Improving Athletic Performance Through Self-Evaluation

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Has your athletic performance leveled off?self-evaluation

Do you find yourself doing the same ‘ole same ‘ole workout?

Or worse yet, are you even unaware of how you are doing, good or bad, or if you are making the progress toward your personal goals?

Maybe you are working-out on a consistent basis, but you’re simply going through the motions instead of training with purpose and intensity.

It’s time to get you back on a track.

To improve your athletic performance as well as getting yourself out of a training rut and to facilitate a more focused, purposeful workout, it is extremely productive to take a good long look at what you are doing.  One of the best ways to accomplish this is through a frank self- self-evaluation.  This will include assessing specifically what you are doing and if you’re taking the steps necessary to meet your performance goals.

Many times, athletes get caught up in the day to day “drudgery” of putting in the required miles, minutes, kilos, and repetitions and forgetting about the big picture of “why” and where they’re heading and how they are going to get there. They often lose sight of their performance and personal goals and what needs to be done to reach them.

Where Are You Going?

I have discussed over and over again the importance of setting personal and performance goals. So, it should come as no surprise to you that a first step in your self-evaluation is to identify, clarify and re-commit to your goal.

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • What milestone do you want to achieve in the next 6- 12 months?

Right now, take a moment to think about where you are going or what you are trying to accomplish as an athlete. Write it down and post it somewhere so you will see it everyday….go on…do it, no one is watching.

By seeing and reading this goal everyday it will serve to motivate and direct you in your training activities.

Take Look At Yourself

Another step to this self-evaluation is to spot the attributes and skills that are crucial for you to achieve your personal and performance goals. Be sure to think beyond the physical, that is, include other aspects that affect your performance or reaching your goal.  These can include technical execution, nutritional, lifestyle, and mental attributes. To break it down further consider, power, flexibility, good nutrition, proper hydration, high confidence, dealing with pressure, and game management. These all are attributes that an athlete can identify as being important for achieving their performance and athletic goals.

After having inventoried the skills that are important to accomplishing your goal, rank yourself on each of these skills on a scale of 1 – 10 with 1 being low and 10 being high.

How well are you doing the things you need to become great in your sport? Look at the evaluation based on your honest assessment of where you are today. If possible, it can also be a great help to get input from a coach or training partner, someone who knows you well, so they can provide a different perspective.

Maybe you think you’re great or OK at some areas, but your coach may have a different point of view. From this self-rating, you can get a sense of your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to attaining your athletic goals.

Using The Self-Evaluation Information

After finishing this self-assessment, you’ll have a list of attributes that you feel are important in achieving your performance goals, as well as a self-ranking for each of the attributes.

Now you can use this information to affect your performance and goal attainment. A side benefit of going through this is the increase of your awareness, which, by itself, will have an impact on your day to day training and performance.

Areas Of Improvement

Those areas that you have identified as “weaknesses” need to be decisively addressed in your training. While there are more immediate rewards for focusing on strengths in training, both intrinsically and extrinsically, gratification will come down the road by addressing the areas of improvement today.

By addressing these areas it will give purpose and direction to your training by working to improve your weakest attributes. Set daily goals that focus on addressing these areas that need improvement.

Areas of Strength

The areas that are your “strengths” need to be continually cultivated, don’t assume they are always going to be there and they don’t need to be trained. You may be flexible today, but neglecting flexibility training for a period of time could have a negative impact in the future.

As the Saucony commercial says “Is it muscle? Or is it something more? Is it measured in miles or milliseconds? Is it your best time or your worst day? Maybe strong is just what you have left when you’ve used up all your weak…”

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The Take Home Message

The steps to improving any area of your life, including training and sport performance, start with being honest with yourself and identifying the areas where you are weak. Only then can you truly begin to make progress and take your training and performance to the next level.

Consider the words of Dick Williams, Major League Baseball manager: “Nothing comes easy in life, but if you believe in yourself, are honest in your self-appraisal, are able to take constructive criticism, and are prepared to give 100% total effort—you will always be able to hold your head high”.

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