The excitement of “New Year’s resolutions” is buzzing once again and as a coach I personally milk it for all it’s worth. January is a great time to reassess the goals your team (hopefully!) set at the beginning of the season. If goal-setting got swept under the chaos of tryouts and then choreography, now is the time to do it!
Here are my 3 easy steps for goal crushing your way into 2016:
1. Re-evaluate what you already have, both team and individual goals.
How are we looking? What progress has been made? Often times at the beginning of the season we set big, faraway goals like “placing at so-and-so competition” or “having whole-squad triple pirouettes by first competition”. These are great but they require some serious Action Steps, which tend to fall by the wayside as the season rolls on, or never even exist to begin with. Identify all necessary Action Steps! That is, what needs to happen to achieve each goal.
2. Enter, 30 Day Challenges!
My absolute favorite way to turn Action Steps on paper into actual action, which equals real in-the-studio results. This is where the magic happens (because magic is actually hard work, duh)! It’s exactly what it sounds like – you set your dancers a challenge and they have to do it at home every day for 30 days. Have them track their progress both on a chart (like the one on the right) and by filming themselves.
The key is setting the right challenges, they need to be effective. There can be benefits to setting a “whole team” challenge, however I find results come much faster when each dancer is working on their own individual needs. If Sally is struggling to turn her pirouettes into triples (her goal), she’s probably having trouble holding form. So one of her Action Steps is likely “increase core strength for balance and control”. A perfect 30 Day Challenge for Sally that will check this Action Step off her list is 10 Minute Ab Workout – once a day for 30 days. That’s just one example, the possibilities are endless!
To make all of this easier, CLICK HERE to download a free copy of my goal tracking worksheet (or click on the photo above). Save and print as many times as you like.
3. Daily Goals!
Or more accurately, every practice. Some of our dancers we see 2 or 3+ times per week, dance practice becomes a second home. Which is great – but sometimes that familiarity gets in the way of productivity. Having your dancers set Daily Goals for themselves gives every practice a sense of purpose.
Daily Goals need to be 3 things – small, achievable, and not about dancing. We already have a whole list of dance-related goals for the season. This is more about keeping your dancers mentally healthy, keeping morale up, and re-focusing energy when needed. Some examples of Daily Goals are:
- I will be on time for practice with all attire that I need
- I am going to give 100% effort
- I will get through the whole practice without Coach having to ask me to stop talking
I like to have blank notecards and markers in the lobby that the girls fill out first thing when they arrive and then post on our big pinboard just inside the studio as they enter for practice. On their way out they take them down for quick reflection. You can have them keep the cards in a journal or scrapbook, either at home or in the studio, so they can look back and track their progress every few weeks. Daily Goals don’t have to be fancy – sticky notes on the mirror or wall work just fine!
Happy 2016! Go forth and crush your goals.