BALANCE THE USE OF TYPES OF GOALS FOR HIGH-LEVEL PERFORMANCES
Hardy, L. (1997). The Coleman Roberts Griffith Address: Three myths about applied consultancy work. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 9, 277-294.
Hardy considered the sport literature to include three types of goals:
- Outcome goals usually focus on the end points of particular events (e.g., breaking a record) and/or involve some interpersonal comparison (e.g., winning).
- Performance goals also specify end products of performance but are expressed in terms of personal achievements and are relatively independent of other performers (e.g., completing a 5 km run in less than 20 minutes).
- Process goals specify processes or means by which a performer will act to perform satisfactorily. These control how a performance progresses.
[It should be noted that there are other types of goals but they are not reported widely in the sport psychology literature.]
High level athletes naturally set more than one type of goal for an event. All goals have the potential to be both functional and dysfunctional, each having valuable uses at stages before and during competitions. Hardy attempted to make the point that all goals should be considered and that performance goals alone are not the substance of good competition structure.
Implications. Guiding principles for goal-use are:
- Maintain a balance between outcome, performance, and process orientations.
- Strongly emphasize the outcome-performance-process links so that an athlete is able to elevate the status of process oriented goals when necessary (e.g., just before a contest).
- Maintain a focus on process goals when under pressure (use simulation training to develop this capacity).
- Encourage performers to use process-oriented goals when performing complex tasks and when trying to enhance the quality of training.
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