By Daniel Jahn
When it comes to physical preparation, most athletes don't know where to start or what direction to take. They go through the motions of training, but they're unfocused and rarely leave their comfort zones. If they want to get to the next level, however, their activities must be much more focused and intense.
I've found that setting goals for my athletes has really given them the direction they needed. If you have goals in mind, like playing your sport in college or professionally, you tend to organize your life so you can meet them. Here are six keys to meeting your expectations.
1 Write your goals down.Until you put them on paper, they're just ideas, and everybody has ideas. Once you write them down, you can start taking the necessary steps to reach them.
2 Put them where you can see them. Look at your goals every day when you wake up and before you go to bed.
3 Set long- and short-term goals. While tracking your progress from week to week, you should never lose sight of why you are working so hard in the first place.
4 Make your goals measurable. I hear a lot of athletes say, "I need to be better overall." How can you tell if you are better overall? For a volleyball player, the proof might involve something like landing 70 to 80 percent of your serves, making 14 kills per game or getting 78 percent of your digs. These things are actually measurable.
5 Do what is necessary to achieve your goals. If you can't find time in the day to develop your skills, such as passing a volleyball or dribbling a basketball, wake up earlier. You're competing against millions of athletes for that scholarship. Make the time.
6 Stay focused and keep your goals in mind with everything you do. If you lose concentration doing something simple, like jumping rope, you're going to lose concentration in a match or by the ninth inning of a game.
Daniel Jahn, strength and conditioning coach for the National Champion University of Washington volleyball team, is a member of the EndZone Athletics training staff.
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