How to Set a Good Goal
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up somewhere else.”
Goals give you a destination and help you to point yourself toward it. As a cross country runner, you are always striving to improve on past performances. Goal setting is a great way to help you reach your potential as a runner and will help in all facets of your life. Goals will help you improve on a day-to-day basis as well as the season as a whole.
Let's start with the best way to set goals for yourself. Start with a look at the big picture, then narrow your gaze down to what you need to do every day to get there. Use the following questions to help guide your goal setting:
What do you want to accomplish in cross country before you graduate high school?
What do you want to accomplish during this cross country season?
What do you want to accomplish during each competition?
What do you want to accomplish during each week during practice?
What things are you going to improve on each day?
A great way to set goals that are attainable is by using the SMART goal setting method. Make sure that your goals are:
Specific: Know what you're going for
Measurable: something that you can keep track of (eg. times or miles ran)
Action oriented: something YOU can do
Realistic: hard but attainable
Timely: Set a deadline for your self
Here is a good story about a runner who set good goals and was able to accomplish them.
Michael was a runner who had a goal to run the mile in 4:30 by the end of the season. At the start of the season he was running it in 4:50. He looked at the competition schedule and saw that he would have 10 races during that season. With his ultimate goal to drop 20 seconds, he set a goal of dropping 2 seconds each race of the season. He wrote down his season goal on a large banner and hung it over his bed so that he would see it every morning and night. He wrote it on the inside of this locker and the outside of his school folder. He even set his watch alarm for 4:30 PM so that it would ring exactly 4:30 and he would be forced to look at his watch and see his goal. For several days before each race he would write down the specific goal for that race (4:48, 4:46, 4:44, etc.) and visualize himself running at that time.
With the help of his coaches, Michael was able to obliterate his goal of 4:30.00 by the end of the season, running a 4:28. By setting daily goals that helped him through the season, he was able to improve and see the big picture (for him running 4:30).
I know you all will have a great season if you set goals and work hard to attain your goals. If you have questions or need help making goals, let us coaches know. GO SILVERWOLVES!