CJFC is a competitive youth soccer club committed to offering central New Jersey players an organized and professional association that encourages player and character development, teamwork, sportsmanship, social responsibility and a love and appreciation
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Goal Setting in Sports for Children

Learning simple techniques of goal setting in sports will give you a big start for future success. What do you think makes good soccer players become great soccer players?

While you are in your teen age years you probably play at the same level of soccer as your teammates do. When kids get older heading into their 16-17s the difference in the level of play becomes greater. Why is it?

Because serious soccer requires a dedication and lots of sacrifice - you cannot hang around with your friend doing nothing as much as your non-sports friends do. Fast food is not healthy food for you any more and you have to choose wisely your food preferences. You need a good sleep and cannot stay up late. You have to organize your day that you can do both school and sports efficiently. And many other things...Not many kids have enough character to overcome these sacrifices.

Learning a goal setting in sports will train you to be focused, efficient, and organized.

Goal Setting in Sports Guidelines

Before you start a goal setting, you should define your "big" goals and steps that will lead you to achieve this outcome goal.

goal setting in sports

Let's say you want to make a national squad next year - this is your outcome goal. But without a detailed plan this goal will be just a dream that may not come true. So you need to break down this path into steps - these will be performance goals which will include working on your skills, mental toughness, fitness, etc.

Things to remember about goal setting in youth sports:

  • Your goals must be meaningful. Think harder if what you want is really coming from you (not from your parents, not because all your friends want the same thing, not because soccer will help you get out of poverty, etc.) 
  • Your goals must be specific and measurable. "Becoming a pro soccer player" is not as specific as "trying out for the MLS squad in 20..." or "working hard" is not as measurable as "shooting the ball 20 times with the intensity of 8 on the 10 scale".
  • You goals must be challenging and exciting, but achievable. First, you have to think of where you are in your skills, the performance level, and other things to define the starting point. Because you cannot jump over something you are not ready to overcome yet. If, for example, you live in Mexico but want to play in Europe, you probably need to establish you name in your country first.

    Remember that you always have to grow and develop new skills. If something becomes too easy, you move on to the next level. If something is too difficult, you will lose your motivation soon.

  • Your goals must be well balanced. Goal setting in sports experts advise to develop all areas of your sport harmoniously - you work on your skills, fitness, work ethic, and your character. You must be all-rounded player with a character and good sportsmanship.
  • You goals must be evaluated and flexible. Measuring your goals and writing them down helps to see your progress. Some unexpected things might happen (injuries, relationships with coach, school projects, etc.) that will interact with your ultimate goal, and then you need to alter your current little goals or make new ones.

Sports Goal Setting for Children Plan

You must create a dashboard for a goal setting in sports plan - something similar to the dashboard in the car where the driver can see the speed and other characteristics. You may use a regular wall calendar.

At the beginning of the season you write down your baseline in the special journal. Where you put your starting point, your ultimate goal, and the progress you make which maybe calculated at the end of the month or weak.

On the calendar you mark your goal for the month. Write down your goal for the weak, and every day plan and write down your goal for the next day. At the end of the day analyze what you've done and alter the plan as needed.

Remember that your goals have to be specific and cover everything related to your performance. As an example...

Goal for the month:

  • Master a free kick
  • Learn to keep my temper during the game
  • Build endurance that I could play second half easy

Goals for the week:

  • Make 100 free kicks
  • Do intensive training 3 times a week

Goals for the next day:

  • Perform 20 free kicks
  • Doing mental visualization techniques for 10 minutes

Consistence Success During Games

There is one secret that helps stay focused and perform at your best during the game. But let me ask you a question first. Is it easier to play one single pass or win a whole game? Of course, it's easier to win one pass.

The secret to success is to stay focused solely on the next single step - one pass, tackle, move, mark, run. The players who "read the game" well are those who manage to stay focused. Players, who usually stay focused, simply manage to give their best to the next step.

A little thing at a time leads to big victory at the end. No matter if you win or loss, but if you give all of you to one moment of the game, then to the next moment, and so on, the entire game is played at the top of your performance.

To win big or achieve big is may be scary. But to win in a little thing is real. Remind yourself during the game "next ball", especially if your mind tent to wonder during the game. Repeat it in your mind.

This little goal setting sports technique advising, focusing at one goal at a time, helps play consistence, which so valuable in sports.


A goal setting in sports plan must be written on paper and evaluated regularly. Reviewing your goals and results you have achieved is a great way to be motivated to do even more.