Coaching Association of Canada

Goal-Setting in 6 Easy Steps

Goals are statements of what an athlete or team wants to accomplish. They provide both a sense of purpose and a sense of direction to training and competition. Use this 6-step process to set seasonal and/or annual goals and to develop a road map for success for your athletes.

  • 1. Establish the importance or meaning of the individual or team experience  

    Question: What does it mean to be a part of this team or this group?

    Rationale: A mutual awareness of the relevance of the team experience may increase cohesion and commitment.

  • 2. Idenitfy areas that need work 

    Question: What evidence is there that we need to work on X and Y?

    It is important to identify whether goals are related to ongoing behaviours of team or members or to outcomes, such as championships.

  • 3. Specify goals for the season/year 

    Question: What exactly do we want to achieve this year?

    Rationale: Specifying and recording goals and signing off on them is a public record of team commitment.

  • 4. Determine the criteria for success

    Question: How will we know we have achieved our goals?

    Rationale: Establishing clear criteria for success is important. It allows team members to self-monitor and to recognize whether goals are being met.

  • 5. Develop a road map for success 

    Question: What behaviours/actions are necessary for us to achieve these goals?

    Knowing where you want to be is only one part of the puzzle. Establishing a road map for success is critical to setting and achieving goals.

  • 6. Devlop a monitoring and evaluation process

    Questions: How will we know…

    - We’re on track?
    - We’re achieving our goals?
    - If we need to adjust our goals?

    Rationale: Establishing a way of monitoring and evaluating progress is critical for motivating athletes and for adjusting goals when necessary.

For more information on Effective Goal Setting? Consider the Basical Mental Skills module, part of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) multi-sport modules series available through your Provincial or Territorial Coaching Representative