Every year we promise ourselves next year will be a better year, but at the end of the year we look back and ask ourselves, did we really change everything we said we would or achieve anything we said we want to do? I think sometimes we think it was a better year, when it really wasn’t, and other times we think it wasn’t when in reality a lot of good things may have happened that we did not even realize. That’s why it is so important to write about what you want to accomplish at the beginning of the year and review it at the end. Here are some keys to making sure this is your most successful year yet.
1. Pick Achievable Goals
If you are a coach and your team only won 1 game this past year, it is probably not too realistic to be dreaming of winning a Championship this year. Instead set a goal of getting to .500 or if you are feeling really optimistic, make a goal of having a winning season. If you’re a player and you sat the bench next year, than saying your goal to be a starter is great but don’t stop there, go one further and add the kind of statistics you realistically want to achieve in the upcoming season. Of course it should be everyone’s goal to look better than they ever did on the court and to have the best uniforms but that goes without saying…
2. Define your Goals
Just saying you want to have a winning season does not mean anything. You need to set up how you’re going to have a winning season by developing a step by step plan to make it happen. If you are a player and you want to get better at a certain aspect of your game, then come up with drills and a schedule that will improve the parts of your game that need it the most. When I was playing football in high school I needed to work on my explosiveness, so I set a time 3 days a week to run bleachers in the off season and the next season I went from platoon player to full time starter. It wouldn’t have happened though if I didn’t define how I was going to be a starter the next year and follow through with the plan.
3. Set a Schedule
Your goal will only be attainable when you make the small changes needed to reach that goal. you need to set a realistic schedule for yourself each week or you will be setting yourself up to fail. The schedule should be written down, just like your goal and the steps you will take to reach each goal. When I played basketball I would go out each day and shoot for 2 hours from different spots on the floor so that when game time came I would get to those spots and it would be automatic. My confidence went up and FG% skyrocketed. If you are a point guard than you should schedule a few hours a day out for just dribbling and making passes. If you are a Center than you should be under a basket going over the same post up moves repeatedly so your mind doesn’t have to think when game time comes. For Coaches, maybe a different off season program will be what your players need to get motivated and develop the skill to win more games or even a championship.
4. Don’t Be Upset by Setbacks
Two steps forward and one step back is usually how it goes. When things go wrong or if you are not improving as fast as you think you should that’s when you need to toughen your resolve and keep going; if changing for the better was easy everyone would do it. If you are determined this year to hit the curve ball but it’s just not happening you may want to take a deep breath, talk to another baseball player or coach and start again. You will get there eventually if you don’t lose hope! Just think, when other people are quitting because of their setback and you push through yours then you will be that much better than your competition next year.
5. Get Additional Help or Support
No man or woman can do it alone; Tiger woods has a hitting instructor, Peyton Manning has a QB coach and Bill Belichick has mentors that he talks to. If you want to be great at whatever you are doing you need help from other people and you need to continue to educate yourself by reading books. Even though my competitive playing days are over I still enjoy playing softball and I still need to get help when things go wrong, but as long as I stay humble I will continue to grow and get better at whatever I do.
Happy new year and may this year be your best year!
By: Todd Marinshaw