Five Steps and Two Challenges for Athletes to Reach Their Goals | STACK

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5 Steps and 2 Challenges for Athletes to Reach Their Goals

December 3, 2012 | Loren Fogelman

Make today the day you fully commit to your goals. The feeling in the pit of your stomach is compelling you to move in that direction. It's almost as if you can't say no. But what if you cannot maintain the feeling? Read on.

Your thoughts can easily distract you from focusing on your goals. They can hijack your enthusiasm for winning when you tune in to the downside, fearing the risk and vulnerability of stepping out of your comfort zone. We all feel anxious reaching for something new, daring and unknown. What distinguishes athletes geared for success is their response when such thoughts arise. They break the vicious cycle. Winning requires focusing your attention on your big vision, then taking action.

Here are some sport psychology tips to help you stay committed, even when it's tough.


You increase the odds for high performance when your values, thoughts and actions are aligned. When everything lines up, you gain confidence. It's powerful stuff.

But beware: doubts can cloud your vision. Negativity can drain your energy. Don't let that happen. Maintain your focus and your vision to win. (Become More Clutch by Training Your Sports Focus.)

Crystal Clear

Whatever you focus on will be reflected back to you. If you are looking for opportunities, you will find them. When you worry about problems, they will pop up and distract you. To stay focused on your big goals, be crystal clear about your reasons for going the distance.


Once you know your vision, you have two options: think about a problem or move toward a solution. As crazy as it sounds, your goal will be the same either way. Maintain positive focus on your big goal.

Here's a ninja trick: The most complicated problems usually have the simplest solutions. Look for the path of least resistance.

Challenge: At some point you'll be tested. That's when obstacles arise. Stick with your vision and continue moving toward your goal, one step at a time. That's the best way to get beyond the struggle.

The good news is that struggle usually leads to some type of breakthrough. Your perception sets the tone for how you respond to the challenge and the length of time you remain in a struggle.


This is one of my favorite maxims for success. Think it, see it and be it. Imagine yourself reaching your big goal. Feel the moment when you arrive. Then bring that emotion into your life now. Why wait? The process of bringing your vision to the present actually causes your brain to strengthen its "winning muscle."

There's a reason you're taking on such a big goal. I know it means hard work along the way. But the benefits of saying "yes" to your vision make the work worthwhile. A winning mindset is needed for high performance. It's a strategy used by the most successful athletes. It's time you put it into play, too. Making the decision to commit, then focusing on the end game gives you an edge over your competition.


As challenges arise along the way, maintain your focus on your big goal. Commitment means a "no excuses" mindset. The choice to commit changes your response to doubts and fears. It frees up your energy to focus on what matters most, going the full distance to your big goals. (Quiz Time: How Real Is Your Drive to Win?)

Challenge: Daydream and see yourself reaching your big goal. Be descriptive, adding lots of detail. Try to envision it as if it's happening right now, in the present moment. How would you practice and compete differently? Got it? Now show up with that winning mindset. Notice how your thoughts, feelings, perceptions and actions change as a result of living as if you've already won big.

(See also Reach Your Potential With Goal-Setting Techniques.)

Topics: GOALS
Loren Fogelman
- Loren Fogelman is author of "The Winning Point" and founder of Expert Sports Performance, a company devoted to teaching athletes around the globe how to...
Loren Fogelman
- Loren Fogelman is author of "The Winning Point" and founder of Expert Sports Performance, a company devoted to teaching athletes around the globe how to...
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