How to Create the Perfect Goals for Improvement
Creating goals that follow the SMART criteria will ensure that your goals are directed and achievable. Here we will look at what SMART stands for and how to apply it to your own surfing aspirations.
Your goals should be outlined specifically. This should include what it is you want to accomplish – for example “ I want to correct my bottom turn to get more vertical on both my forehand and backhand by the end of the season.” Be direct with what it is exactly that you want to achieve, not simply “to get better.”
How will you evaluate the progress you have made? In surfing your performance goals will have repercussions if achieved. For example, if somebody is working on creating speed they will find that if achieved, they will be making more sections and probably have more power in their turns. This can be evaluated by both feel from the surfer and video analysis, not just simply, “I feel faster.” Notice what your goal is, and pick up on how your progression is aiding your performance
Whilst it is good to push ourselves, it is important that we have goals that fit with what you call your “optimal arousal level.” In short, this refers to your motivation to achieve your goals matched against the difficulty of the task at hand. If the task is too easy, the surfer will not be motivated to work on it as they deem it irrelevant. If the task is too difficult the surfer will fail to see results, this demotivating the surfer. The trick here is to create goals that are both challenging, but not unrealistic.
Make sure you double check that your goals match the overall vision you have for yourself. This is just a safety guard to keep you on track. Ensure that your specific goal is what you really want to work on. If you want to work on becoming more vertical, ensure that the work you do will actually be helping you. Figure out exactly what is needed to improve. A good way to get advice on this is to get video coached.
Set a time so that you are under a little bit of pressure to achieve your goals. Again, ensure that this time is realistic and not far too ambitious. For example, “I want to be able to consistently land floaters by the end of December.”
Though goal setting is an extremely useful tool…
To help keep you motivated, track success and move forward, it should also be noted that if you do not achieve your goals straight away it is not to say that you never will. Be kind to yourself if things aren’t going as planned and remember that persistence is the greatest habit for anyone wanting to achieve goals. Keep going, keep smiling and keep on enjoying surfing for the feeling it gives to you.