Basketball Mental Skills Article

Setting Goals the SMART Way

Focus Like A Champion
A Page from Dr. D. Coffey’s Mental Performance Playbook

In athletics, everyone strives to be the best.

No matter the sport, no matter the athlete, everyone wants to be the best athlete out there. Endeavoring to be the best motivates athletes; however, setting effective goals will get you there. Having the bar set high is important, but setting realistic goals to meet them is more important.

Setting goals and following through with them is the only way to become a champion. Goal setting allows athletes to work much harder than anyone else because they are dedicated to reaching their goals. Without goals, it is nearly impossible to achieve success; athletes have nothing to strive for.

Setting goals and reaching them is how champions are born. Goals are not met overnight— achieving goals takes time. You get better by setting small goals and working toward the ultimate goal. Over time, however, the small goals add up, and hard work pays off.

In terms of setting goals, they have to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-related. Your time and effort may be wasted if achieving your goal does not follow this formation or a similar format.

Setting goals helps the athlete stay focused on what they want to achieve. When the going gets tough, athletes might not want to work as hard because they feel things are not improving despite their efforts. Having a well-established goal with a plan will give you the motivation you need to stay focused and push through the pain and frustration.

To set an effective goal, athletes must remember that the goal must be possible but not easy. The goal itself should be challenging enough that achieving it takes time, yet simple enough to the point where it is physically possible to achieve.

Effective goal setting must fit five characteristics; the acronym for them is SMART.

For goal setting to be effective, the goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-related.

Athletes must know precisely what they are working for and how much better they want to get. In terms of achieving goals, the goals must be realistic depending on athletic ability. Of course, time is of concern, as athletes must set landmark dates when they want to reach specific points of the goal.

Working hard to achieve goals is challenging and rewarding for athletes, no matter what sport or level. Focusing like a champion is the only way to become a champion, and there is no substitute for hard work and determination. Without those two aspects, it is impossible to reach your goals.


On a sheet of paper, write down all of your goals. Start with the goal you want to work on first and create a SMART plan. Do this for all of your goals you wrote down.

All The Best!
Dr. Delice Coffey
Psychologist & Mental Game Coach

IG – instagram.com/drdcoffey FB- facebook.com/drdcoffey
Website – MindsetSportsPsychology.com
YouTube – YouTube.com/c/DrDeliceCoffey
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