How to Set Goals and Make Plans that Will Lead to a Winning Season

December 27, 2021

Are you a coach who is looking for a way to set goals and make plans to have a winning season for your athletes? Are you a parent interested in helping your child build a strong season in their sport? Do you work with an athlete in some way and want to help them be at their best?

I’ve been an athlete, a coach, and a parent, and I want to help.

Maybe you’re not great at keeping a planner or writing out your goals. Or you want a way to combine team goals and an athlete’s individual goals to help keep them accountable. Maybe you just need an all-in-one system for making a plan and keeping goals that won’t become confusing and overwhelming as the season goes on. 

Sometimes it’s nice to have a clear roadmap for success

I’ve been where you’ve been. Not only are teams more empowered throughout the season, they also win championships.

Why is Goal Setting and Planning Important?

Anyone who has been around organized sports will tell you that winning seasons don’t just happen. You have to make them happen. It’s not enough to show up to practices and games. You have to dial your team in. Pinpoint strengths and weaknesses. You have to mesh personalities. Keep everyone healthy. You have to succeed on and off the court. 

Whether you’re a coach, athlete, parent, or another professional working with athletes, it’s important to have a system in place that will make you better. If you don’t, you won’t win. You won’t get better. You won’t reach your potential. And that’s why goal setting and having a planner is important.

Here are some perks to writing out your goals:

  • Accountability: It’s not enough to think about your goals, you have to write them down. This will help everyone, coaches and athletes, stay accountable for their goals and how they plan to get there. 
  • Tracking: It’s hard to know what’s working and what isn’t if you don’t keep track of your goals. Writing things down in a planner will enable you to track each day, week, month, and season for future reference.
  • Success: You’re more likely to reach your goals if you write them down. That’s a fact. Writing things down will get you closer to success because it’ll force you to be clear, realistic, and motivated. 

It’s the difference between saying, “I want to learn a new language,” and buying the books, scheduling the classes, and making time to practice. Anyone can say they want a winning season, it’s a whole other thing to make a plan for how you’re going to get there. 

How I Set Goals and Make Plans for My Team

I’m a coach’s kid who grew up running on a scuffed gym floor in Wyoming — the child of a volleyball coach. I was a multisport athlete in high school, and went on to play volleyball in college.

I feel competition in my blood. Game nights at my house are not for the faint of heart! As an athlete, coach, parent, and the child of a coach, I’ve seen every different kind of season you can see — good and bad. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t when it comes to a game plan for a winning season.

I’m now a mom of three girls, volleyball club director, PN1 nutrition coach, and I’m currently starting a varsity volleyball program from the ground up, so most of my spare time is spent in the gym with teenage girls. While many people feel intimidated or overwhelmed with the idea of working with teenage girls, I absolutely love it. The personalities, the attitudes, the drive… everything.

I go into each season with an ironclad plan — open to flexibility and curveballs, of course. I have team goals, goals for each player, and goals for me as the coach. There are season plans, monthly plans, weekly plans, and daily check-ins. I involve my players so they are accountable for their own goals. There are health and fitness in these goals, using the information from The Fueled Athlete and implementing my Pow(HER) Method

The key is involving each player in my planning, so that each one of us knows our role in leading to a winning season. 

How to Set Your Own Goals

Whether you’re an athlete, coach, or parent, there are things you can do to ensure success when it comes to any given sport. It’s all about setting your own goals, working every day to get there, and tracking your progress. You’ll need to take in the small details and the big picture at the same time.

Here’s What You Need:

  • Be realistic: You can absolutely reach for the stars when it comes to your goals, but it’s important to be realistic on your way there. Why? Because mindset plays a big part in your success. If your goals aren’t attainable and you’re not getting little wins along the way, it’s hard to keep momentum. So start smaller and work your way up. 
  • Write things down: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again! You need a planner (find my Winning Season Planner HERE). Write down your plans for each day, week, month, and season. Keep track of what worked and what didn’t. Write down your thoughts, inspiration, and struggles. This is the key to setting your own goals. 
  • Keep checking in: Don’t make a plan and then never sway from it. Make a habit of checking in on that plan in your planner to see if it’s working so that you can make changes if it isn’t. This is key in terms of troubleshooting during the season.

