Olympic Lessons – Goal Setting

We all tend to know the value of goals in an individuals life but typically we all procrastinate in beginning the work needed to begin achieving a goal.  The London 2012 Olympics are basically a story of the athletes personal and competitive goals. Yesterday we mentioned Michael Phelps in an entry focused on Team Work and briefly touched upon his drive and determination to achieve the goals he sets for his self.

Last week the youngest member of the USA Olympic team won a gold medal in the Women’s 800 meter freestyle swimming event. This swimmer, Katie Ledecky, also achieve the second fastest world time for this women’s event and now she is the current USA record holder. In an interview following the race and reported in the LA Times she stated that “I just set some really good short-term and long-term goals,” Ledecky said. “I’ve just been putting in some hard training. I’ve really learned how to train hard and train fast. It’s just paid off.”

Sometimes goals are not achieved as the USA Men’s gymnastic team can attest to. However, this does not mean the team failed. In fact, in some ways the failure now will probably provide the team the drive and desire to continue in the sport and compete in Rio in 4 years. Their success in the qualifying probably also helped a number of students decide that gymnastics is what they want to do now and in their future.

There are many books on how we, as teachers and parents, can help our students learn how to set goals and map out the path to success. However, I find these are best used as support for the lessons I teach. My lessons come from my personal experience setting, working toward and achieving success or failure. Being able to teach from experience rather than a textbook is always more powerful than just teaching from a book. Add to this setting an example by sharing your goals and progress with your students and you just might find a future Olympian that you helped create in your classroom!

Best wishes on promoting goal setting and for your successful attainment of them!


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Filed under Academic Advice, Improved Learning

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