Goal Setting Advice
I always took for granted goal setting in myself. I thought that everyone who wrestled had a specific goal in mind, something they were working towards. I have recently realized that is not always the case. At least the goals some people have are not ambitious enough.
When you set your goals, make sure it is a path that you really want to travel on. The first thing you should do with a good goal setting strategy is to set your ultimate goal. For example, if you are in high school and eventually want to be an Olympic champion, than that is your main goal. From there you will want to set yearly goals such as: place in the state, win states, get into a college that offers wrestling, win an NCAA title etc… Within each of those goals you might have sub-goals. Meaning if your goal is to win a state title, you’re going to have to win a lot of matches, and an auxiliary goal could be to set your school’s single season win record. One goal that I loved to try to achieve, although with little success, was to increase my win margin against everyone the second time we wrestled. I was always trying to widen the gap between myself and my opponents.
Now the great thing about goals is that they are useful, regardless of whether or not you accomplish them. Not reaching a goal can propel you into a new stratosphere of dedication and determination to reach your next one. My goal of winning a state title (after a few years) was used as motivation for me to win an NCAA title.
Any goal that is not accomplished, cannot be viewed as a failure. I made this mistake for a while with my state championship goal. Failed goals have to be used as another means of motivation. Tell yourself, you are just not where you want to be yet. You will get there in time.
Constantly update your goals as well. You are a changing person and your goal setting should reflect that. If you find you don’t have a goal in wrestling, you should evaluate why you are wrestling at all.
My Goal Setting
In my nearly ten-year career, there was only one season when I didn’t have a goal. It was my freshman year at Rhode Island College and it was my most miserable season. I was still bent out of shape from failing to accomplish my aim of a New Jersey state title and I had no college wrestling goal. It was then that I realized the impossibility to accomplish great things without a goal and proper goal setting. I go deeper into detail on these feelings in the high school wrestling post as well as in Wrestling with Your Destiny.
I am big on shooting for the sky with my goal setting. If I never made my goal to win an NCAA title, then I would never have won it.