The key to setting your own goals and making your own plans that will lead to a winning season is to make a plan and keep it fluid. It’s the delicate balance between having structure but keeping some wiggle room.

But my BIGGEST TIP in goal setting with success, is including health and fitness goals within your planning.

Three Common Misconceptions:

Coaches, parents, and athletes alike all tend to focus on one thing when I talk about setting goals and making plans to reach a winning season: the sport. I mean it is the main idea here, right? To win the sport. But it’s just as important to focus on all the things within the layers of the sport. Those things include food, sleep, movement, menstrual cycles, mindset, recovery, teamwork, etc. 

It’s not just about practice and games. It’s about everything else, too. It can be hard to add those details into your planning, but I promise it’s a game changer! 

Here are three common misconceptions about including health, fitness, and mindset goals in your goal setting and planning each season:

  1. Health and fitness goals can be problematic: True! They can. But in my book Fueling the Female Athlete, I talk about building strong and confident female athletes in a positive and compassionate way without shaming them or making them feel bad. It’s about helping them feel fueled and strong. 
  1. These extras are up to the athlete to worry about: If you’re a parent or a coach, you know we have a responsibility to our athletes to help them be at their best. Part of that is helping them stay safe and healthy while they are under our care. Health, fitness, and mindset is important because they will have fewer injuries, they will play better, and they are more likely to reach their goals. 
  1. These things don’t matter as much: Wrong. Learning technique, plays, and instinct is highly important, but so is fueling the body and mind. Everything you teach them will be for nothing if they aren’t healthy enough to absorb it. 

There are plenty of misconceptions when it comes to planning a winning season. One of them is that the health of each player — both mentally and physically — is a secondary worry. But adding these elements into your goal setting will absolutely set you apart from every other team.

My Top Tips

I love making plans and setting goals for myself, for my girls, and for the athletes I coach. I love seeing things come together as much as I love troubleshooting things that don’t work out. It’s all a puzzle that I know I can solve due to meticulous tracking in my planning process. Mostly, I’m highly competitive! And this process makes me better.

My top tips for setting goals and making plans are:

  1. Teach accountability: Athletes are an important aspect in the goal setting and planning process, and can have control over their own cog in the clock. Involve them with their own planner and goal setting. Let them be responsible in reporting their own piece to you so they are accountable for their place in the team and how it’s affecting the overall goals. 
  1. Be willing to pivot: If you realize you need more practices each week, more team building time, more time in the gym, or more talks about high-protein food, be willing to change your plans and pivot to make those things happen. You have to be willing to pivot your goals and plans based on the data if things aren’t working.
  1. Celebrate your wins: This is a big one! If you and your athletes don’t celebrate your wins when things go well, you’re missing out on so much momentum! Hard work deserves a pat on the back. Even the small wins! Celebrate any time you can so that you and your athletes get the praise you deserve for staying on the right track. 

I could probably write 100 more tips here, but these are the big ones. Accountability, the willingness to pivot, and celebrating wins are all paramount in reaching a willing season through setting goals and making plans. 

Ready to Set Goals and Create Plans for Your Winning Season?

Right now you may be feeling sort of lost on where to start. 

How do I start planning? What do I write down?

Don’t worry, I got you!

My Winning Season Planner has all of this information and more!

It Includes:

  • Team goals worksheet
  • Individual goals worksheet
  • Daily, weekly, and monthly planning pages
  • Daily health, fitness, and mindset check-in
  • A menstrual cycle tracker
  • Check-in sheets
  • And more!

It’s easy-to-use, printable, and customizable! You can print off as many as you need for each player. PLUS, it’s something you can use year after year to have the BEST chance at a winning season!

It’s an approved system that I really use as an athlete, parent, and coach. 

Whether you’re a parent, coach, athlete, or someone who works with athletes in some way, I know this planner will help. I know because I’ve been there. 

It’s time to finally have a system for planning and goal setting that really works. Gone are the days of having goal sheets scattered all over or forgotten about. No more bad practices or competitions due to consistent under-eating, under-sleeping and under-hydrating. When we know better, we do better.

It’s time to reach your winning season!

P.S. Find ALL of my programs for female athletes HERE!

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