Thursday, January 20, 2022

Long Term Goals

Coach Wayne’s Corner

Photo by Wayne Clark

Once again, welcome back to my ongoing series of columns on goal setting. If you have been following my column for the last couple of months, then you already know that I have been focusing on short, mid term and now finally setting our long term goal.

Long term goals should have a time frame, which will take months to possibly a year to accomplish.

While there are several choices we could make, I have chosen moving up to the next level of competition as our long term goal.

Hopefully, at this point in time, because we are now practicing and drilling on a regular basis, and we are now applying all of our short and mid term goals to our daily play, we are now more consistent and confident in our abilities. We are also now winning more points and more games and we are ready to move up to the next level of competition.

The first reality/fact we must accept is to not be afraid or ashamed of losing! We are now competing at a higher level of play, against more experienced players. Do not expect to be winning as much as you did when you played in a lower level of competition.

I call it the “school of hard knocks.”

We must crawl before we walk, and we must walk before we run.

We should not initially be putting our immediate focus on how many games we are winning, but how are we handling the more advanced strategies and shot making capabilities of our opponents. 

Even if we are not winning, for now, let’s be proud of our little victories, such as, how many times did we create a situation which made our opponents make a forced error; how many winner/put away shot opportunities did we create and successfully win the point with; how many times did our partner or our opponents compliment us on a nice shot.

However, we did not move up to the next level of competition and be able to refer to ourselves as such a player, if we are not winning games!

Remember, this is a long term goal and the ultimate success of conquering and achieving this goal may take several months.

This gets us back to blending short, mid and long term goals together as one.

Our short term goal bar of accomplishment may be something like, say, after a few weeks of playing in our new higher level of competition, we are finding more players asking us to partner up with them.

Our mid term goal challenge bar of accomplishment may be that we find that we are successfully applying and executing specific strategies against different players for specific reasons.

And the ultimate successful completion of our long term goal is achieving and maintaining an ongoing winning percentage of our regular daily play in our higher level of competition.

I have always been a real X’s and O’s guy, and the cold hard fact is, numbers don’t lie!

Keep a daily dairy of your wins and losses, do the math and track your percentages. Total your results on a weekly and monthly basis. Whatever the numbers are, our goal is to have an ongoing gradual increase in our winning percentage.

So, continue playing, continue drilling and practicing, continue challenging yourself, continue rewarding yourself, and most importantly, keep having fun!


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