Do you have any for this season? Have you written them down? How are you going to achieve them? What’s your plan? Have you been working toward them at all?
Goals are important and vital to developing a path to progress and improvement. If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you expect to “arrive” anywhere. Goals need to be specific, time-based, realistic and written down.
The best time of year to develop goals is right after your sport or competition season. The year’s performance is fresh in your mind and you can more easily and clearly identify strengths and weaknesses. You’ve also given yourself plenty of time before next season to address your deficiencies. I’ll use my season review/goal planning notes from last year as an example:
disproportionate leg strength
disproportionate leg strength
My plan for “off-season” training was to continue to increase my power and strength levels and address the imbalance from leg to leg (have a previous knee injury, which required surgery, so one leg is slightly weaker than the other). I also wanted to introduce more frequent exposure to and use a variety of different training styles to improve conditioning. With plyometrics I added a variety of jump directions and direction changes to help bring up switch riding (at least on the physical side of things). Lastly, and if they didn’t interfere with the other elements, I had some personal PR goals that got sprinkled into the mix.
I broke the “off-season” down into different training time periods, each with the previously mentioned areas of focus in mind. This gave me a template to follow (and adjust and tweak as needed) for creating a specific and effective physical training program that would have me peak right as the new season was getting underway.
As far as on-snow technique/skills go I plan to follow more of a “training schedule” this year (instead of just randomly working on “stuff” when I felt like it). Each day will be divided up into segments of intense, focused training and time for random fun/play on the snow. Of course if we get a foot or more of snow, it’s an automatic “fun day”.
With my snow goals I’m following the same periodization method I used to create the physical training guidelines. Periodization provides a systematic, effective process and plan to follow to achieve my goals. That way I’ll have continued improvement throughout the season and can be at the top of my on-snow game and ready to rip for a few planned trips out West this Spring.
Having just about wrapped up my "off-season" program (pre-season conditioning was most recently on tap), I can report that I’ve not only improved physically and mentally with the gym work, but also got a head start on addressing on-snow technique/skill before we’ve even had a chance to get on the mountain yet. I feel extremely ready and confident for the season and look forward to achieving even higher levels of on-snow performance.
Some of you are probably saying to yourself “uh-oh, I don’t have any goals for this year – I screwed up.” Don’t worry, you can still make progress. Sit down with me a.s.a.p. for an assessment/goal planning session and get started on a path to making this season (at least the 2nd half of it) better than last year.