Goal, Set and Match

Success is measured when you hit your target or reach your goal.

Published November 24, 2009 10:20

Goal, Set and Match
Jelena Jankovic

One of the best parts of human experience is that great feeling that comes with achieving something important to you. Pro Tennis players get a buzz from achieving:

· Closing out that tough tie-break.

· Improving on-court movement after months of concentrating on footwork

· Fully returning to peak performance after an injury and after you completed your Ther-Ex program to improve your core stability.

None of these things happen by chance oraccident. They are the result of careful planning, strategy and execution to reach a clearly defined target.Success is measured when you Hit Your Target or Reach Your Goal.

What do YOU want to Accomplish this Year?

During the end of year break, many players have spent time reflecting on the year they just completed. They decide what things they want to change and/or to achieve in the year ahead.Many will set goals or make resolutions for the New Year. For a lot of players, the process stops there. In December, they will be puzzled why they have got to the end of yet another year without reaching their goals. Sound familiar? Don't leave your destiny to chance.Use this guide to hit your targets this season!

"Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for. It is a thing to be achieved." (William Jennings Bryan, 1860-1925. Lawyer & Politician)


When you set out on any journey, be it your career, your education or your life, you need to set a direction for where you want to end up. It is a bit like the rudder on a boat. The rudder helps keep your boat on course, heading where you want to go. You may go off course from time to time, but you will keep returning to the course. By setting the rudder, you can change direction and aim for a new destination. When going on a long journey, you will make stops along the way. You will plan your journey and use a map as you go.


· They are the things you want to achieve on your journey.

· Without goals, you don't know where you are headed.

· Without goals, you don't know if you are moving forward.

· Without goals, you don't know when you have arrived.

· Would you travel on a boat if you didn't know where it was going?

REACH FOR THE TOP with Successful Goal Setting

Keep your goals POSITIVE and SIMPLE. e.g. "To hit 75% of high backhand volleys in the court" is better than "To avoid hitting high backhand volleys out."

Make your goals RELEVANT. Think carefully about what you really want or need to achieve and set goals to meet your needs.

Keep your goals SPECIFIC: e.g. "To move around faster on the court." is too vague. A better goal is: "To improve my time on my cross court baseline movementby 30 seconds per week to reach my target time and improve speed on-court."

Keep your goals MANAGABLE. Divide ambitious or longer-term goals up into smaller, achievable or shorter-term goals.

Make your goals MEASURABLE. You will then know how you are progressing and when you reach them. e.g. "To hit with 70% accuracy on my backhand down the line" rather than "To improve my backhand down the line."

Focus on PERFORMANCE not OUTCOME Goals. Most tennis players focus on the outcome(win or lose) rather than the performance or the process. Outcome goals are not entirely within your control. e.g. your opponent may play flawless tennis on match day. When you focus on the process, on what YOU CAN DOe.g. "To serve out to wide and come in", often the outcome you want will follow.

Make your goals ACHIEVABLE with some work and effort. Goals should be "just right": not so easy that they are of no real value, nor so difficult that they result in frustration.

WRITE DOWN your goals. This works as a reminder and helps you stay focused.

Set REALISTIC target dates Target Dates help keep you on track towards achieving your goals.


Action plans are strategies used to reach the goals.

Example: "To improve my first serve percentage to 60%" is the goal. The action plan could be:

·Performing the prescribed shoulder Ther-Ex to improve power and coordination at the shoulder and/or

·Working with the coach to improve service technique in the out-of-competition phase of training.

Action plans may be modified or adjusted if they are not working according to plan.

Without action plans, goals are just a list of "wishes".You may as well ask your fairy godmother for help!

"The only place Success comes before Work is in the dictionary." (unknown)


·To achieve goals requires work and commitment.

·Regularly evaluate your progress. If you are not as far along as you would like, maybe you set the goal too high, maybe you need to modify your goal, or modify your action plan to achieve it.

·"Giving up" is not an option! You don't quit at 15-40 down in a game do you?

·A supportive team focused on the process, not the outcome, will help you achieve your goals.

·Expect many "learning moments" along the way.(Sometimes people wrongly call them "failures".)


The contents of the Game, Set, Health site, are for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological, health care or health management advice. The materials herein are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.

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