April 23, 2017

Goal setting and the Flow Sate. By Iain Highfield, World Junior Golf Advisory Board.

Goal setting and the Flow Sate. By Iain Highfield, World Junior Golf Advisory Board.

A Goal setting task that help students feel accomplished, happy and closer to their dreams.

A large number of students I work with have big dreams, in fact some of the students I have come into contact with in my time at IJGA and Bishops Gate Golf Academy have dreams that would be better classed as astronomical. I think this can be a great thing as long as their effort and actions are astronomical and align with their goals.

But goal setting (A process that helps a person understand where they currently are and creates the correct motivation, effort and mindset to assist them in getting to where they want to be.) goes deeper than just writing down or merely stating what we want to happen in the future. For goal setting to truly be an affective exercise students have to engage with the process daily and create habits that can make these astronomical goals feel closer.

A great way of doing this is for students to set bite size daily goals that are 100% in their control. Research suggests not only is this an effective way of becoming task orientated, but it can also fuel creativity and a sense of accomplishment, all of these factors can be linked to the ‘flow state’, a state that every junior golfer should be working towards both on and off the golf course. (Mihaly Csikszentmihali, the founding farther of the ‘flow state’ explains this further in his heavily researched book entitled ‘Flow’.)

As well as research there is a common sense element to this task that I often present to students and its this simple, if they can not complete 10 simple tasks that are 100% in their control today, what chance do they have of reaching their astronomical goals of tomorrow?

I also remind students that the idea of ‘training’ is to create positive ‘habits’ that will help them on their journey from a student athlete to wherever their dreams desire. Therefore they must not see ‘goal setting ‘as just a tick box exercise but view ‘goal achieving’ as a habit they are trying to train.

This practical exercise of setting mini daily goals in a attempt to fuel the habit of ‘goal achievement’ can come at a price a price. This price, a high initial failure rate!

But this should not deter coaches and parents from actioning this task, it should actually drive you toward attempting it with your child or student as the moment the student fails to write down 10 mini goals before they go to bed, or admit they have not checked anything off their list today it presents a coaching moment.  And this is the moment that could help them redefine the way they see goal setting and begin to create habits that help them feel accomplished on a daily basis.

daily goals

Here is one of the better lists I have received from a student.

I love this list because every goal is 100% controllable, each one gives a sense of accomplishment on completion, the tasks are life and golf focused. I also really like the way this student has combined the habit of daily achievement and visualizing their overall lifetime goal.

The bite size goal setting challenge is not only research based, stretches the students comfort zone and encourages coachable moments, but perhaps most importantly it enables the student, when their head hits the pillow at night to know they have taken another tiny step toward their life time goal.

 

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