How Off-Season Goals Can Boost a Young Athlete's Game

If your season has recently ended, now is the time to focus on the off-season and how you will both improve and prepare for next season.

Let's face it; it's easy to lose your commitment after the season is complete. I know that many athletes enjoy competition more than practice.

For them, practicing in the off-season can seem like a chore without the reward of competition. But, what you do in the off-season can help you be more prepared than your competitors when the new season starts.

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Get Your Head in the Game

Not only is the off-season a good time to work on your fitness or technique, but it's also a good time to tune up your mental game. After the end of a long season, you want to re-evaluate your goals and develop a plan to improve both mental and physical skills.

Goal setting is an important part of the off-season because it focuses your attention on what you want to accomplish. However, goals alone are not effective without the commitment and desire to achieve those goals. I help my students set goals but, more importantly, I help them develop the daily tasks that help achieve those goals.

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What's in a Goal?

There is a huge difference between goal setting and "goal getting." What objectives do you want to accomplish? Get specific with these objectives.

For example, instead of saying "I want to improve my strength in the off-season," set a specific and realistic weight you want to be able to lift in the deadlift for example.

Setting goals in sports is important for the following reasons:

?    To enhance motivation and commitment.
?    To help you stay focused on what to accomplish.
?    To help you focus on the process and in the now.
?    To assess strengths and weaknesses so you can structure practice accordingly.
?    To keep track of performance improvements and progress.

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About the Author

Dr. Patrick Cohn

Dr. Patrick Cohn is a leading mental game expert. Visit to pick up his free eBook, "10 'Costly' Mental Game Mistakes Athletes Make Before Competition".

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