Back to Back Issues Page
Finish First Insider, Issue #67
July 27, 2009
Welcome Back

Please enjoy another issue packed with evidence-based information about sports performance training and news about current events at Finish First Sports Performance. If you find value in this e-newsletter, please forward this message to your teammates, coaches, or other parents of hard working athletes.

Goal Setting Tips for Coachs and Athletes

By Coach J. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Every new athlete at Finish First Sports Performance is required to complete a questionnaire which includes an exercise where he/she must list a few athletic and life goals. I must admit, that although I have not done as much with goal setting as I would like to, the point of this activity is to at least get the athlete thinking about setting goals and understanding that he/she will be held accountable for what is written on the paper that is submitted to me. I give each athlete as much time as they need to think about the goals they will write down, and offer questions that would help them think about what their goals really are. I explain to them that these goals will give them a “why” they are doing this. I inform them that as they progress, the workouts will get harder, and if the “why” is not strong enough, or they are not committed to their “why,” they will most likely throw in the towel. I explain that I am not looking for athletes that will throw in the towel, and neither is their coach, or any of their teammates.

As a student of performance sciences, I have been fortunate enough to study goal setting and its relationship within the realm of sports psychology. I am fascinated with the potential power that the goal setting process holds. Setting goals provides purpose, direction, and a way to measure progress for each athlete. Goals provide benchmarks of progress that can help boost confidence, ensure a higher sense of achievement and self-worth, and further motivate the athlete towards future goals.

Too many coaches don’t fully understand the goal setting process, how to correctly set goals, how to get athlete commitment, or how to motivate each athlete towards attainment. As a parent, I also think that it is important that we help our children with the goal setting process as it will help them in other aspects of life. I am a firm believer in setting personal goals and I have learned through trial and error how to better write goals for myself.

I would like to offer some insight into the goal setting process, beginning with some benefits of goal setting. I am going to use excerpts from the book “Sport Psychology for Coaches” by Damon Burton and Thomas D. Raedeke (Human Kinetics 2008) to help illustrate this process. This book is a great read and a valuable resource for any coach or athletically involved parent.

Benefits of Goal Setting (Page 53, Figure 4.1):
1. Goals enhance focus and concentration.
2. Goals boost self-confidence.
3. Goals help prevent or manage stress.
4. Goals help create a positive mental attitude.
5. Goals increase intrinsic motivation to excel.
6. Goals improve the quality of practices by making training more challenging.
7. Goals enhance playing skill, techniques, and strategies.
8. Goals improve overall performance.

Guidelines for Setting Effective Goals (Page 56, Figure 4.3):
1. Emphasize process and performance goals as a higher priority than outcome goals.
2. Set specific, measurable goals rather than general or “do-your-best” goals.
3. Set moderately difficult goals that are challenging but realistic.
4. Set positively—not negatively—focused goals.
5. Set both long-term and short-term goals, with short-term goals serving as the building blocks for reaching long-term objectives.
6. Set both individual and team goals, with individual goals becoming the role-specific steps used to attain team goals.
7. Set both practice and competitive goals, with practice goals focusing on developing skills and competitive goals geared towards performing optimally.

Once you have an athlete creating/setting effective goals, it is important to get him/her to commit to achieving his/her goals. Figure 4.8 on page 61 of the same book offers the following advice:

Ways to Increase Commitment to Achieving Goals:
1. Make sure athletes set their own goals, not someone else’s.
2. Allow your players to participate in setting their own goals.
3. Encourage performers to write down their goals.
4. Have players tell their goals to others or post their goals.
5. Teach athlete to imagine attaining their goals.
6. Provide players with incentives or rewards for achieving their goals.
7. Ensure that performers receive social support from coaches, teammates, and parents.
8. Help athletes earn a position on an elite team.
9. Provide players with opportunities to win a major competition or championship.
10. Help your athletes shape their goals.
11. Ensure that players make their goals competitive, primarily with themselves.

Read over the lists above carefully and begin setting some realistic goals for yourself. Determine what you’re going to do to help motivate yourself and commit yourself to achieving your new goals. Is your “why” strong enough to get you through the potential obstacles, or will you throw in the towel. You decide.


Due to the volume of athletes currently using the Finish First Sports Performance world training headquarters, all athletes are required to schedule all sessions prior to arrival. In the future, if an athlete shows up without first scheduling for a session, there is no guarantee that s/he will be able to use the facility at that time. If the facility is at capacity, the athlete will need to come back for his/her session at a later time. At Finish First Sports Performance, we are taking all measures necessary to prevent overcrowding and help ensure the safety of the athletes and the quality of the programs. We appreciate your understanding and look forward to continuing to serve you.

How to Schedule Workouts Using the Online System

Due to the volume of athletes currently using the training facility, and the expected returning college athletes over the summer, you will need to begin scheduling your workout sessions in advance. It is recommended that you do so online. The Finish First Sports Performance coaches will have access to the sessions calendar to see when you are scheduled. When you arrive to the facility, it is also important to use your fingerprint to check in to the system. Below, you will find the correct way to schedule online. It is also now possible to make payments online, and check your training history. Please call if you have any questions.

1. Go to

2. Scroll down the left and under “Additional Services” you will see MEMBER LOGIN—click on that

3. A new window should pop up and on that window click on ATHLETE

4. Unless you have logged into the system before, your login ID is: last name-first name, and your password is: last name. So for John Smith, his login ID would be smith-john, and his password would be smith. You will be prompted to change your password so that only you may know it—write it down and don’t forget it—if you do forget it, please let Jeremy know so he can reset it.

5. Once logged in, on main screen you will see a box/button on the right titled “REGISTER FOR CLASSES”—click on this.

6. You can register or change your scheduled time up to 24 hours before the session. Any changes that need to be made within 24 hours of the session need to be made by calling Jeremy at 412-787-5070.

The online system works best with Internet Explorer (most recent version).

Motivational Quotes

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
-- Albert Einstein

"The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work."
-- Anonymous

"One’s best success comes after his greatest disappointments."
-- Henry Ward Beecher

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
-- Henry Ford

Thank You for Your Support

Thanks again for subscribing to this free e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I look forward to your feedback as I continue to research to bring you the most current scientific training information available.

Should you have any specific article requests or questions, email me at Please visit for detailed sports performance training information and programs offered exclusively by Finish First Sports Performance.

Yours In Training,

Coach Jeremy S. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Finish First Sports Performance

For Finish First Insider backissues #1 - 29, click here

Back to Back Issues Page