Effort Goals

Coaching idea from the Positive Coaching Alliance Connector Newsletter of September 8, 2010

“Effort Goals” are key for coaches who are striving to keep their athletes focused on improvement. In the framework of PCA’s “ELM Tree of Mastery” (where ELM stands for Effort, Learning and Mistakes are OK), youth athletes who expend maximum effort can consider themselves “winners” no matter what the scoreboard says. That is because the habit of maximum effort will pay off in many ways, in sports and beyond, throughout their lives.

Coaches who help their athletes set and achieve effort goals give them something to strive toward that is completely within their control, such as how often and how hard they chase every loose ball. Free of attachments to scoreboard results — which are subject to much the athlete can’t control, such as the quality of competition, officiating, weather, injuries and other bad breaks — athletes can focus on maximum effort. Often, that approach will lead to improved scoreboard results, too!

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