the text in the box above, go back and read it sentence by sentence! Why? This way, you train your mind to align your goals one by one all the way to your mission.
Tips for ensuring you reach your targets
When it comes to playing basketball, setting goals is essential for helping you improve as a player. But simply having goals isn't enough - you need to make sure you're taking the right steps to reach them.
Here are some tips for ensuring that your goal-setting leads to real results on the court:
- Review them regularly. I personally do this every morning, but you can do it whenever you want, just make sure, you do it at least once a week!
- Track your progress. You can claim a training journal by clicking here!
- Have someone hold you accountable. Tell your friends about your goals and ask them to tell you when you're actions don't align with your goals.
- Focus on one goal at a time. As you've read, it's called someday (or whatever time period) goal, not goals. If you want to achieve something big, something others will call impossible, it's important that you give it 98% of your time and attention!
It is impossible, unless...
Remember me talking about reaching "unrealistic" goals?
When you set a goal, what do you feel? Do you feel like you can reach it easily or do you think "Uhh... this is going to be tough"?
If the latter is the case, great. Now, I still want you to stretch it all the way to the point where you think "Nah... This is (almost) impossible". And then, ask yourself the question, "It is impossible, unless...?". This way your brain will automatically start thinking of ways to reach that goal.
Now, please don't be like most people that set unrealistic goals and then just hope to reach them. Act on them, seriously expect to achieve them by the time deadline you've set!
Remember, when you're faced with a problem, don't just give up and say you can't do it. Ask yourself, how you can solve this problem.
- Setting goals is a critical part of any player's success.
- Think BIG and SPECIFIC.
- Align your goals to that one thing you want to achieve someday - "Goal Setting to The Now"
- When you're faced with a problem, don't just give up and say you can't do it. Ask yourself, how you can solve this problem.
If you have any questions/suggestions or just want to talk hoops, don't hesitate to reach out!
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Until next time!