Saturday, January 29, 2022

Goal Setting

Coach Wayne’s Corner

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions, which unfortunately, we too often never follow through with because we tend to over challenge ourselves with one big expectation of success.

Because of this fact, I prefer goal setting.

Proper and successful goal setting requires a combination of short term, mid term and long term goals. We need the expectations of these goals to challenge and complement one another. The process of proper goal setting also requires that the goals we set, while being challenging, must be able to be accomplished within the expected timeframes.

Goal setting can be applied to all aspects of our lives, such as health, finances, career advancement and even personal relationships. However, today I am going to focus on goal setting for pickleball.

Due to the editorial staff’s limited available space for all of the great contributors who write for the Coastal Breeze, I am going to divide this up into multiple, separate columns. Each will cover specifics and define what to expect as a successful result from the three individual range of goals and ultimately tie them all together.

In this column I will define each of these three ranges and follow up with the specifics of each in future columns.

Now that we have defined our mission, let’s get started.

Short term goals should have a time frame which will take days to weeks to accomplish. Short term goals could consist of challenges such as improving our consistency and lowering our percentages of unforced errors.

Mid term goals should have a time frame which will take weeks to months to accomplish. Mid term goals could consist of challenges such as improving specific strokes and utilizing more advanced shots and strategies.

Long term goals should have a time frame which will take months to possibly a couple of years to accomplish. Long term goals could consist of challenges such as moving up to the next level of competition.

Once we have defined and set the parameters of these goals, it is important to schedule specific and regular times in which to address them. We don’t need to be militarily regimented in this schedule, but we need to be devoted and adhere to it.

Also, this schedule can be adjusted and fine tuned to adapt to any changes which may occur in your life, such as a change in your work schedule, travel or even injury or illness.

This schedule could include a private lesson or drill clinic on a weekly basis and/or finding a regular practice partner/partners to drill with on specific days, at specific times, as well as making sure we actively participate in competitive play on a regular basis.

We also need to set what I refer to as a “bar of accomplishment,” and when we reach that bar, we should reward ourselves with something, like maybe a new outfit or celebrate with our practice partners by going out to lunch or dinner together.

The short term goals should be changed as they are accomplished.

This is where the expectations of our goals to challenge and complement one another comes into play. As we successfully accomplish and complete our short term goals, we blend them into our mid term goals, and as we accomplish our mid term goals, we blend both into our long term goal and we have now (with a lot of dedication and hard work) successfully accomplished our range of goals.

In my next column, I will discuss the expectations, parameters and results of short term goals.

Wayne Clark is a professional tennis instructor with over 25 years experience coaching players on all levels of the game. Wayne is also qualified in pickleball instruction and is on staff as an instructor with The Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida at East Naples Community Park. Contact Coach Wayne by email at, or by phone or text at 239-450-6161

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