Good performance starts with good goals. Lou Holtz, one the of nation's most successful college football coaches, once said that "Of all my experiences in managing people, the power of goal setting is the most incredible." He carried with him a book identifying personal, player and team goals and used these to motivate himself and his team.
In Dr. Kenneth Blanchard's book, the One Minute Manager, he identifies three steps toward getting the most out of a group of people. While written for a business audience, its lessons also apply to sports teams. The book's three recommendations are:
- One Minute Goals - Goals are agreements between the coach and the individual players or the coach and the team on the desired accomplishments. Three to five goals should be the limit with a good understanding of current and expected performance.
- One Minute Praisings - Immediate and specific positive feedback helps players know when they are doing something right and encourages them to keep doing it.
- One Minute Reprimands - If goals aren't being met, then players need quick corrections followed by a reaffirmation of the player's value and potential.
Goal setting works at any age level although the goals and the methods of communication may be very different. Clear goals keep everyone focused and reviewing their progress. If players can know they are improving, then they will continue working to accomplish their goals.