Goal Setting and Time Management

Goal Setting and Time Management for Your Student-Athlete
 
To succeed at anything, whether it is business, social, academic, or athletic in nature, goals have to be a big part of any plans for the future. Every level they are at, the student athlete needs to have goals to get to the next level. In middle school student athletes need to have goals on how to get to the high school level. In high school the same applies for the college bound person.  What sort of physical condition will be required? What sort of grades will I need? What will I need to do to play the position I love?
Goals motivate the mind. They allow us to set a long term plan in motion, deal with failure and setbacks along the way, and measure the successes. In the middle school years, when students are making more independent, important decisions about their life, is when a good goal setting routine will create lifelong habits of time management and achievement that will carry over to all areas of their lives.
 
The key to goal-setting is to use the SMART formula—goals should be:
Specific,
Measurable,
Attainable, and
Recorded over
Time
 
A student-athlete would be well served by creating a weekly written schedule based on their goals. Here are some basic steps:
 
Step 1: Determine all mandatory items, such as school hours, scheduled practices and games, appointments, and the like.
 
Step 2: Then they must set aside enough time for activities such as their homework, research/study time, upcoming projects, and papers. Be as specific as possible.
 
Step 3: With the remaining time fill in optional activities, such as additional practices, recreation, volunteer work, and time with friends, while always referring back to the SMART goals to make sure that he includes activities that match these goals. (Eventually, a student-athlete should also include time for researching colleges and attending sports camps). Be sure to include blocks for
Free time. 
 
A schedule should be a guide, not a burden. When preparing a schedule this way, an athlete needs to recognize that increased demands from their sport must be shifted from optional activities, not from schoolwork.
With the schedule in hand, parents and coaches can help monitor athletes, not only to make sure they are sticking to their schedule, but also to their schedule for accuracy and whether it is realistic. For example, if a they regularly cram on Sunday nights to complete assignments, then enough time for schoolwork was not blocked off during the week.
 
 Without goals, and a plan, student-athletes can easily be drawn off the course of their dreams. When players learn these methods of goal setting and time management the results can be astonishing. When the student–athlete sees the results happening they are encouraged to continue using the process. These lessons are invaluable to success, and happiness.

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