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Coaching column - Lachlan Tighe - Goal Setting 24/5

Lachlan Tighe
Lachlan Tighe, Wednesday, 24 May 2006

Of the 187 columns written over five years, this will be only the fifth column on the general topic of Goals. A few things prompted me to focus on goals (setting).

It is usual for me to read the (weekend) newspapers diligently. And last weekend there was an entertaining article on John Kennedy, former great 3 time premiership coach in the Australian Football League, AFL. He said his ability to listen (a goal for us) helped him with his speeches as a coach. He said how he borrowed freely from anyone who had valuable ideas which he could use for his cause (again a goal for us as coaches and our bowls associations to learn, to share, to educate).

And the second series of articles profiled young Chris Judd, the superstar in modern AFL. And in the paper I read frequent reference of his preparedness to learn, to set new goal standards, to strive, to achieve.

Yet his peers as players view him as a superstar because he aims for his own ‘pb’.

So why am I focused on Goal setting !

Well as coach of my ELBOWS squad and of the state ladies team, I am urging these players to set their goals, to aim for something, to gauge progress.  But when I go to bowls websites or coaching manuals for assistance and ideas (to borrow freely as Kennedy said above), there is none.

One overseas bowls site has two sentences on goal setting. It is something, but really that is bugger all, and not much chop for Australia’s input given we are the best performed country on the international scene.

Hence, as a Kennedy disciple, let me share what I give to those players silly enough to have to put up with me. It is not rocket science and it is a one page sheet with an example to help the player.

But if it helps us, maybe it will assist you while the national coaching committee move toward providing this form of service to all the interested coaches out there in bowls world

 Purpose           to do your best

Outcome          satisfaction when winning

A sample of Statements of intent

(you choose/ your own below)

How to measure your progress


Competition Performance Results

·         state Qualifiers for Australian Indoor Finals

·         Finalist in national title(s)

·         A State event champion

·         State squad selection



·         A club champion

·         Finalist, in a profile singles and pairs event


Technical Delivery skill

·         Improve the rating of each of the technical skills

·         train 2-4 times per week



·         Commit to a monthly training program

·         Record each skill rating session


Tactical skill

·         introduce and use a game plan for competition

·         Observe elite bowlers in competition to learn and improve tactical decision making



·         Consult monthly with squad coach

·         practice with a purpose

·         train and prepare to know how to play all positions


Mental skill

·         improve relaxation and visualization skills 

·         Maintain a positive focus through practice

·         Accepting losses as lessons not as signs of failure

·         Focus levels




·         focus on first 2 bowls at training

·         focus by recording progress

·         walk to head every third delivery

·         positive Body language training

·         time for simulating game training

Physical fitness levels

·         Maintain an exercise program

·         Maintain a healthy diet

·         Keep Fit to perform all shots




·         Walk daily / regularly each week

·         Lose weight

·         stretching routines pre and post games

·         Drinking ample water daily

Personal & communication skill

·         Be a good sport

·         foster friendships

·         be regarded as a role model in my teams

·         Improve my communication skill and game assessment



·         have fun, enjoy what I am doing

·         support team meetings

·         contribute

·         practice positive praise

·         honest to myself and others