Goal setting is essential in several different areas of life. A goal is something that an individual sets their mind and sights on the result, the top of the mountain. Reaching a goal takes time, energy, and a demanding work ethic. There are short term goals and long term goals. Goals can be significant, or they can be small. Goal setting in sports has become common among college teams, club teams, and youth teams. Many teams focus their attention on team goals. Winning is a common goal set by teams because it takes an entire team to win a championship. This article will break down goal setting for an individual, specifically for a softball player and the difference between Softball Individual Practice Goals versus Game Goals.

There are many areas in an individual’s life where goals are set. Keeping softball in mind, we have broken down individual goal setting into practice goals and game goals.

Practice Goals: Offensive and Defensive. It is imperative to show up to practice every day with some plan, or something specific that you hope to get better at on that day. Otherwise, what are you doing there? To make goal-setting work, get yourself a small notebook and a pen to keep in your bat bag. Before every practice, come up with two to three offensive and defensive goals for the practice. This could be something as simple and specific as finishing through contact on every swing or coming forward on every ground ball. Practice goals are meant to be specific, and it’s the specific goals that focus on little things that add up to achieving the big things. It doesn’t matter what your goals are, just as long as you write them down before practice. Then after practice is over, take out your notebook and evaluate how you did. Hold yourself accountable; it’s okay if you didn’t meet the goal that you set that day. If you run into a situation where you didn’t meet your goal, figure out why, jot that thought down, and then when you’re ready, put the same goal down for your next practice. Goals are meant to be worked towards, and some take more time and practice than others.

Game Goals: Softball Game goals will be similar to the practice goals in the sense of coming up with two to three offensive and defensive goals beforehand. The most significant difference between game goals and practice goals is that practice goals are more likely to focus on something specific, while game goals will be on the broader side. During a game, you don’t want to be focused on a particular thing. That’s what practice and practice goal setting is for. During a game, a goal such as to field every ground ball cleanly, or get ahead in the count to every batter, or even swing at the first strike, are goals that would fit into the game goals category. After the game is over, take out your notebook and evaluate how you did. Bad games are going to happen. They happen to everyone, even the most elite athletes. Everyone is going to fail at some point, and the sport of softball has a significant failure rate. Think about it, hitting .300 means you got a hit three out of ten times. That means you failed seven times in ten at-bats! If you didn’t meet a game goal, think about and jot down why, and that could be a goal that you set for yourself during your next practice.

Goal setting is significant in the sport of softball. If you aren’t someone who has set goals in the past, it’s encouraged and an activity practiced by college softball programs across the country. How many of you get tired of working on the same drills at practice every day? Do you ever find yourself simply going through the motions? Setting practice goals for each practice helps keep athletes focused and checked in because they are working towards something. We all want to succeed in games, so practicing and working on those clear and specific goals will help improve the broader game ones.