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S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting for Volleyball Pros

:::: Exclusive Player Guest Post :::: Paige WEBER :::

Hello Again!

 I hope the last 2 weeks have found you well! I have spent the last 2 weeks just getting used to life in Finland and settling into the routine I will have while I am here. Within this new schedule I am finding when and how I can spend my free time (when I am not practicing or training with the team). Part of assimilating to a new lifestyle is maintaining some of the practices you had prior to it. For me that means setting personal goals to work toward in my free time. I am sure most of you have goals, and I did (and do) to. Goals like playing college volleyball turned into playing Professionally, and now that I am here, it is time for me to set some different goals, outside of those I have for the team.

  With being on a team we have certain obligations, such as conditioning with a specific workout, or going to practice at specified times. But what do you have to do to not only get the most out of the time you put in, but also get better in the process? PERSONAL GOALS! These tiny little visuals in the back of your mind can very often be the difference between stagnant time, and growth, and I have several tips and tricks to help you when setting goals and preparing to achieve them (which is the ULTIMATE goal ;) )

   The first step in setting goals that you want to achieve is to make them S.M.A.R.T. No I don’t mean intellectually “smart” HAHA, I mean Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. 

 Specific: Locate one area of your training or playing that you want to improve and focus solely on that (nothing vague like “I want to play better”)

Measurable: Make sure you choose a means of measuring this skill that can show you definitive proof of improvement.

Attainable: Make sure this goal is something you have the means to work at, otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure.

Realistic: Being honest with yourself is the key to attaining your goals.

Timely: Setting goals without giving yourself a timeframe to focus on achieving them puts them on the backburner, when we want them to be front and center

  Okay I know you might be thinking slow down now, how do I set personal goals when I am at the mercy of someone else’s practice, conditioning, and training schedules. Well, here are some suggestions:

  When you are training, focus on improving a specific skill. Let’s say you want to improve your passing..  more SPECIFICALLY keeping your platform away from your body. When you are in passing drills let this be your sole focus. You can MEASURE your progress by how much your passing improves (let’s say on a 0-3 scale). As long as you are someone who passes regularly in practice and matches this goal should be ATTAINABLE and REALISTIC. Finally, give yourself a TIMEFRAME in which you would like to improve your overall passing, such as a month. With all of these things you now have a goal to help guide the hours you will put into training.

Let’s look at another example:

 Personal goals should be your driving force, especially when you are in the gym either weightlifting or conditioning. On my team we are given a specific workout we are required to do twice a week, however, I know for myself that I need more physical training than that in order to be the player I want to be. So on conditioning days I am always recording and looking to improve my weights and times during the team mandated workouts.  On days outside of these mandatory days, I allow myself the chance to train however I deem necessary (keeping in mind that my performance as a volleyball player cannot diminish) This may consist of doing different lifting workouts, running on my own, or making up my own rehabilitation and stretching routines to ensure that I stay in peak physical condition for myself.

 The key to constant growth as and athlete (or as a person in general) is to always have goals you are looking to achieve, and to always be comparing yourself to YOU! Set goals that will bring you to the best level you can be, and you will notice larger goals becoming closer and closer to being fulfilled. I am working everyday to keep my goals in front of me and I hope I have helped some of you in the process!

Until next time: Peace, Love, and Volley from Kuusamo


[Note: This is a guest post by Elite Volleyball Agency’s exclusive player, Paige Weber.
Paige’s collegiate career was spent at U of Arizona & now she is in her first pro season in Kuusamo, Finland. Find more about Paige here: Facebook & Blog ]