Athletes thrive on the challenges they face, and setting the right goals is an important part of success. It’s a practice that requires strategy, and the SMART approach is one of the most recommended. Whether your child is interested in recreational sports, wrestling, or general fitness, encourage them to understand and adopt SMART strategies. Here’s what you need to know about this acronym and why they’re the key to success.
S is for specific. All goals need to be detailed. For example, instead of wanting to win a game, tell your little one to set a goal of getting three base hits in baseball, scoring 20 points in a basketball game, or performing two takedowns during a wrestling match.
M is for measurable. The goal should be a simple, easy-to-track metric. For example, have your youngster strive for 10 wins in a season, 30 assists, or 15 three-pointers.
A is for attainable. If your child is resuming a recreational sport following an injury, setting a goal to return to top performance with only half a season left will be difficult to achieve. Instead, establish sub-goals that are easier for them to fulfill.
R is for realistic. For example, it’s unrealistic for a teen to suddenly bench press 80 pounds. Instead, tell your child to increase their number of reps so that they can break their overall press record by one pound at the end of the season.
T is for timely: Set a time frame for the goal to keep your youngster motivated. Depending on the goal, it can be achieved weekly, monthly, or yearly.
What Are the Benefits?
Achieving goals keeps kids interested in recreational sports, and they’ll enjoy a sense of fulfillment so that they stay motivated. Unrealistic or lofty ideals can be counterproductive; if the athlete doesn’t achieve them, they may become discouraged and quit. Using the SMART acronym also ensures that there are minor victories on the way to the main goal.
To start, sit down with your child and ask them to list their strengths and weaknesses in their recreational sport. Then, list long-term goals, such as winning a state championship, and move down to what they should to achieve that week. This will create a SMART plan to help them excel.
If your child is looking for a recreational sport to enjoy, contact the Hawaii Wrestling Academy in Pearl City. The coaches at this Christian-based facility are USA Wrestling-certified and have over 30 years of experience. View their practice schedule online, or call (808) 381-3048 to inquire about enrollment.