BY MARLENE ROYLE
PHOTO BY PETER SPURRIER
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The new racing season is upon us. Personal improvement relies on a sound training program, skilled coaching, and achievable goals. An effective way to create goals is to use the SMART method: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Smart goals are effective goals that help move your training and performance in a positive direction.
Be Specific. Your goals must state specifically what’s to be accomplished. They must be clear and understood: “My goal is to improve my 2K erg score by 10 seconds.”
Be Measurable. Your goals must be measurable so you can tell if you’re making progress. To track your progress, you’ll have to repeat 2K erg trials regularly to achieve a new time.
Be Attainable. Your goals should be realistic and attainable. Improving your erg score could take roughly one second per 500 meters per month. To improve by 10 seconds in a season may require two to three months of dedicated training.
Be Relevant. Your goals must be relevant to your particular interests, needs, likes, dislikes, and abilities. Improving your 2K erg time is relevant to making the first-varsity boat. If this is part of selection and important to you, it’s very relevant to the outcome of the season.
Be Timely. Your goals must have a time line for completion. If your goal applies to this season and the selection of the first varsity for your championship event, that’s a deadline. Your goal can extend to later in the year or next season. It depends on your goal and how long you think you need to achieve it.
The key point is that your goal should be meaningful to you and that you’re willing to work toward it.