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  • rebeccachidley

How to set goals for your next competition...

“As I prepare for my next competition, I sit down to think about what my goals are going to be and what I want to achieve. In my last event I came first, and I am feeling quite nervous and think my coaches and parents expect me to go and do the same again (and even my teachers at school are asking lots of questions as I took my medals in to show them). But I know this is a competition with a lot of stronger gymnasts in it and it is in a gym that I have not competed in before.”

Does this sound familiar? How are you feeling ahead of your next competition. Here are some tips to help you think about your goals and areas you want to focus on in your next competition.

It is ok to have outcome goals (but focus your energy on your performance and process goals) - Sport is naturally competitive so we get sucked in to focusing on outcomes (or results, e.g., qualifying for a final, winning a medal or ribbon, coming first).

  • Think about how you got on in your last competition and what is the same or has changed since that one?

  • What are your outcome goals for your next competition?


Focus on your personal performance - Your performance goals are about personal achievements and standards.

  • Performance goals can link to your warmup - think about how many reps you want to do in your competition warm up or how you want to use the limited time you have so you feel ready?

  • What performance goals do you have for each of your routines? E.g., specific scores (although this will be difficult with the variety of judges) or going clean or staying on a particular piece you have struggled with in training.

  • Remember that one of your performance goals might be passing your grade depending on what type of competition it is.


All about the how: Once we know our outcome and performance goals, we need to turn all of our attention to the process of performing rather than the product of performance. There are a very wide range of process goals so we can’t cover them all here, but some examples of process goals include:

  • Developing breathing techniques to help us relax before our routines

  • Focusing our eyes on the beam or a spot in the distance to help us stay balanced

  • Getting good height in your tumbles on floor by running fast and punching off the floor

Take one of your performance goals (or more if you would like) and think about how you will achieve it, what small processes can you focus on to help you achieve that goal.

Remember - taking some time to focus on your goals will allow you to:

  • put your energy in to the controllable actions (i.e., processes) that will help your performance.

  • Develop strategies for achieving your goals and reduce the focus on your competitors (#itsmyjourney)


This content has been developed as part of our #itsmyjourney project with



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