PLAYER TIPS: The importance of planning for a successful season with the help of goalsetting

Brent Livermore achieved what many aspire to. But success came through giving attention to what others do not do or pay lip service to what is an important part of achieving success and that is personal goal setting. Like physical exercise do it right and you receive the benefits. Brent shares his approach to achieving success and the role of personal goal setting from a perspective of planning for a new hockey season.

BRENT: This is a personal question – it is important for all players to take a hard look at success. What are the underpinning factors to success?

The critical thing is that your personal behaviour must change, you must have to be triggered by a decision in you program and training that you will take control. This is not by doing the things that are your strengths, it is about purposeful training and goals.

  • Analyze
  • Review
  • Design and
  • Self Discipline – Consistent commitment and everyday improvement.

As an hockey player who is serious about his sport it is clearly not so easy to just be successful by thinking that all we have to do is wake up, do what the game day brings and think that’s going to lead us to success, in any area.  There needs to be some serious self appraisal then to act upon the outcomes. For example;  

  • It is a time to be honest with yourself. Ask yourself and ask others- How did I perform last year? Was it as effective as I planned or would have liked?

Write down your strengths and weaknesses

Write a List of 5 good things that resulted from your planning and implementation

Write a list of 5 things you believe is important to keep improving your performance

  • Review last year’s performances and build a foundation of goals for the new season-

What are your Goals (success) you would like to achieve this up and coming year?

What and who do I need to engage to gain support for these?

Improving Individual Skill Development – List 5 goals to start with

Physical Improvement – Fitness, Speed, Strength, Recovery, Injury Prevention –

Team Skills that you can add –

Mental Toughness and Obstacles you can add –

Nutritional requirements –

Life Balance – Other things that are important

NB: it is important to write your goals in terms that are specific (S), Measurable (M), Attainable (A), Realistic ( R) and are time bound (T)

  • Take the time to design and plan your detailed Program that will build upon your goals.

Design you sessions and turn up to every session with a detailed goal to work and improve your personal skill and performance outcomes as per your goal setting process.

Plan you week, and plan many different stages of the season prior to your key dates for performance.

Stay Positive –

When we turn on a computer it boots up instantly and ‘behaves’ in the ways it has been programmed to behave.  When we humans awake in the morning, we tend to ask ourselves how we ‘feel’.  Then, we often move quickly into interacting with the rest of the world … those we live with, the media, traffic, the weather, etc.  By doing those two things our behaviors are then affected by how we ‘feel’ when we awake and what our external surrounds bring to us … and the day is now partially in the hands of two things outside of our control, and that surely is unacceptable to anyone driven to succeed.  So, we must start our days by asking ‘What Must I Do?’ and never ‘How Do I Feel?’.  The answer to the first question can only lead to successful behaviors …. Get up early, exercise, do the difficult things that matter, do the high priority things, communicate effectively, eat properly, spend time with those we should, behave collaboratively, learn, etc.  The answer to the second question can lead to poor behaviours if we don’t ‘feel’ good.  If we want good outcomes, we have to do good things, no matter how we feel.

We must also proactively decide to do some things in the day that will make a positive difference.  “What must I do today to make it a success?”  And, do them no matter what.  The first 10 to 15 minutes of our day should be spent programming ourselves to do the very things that will cause the day to be successful.  It only takes that long and no one can say they don’t have that time at the start of each day … or if you don’t think you have, get up that bit earlier. Morning programming is essential to any day’s success!

  • Engage the self discipline to step up to the challenge and commit. Also learn implement the successful strategies or skills of others. 

Take the time to watch and learn from others. There are many resources that can support your visual learning and performance. It can motivate, drive, and stimulate you to succeed.

  • Ignore any ‘feelings’ that will prevent those behaviors.  It’s the last one that so often causes failure and the one that people struggle with most, often relying on “I’m only human”.

Think through how an athlete is trained for an upcoming event (and that’s not a silly way of looking at it).  The goals are set, the program is mapped out and then it is followed. It should only adapted if it should be according to progress.  You don’t see successful coaches and athletes not following the program because of any of the above human emotions or feelings – they’d fail if they gave in to those.

They push through.

…. so we should learn the lesson from the way elite sports people achieve their success. They do not veer from the required behaviours and program design according to how they feel! Step outside the comfort zone and step up to the challenge.

If we ‘give in’ to any our negative emotions we will not be successful!  I researched how many negative emotions a human being has and there were 28 listed under the letter ‘A’!  So, let me list just some, whilst you consider the impact any one of them can have on your own success in life:  Abandoned, Afraid, Bewildered, Bitter, Complacent, Contempt, Defensive, Dejected, Enraged, Envy, Foolish, Forced, Glum, Guilty, Hateful, Hurt, Insecure, Isolated, Jealous, Lonely, Lethargic, Manipulated, Negative, Neglected, Offended, Pessimistic, Powerless, Rebellious, Regret, Remorse, Sad, Scared, Shame, Shy, Stressed, Sulky, Tense, Tormented, Trapped, Uncertain, Unhappy, Victimised, Vulnerable, Wary, Weak, Worried, Wronged.

To acknowledge one’s negative emotions but still engage the necessary behaviours for success is “simple but difficult”.  There is clearly nothing complex about this but it’s difficult to do.  It’s the difficulty that so many people rely on as an excuse for their own lack of success – ‘easier said than done’ they say.  Of course it is … that’s why it’s called success!  Change the phrase to “simple AND difficult” … as your reminder that success is fundamentally simple … and we need to deal with its difficulty.  Live by “Do what works”.  Acknowledge the feeling and do what works!

Source: Brent Livermore OAM  

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