As you have probably read or listened, the past couple of weeks I’ve shared a lot of strategies, suggestions, and tips for coaches and throwers when thinking about goals and the goal-setting process. A central tenet of this process is establishing open lines of communication in sharing expectations with athletes, and in turn athletes sharing their expectations for themselves and their teammates. Taking everything into consideration, a lot of this can be summed up with one word.
Over the summer I shared a lot of thoughts about the importance of journaling and how keeping notes on training and throwing would serve as the ultimate accountability partner. Taking the time to journal and write really causes someone to be reflective and think about what they want to accomplish.
To accomplish this one needs to think about where they came from, where they currently are, and where they want to go.
It might seem more difficult than it actually sounds, but broken down into small segments one can be honest with themselves about where they currently are and where they want to go. Much of this comes from where they were.
An example might look like this. Let’s say we have a senior thrower on our team. As a junior they ranked in the top 50 nationally in the discus and competed in their last chance qualifier meet in both the discus and hammer. Removing those that graduated, they return as a senior with a top 35 ranked discus throw and top 60 in the hammer. Their aspirations for their senior year are to become an All-American in both the discus and hammer.
They came off a relatively successful junior campaign in which they improved their best discus mark by 6m, while also improving their hammer mark by 8m. They made significant improvement from their sophomore year (COVID year) to their junior year (still under COVID restrictions, no indoor season). The 2021-22 season will seem to allow more opportunity to throw with fewer travel and competitive restrictions in the North East.
Our current (November, 2021) indicators suggest that this thrower is on a positive trajectory towards accomplishing their two goals for the season. Earlier in the fall this thrower hit discus marks over 50m in training, which lets us know that his aspiration of getting to nationals and earning an All-American award is fairly realistic. To qualify for nationals, one needs to finish the season ranked in the top 24 in their respective event. Hitting a mark to get there is obviously the first step, but what happens once at nationals is a completely different story. One of which is better told for another series of articles.
To be continued in a future blog post…
Dr. Charles Infurna
Charles Infurna, Ed.D., is the owner and lead coach of Forza Athletics Track Club. Dr. Infurna has coached National Record Holders, National Champions, All-Americans, and Conference Champions at the Post-Collegiate, Collegiate, and High School level.