Raising Resilient Athletes


Ambitious Goals


What´s wrong with having an ambitious goal as a young athlete? Nothing!

Setting a goal can be a task itself, especially when we consider that it should be SMART, which means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. I even like to make it SMARTER, which is adding in Exciting and Risky. Why do I like to add this ending? It´s more fun!

In sports, we hear all the time that athletes should have realistic goals. What is unrealistic when a kid says it wants to be an Olympic Champion? Nothing! In the Winter Olympics alone, there are 109 medal events, and some of them are team events. This means that in one Olympics, way over 130 gold medals are won by athletes who had or didn´t dream about being an Olympic Champion.

What can be unrealistic is the thought of how to get on the top of the Olympic podium. 

But honestly, I don´t expect a young athlete to know exactly what to do and what it looks like to get to their dream goal. All it needs for a 15-year-old is the desire that leads to action and some good guidance.

Without any goal, it's impossible to get moving, but not all goals are created equal. Some goals are far more effective than others, and one of the most important factors is the level of ambition. The more ambitious a goal is, the more likely it is to lead to positive results on the way.

There are a few reasons why those ambitious goals are more effective than their less ambitious ones.

First, ambitious goals lead to taking action. This means, first and foremost, joining all of the practice sessions and, at some point, learning to understand what this training is actually doing for them. They also provide a greater sense of accomplishment. When achieving an ambitious goal, athletes can take great pride in their accomplishments. This can lead to increased confidence and a greater willingness to take on new challenges. It most likely does not happen with an Olympic gold medal when being 15 years old, but on the way to the ambitious goal, there are plenty of ambitious milestones to cover.

Second, the desire to reach this goal also is the reason that keeps young athletes going when obstacles appear. And we all know struggling exists that´s just a fact. When there is no an ambitious goal, athletes are more likely to take the easy way out and not push themself to their full potential.

Third, ambitious goals are motivating. This desire builds the internal motivation athletes need to have. External motivation is a great add-on but can never be the base. With ambitious goals, it's also much easier to stay focused on achieving them, which means that all of the distractions out there having it harder to win over the athlete's attention.

So, if you think your athletic goal seems a bit too ambitious to you, that´s great. It´s most important that it's their goal. You can brainstorm with your athlete, but the desire only kicks in when it´s real from within.

Let´s be ambitious 🙂

Do you have a Dream? Keep going towards it :)


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