When a new hockey season starts, players are often unsure of what their goals are, or they may have unrealistic goals, like making it to the pros when they’re still just children! Good coaches, however, understand that effective, realistic goal-setting is a great tool to set players up for success. For that reason, coaches should encourage and guide players in goal-setting at the beginning of each season.
Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
One key way to make goals more effective and more likely to be achieved is to apply some kind of time metric to them.
For example, it’s a good idea to have players choose a small goal they’d like to achieve within the season, a goal for the whole year, and a goal for a year or two down the road. That way, when they reach their short-term goal, building confidence in the process, they’ll have something else to immediately start working toward. Plus, this goal teaches them about how to set goals in increments and about how to think long-term, both very important skills for hockey and for life in general.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
After you’ve helped your players set their personal goals, let them know that it’s okay to ask for help and support as they work to reach those goals. In fact, explain to them that getting help and support will only increase their chances of reaching their goals.
Teaching players this will help to build team camaraderie as all of the players work together to support one another in their pursuit of their goals. What’s more is that players will often, in their help for each other, do things that benefit the team as a whole, so everybody wins!
Goal-setting is a powerful way to teach players how to strive for their personal best. What’s more is that, when done right, it can improve the entire team. So, start every season off right with a goal-setting session!