Key to Progression: Goal Setting

As mountain bikers we are always keen to progress, keen to improve our skill set, challenge ourselves and hit gnarlier trails. How do we keep moving forward and how do we keep pushing ourselves and expanding our comfort zones? The key to progression series will dig deep into the key aspects of progression and get you hitting the trails harder and faster in no time….

When we sit down to plan out our progression plan there’s a few things we need to tackle, whilst just riding your bike is going to be fun, if you don’t set goals you won’t progress as fast as you could. For many riders that might be to hit a certain feature, to ride a certain trail, to finish a certain position in a race or to be able to ride a certain distance. These are all great places to start your goal setting journey and can form the foundation for your year ahead.

How to set a goal

Goal setting is an important part of any improvement process, whether you are on the bike, studying or ambitious at work. Setting specific goals allows us to aim for something, to achieve something, to empower ourselves and to feel a sense of achievement. It also allows us to track our progress and place a timeline in place that will show us our progression and the challenges we have overcome so far.

Be Specific

It is important that our goals are specific, in that they need to actually say exactly what we want to achieve, broad and vague goals don’t give us a clear target to aim for. An example of a specific goal might be to finish in the top 10 overall for the Queensland Enduro Series for 2019, this is a clear goal that also puts a time frame in place. Clear goals give us a clear target and assist us in aiming for success.

Style and flair in the air takes time and commitment to progression

We need to measure our success

Goals not only need to specific but they need to be measurable. What do we mean by measurable? We need to be able to track and see exactly how we are progressing towards our goal, this allows us to ensure we are progressing in the right way or if we need to adjust our time frame or goals to assist in progressing towards our given target.

Be Realistic

It’s all well and good to set ambitious goals but if we are setting a goal to be the EWS world champion in 2019 and we haven’t even conquered the podium in our local series, then it’s probably got as much chance of happening as Santa Cruz making crap bikes! Realistic and achievable goals allow us to progress in a positive manner and hit milestones along the way.

Every EWS rider had to start somewhere realistic – Photo Nathan Kennedy – @iamnkimages

Put a timeframe on your goals

It’s all well and good to set a goal but if we don’t put a time frame on our goals then we won’t be pushed to achieve them in a timely fashion and we may be missing an opportunity to progress. Humans have a tendency to put things off and if we set a time frame then it’s difficult to put off progression.

Whilst progression is often different from rider to rider and we all have different ‘ride fantasies’ or goals for our riding; the methods in which we achieve progression can be improved to make sure that we are shredding hard on the trail before we know it. Not all of us want to be a World Cup Racer and the reality is the majority of us don’t have the talent or ability, but there is something satisfying about improving your riding and ticking off little goals along the way.

Goal setting is an integral part of any ambitious persons plan to excel, most high level athletes will attest to this. This has been the first article in our key to progression series and we look forward to bringing you more inspirational content at Brakes Wide Open.

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