How and why it is important to set goals

In this post we are going to learn what a goal is, why it is important to set one and how to do it, whether you are a sailor or a sailing coach.

How and why it is important to set goals
Photo by Clay Banks / Unsplash
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Athletes don't just wake up one day and magically become champions - it takes years of hard work, dedication, and a clear sense of purpose. Setting goals in sports is crucial to creating a roadmap for success and charting a path to greatness.

Having a goal keeps you motivated when learning a sport, when the path gets tough. Lets get something clear, it will get tough. However, with the right mindset (and a great coach) it gets really easier and funnier the road to achieving your goal.

Goals give us something to strive for and motivate us to push ourselves to the limit. In this blog post, we'll explore the power of goal-setting in sports and provide you with tips and tricks to help you set and achieve your own aspirations.

What is goal-setting?

When you practice a sport in a competitive way, you probably have a dream, for example, to enter the national team. That dream becomes a goal when you recognize all the steps you have to take in order to reach that goal, and start walking that path.

Many times this big goal seems too far and it overwhelms you. This is the reason why sports psychologists have studied and developed a formula for goal setting.

This formula is SMART

SMART goals
SMART goals

How can you set effective goals?

We have all thought about this sometime. Fortunately, in Sailing Answers we have a guide for goal setting!

  • Specific: your goal should be clear and well-defined, with no ambiguity.
  • Measurable: you should be able to track your progress and measure your success.
  • Attainable: it has to be something you can realistically achieve. If it is too easy, you will get bored, if it is too difficult you will feel frustrated. It has to be challenging but achievable.
  • Relevant: it has to be important to you.
  • Time-based: should have a specific deadline.

Types of goals

Result-orientated goals:

This is probably the first thing you think about when thinking about setting a goal. This type of objectives are fully exploited at times of the year when the calendar is not so attractive (for example, preseason).

Performance goals:

Are those that instead of being based on achieving a result, are based on the actions you can take to improve something in particular, for example, sailing faster in downwind.


It's very important to set different goals, performance and result-orientated,  in short term, mid-term and long term.

Personal goals

Personal goals help you to have a high level of motivation and to give 100% in training, as well as to focus on what you need to improve in order to reach your goal (for example, improving your starts).

Team goals

Team goals are very important, because whether you sail with a crew or alone, you train with a team. These types of goals unite individuals and help them to work together to accomplish a common goal.

Good coordination between group and individual objectives should increase the effectiveness of the team, as the collective result depends on the well-coordinated contribution of each of its components

As a sailing instructor

Related: 10 tips for increasing safety in your sailing lessons

It's really important as a sailing coach that you have your own goals because it will keep you motivated and will help you a lot with the session planning.

If you are motivated, you will transfer this energy to your students.

Sailing coaches teach so much more than just how to sail, a good instructor teaches sailing, teamwork, values, fitness... things that will help kids for life.

On Sailing Answers we highly recommend setting your personal goals, talking with every sailor about their personal goals, and setting goals with the whole team.

💬 Do you have a goal? Have you accomplished one?
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