Monday, 22 Apr 2024

Pivoting for Success: Helping Athletes Thrive Through Mid-Season Adjustments

As a coach, it’s not uncommon to find yourself halfway through the season and realizing that things aren’t going as planned. When the goals you set at the beginning of the season suddenly feel out of reach, it’s important to help your athletes find the motivation to keep going. In this article, we’ll explore how to navigate these mid-season adjustments and empower your athletes to pivot towards new, more achievable goals.

Explain the Power of Progress

Many of us have been taught that falling short of a goal equates to failure. However, it’s essential to emphasize that progress is success too. Goals are not set in stone and may need to be revised based on evolving circumstances. Encourage your athletes to evaluate their progress and make adjustments accordingly. Sometimes, shifting the focus to progress rather than the end result can lead to greater motivation and personal growth.

Foster Goal-Setting Conversations

Goal-setting is not always a natural skill for young athletes. It’s crucial to have open discussions about goals early in the season and regularly revisit them throughout. Help your athletes understand that goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely (SMART). By involving them in the goal-setting process, you can teach them to be proactive in their own development.

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Embrace Multiple Goals

Instead of solely focusing on winning, encourage your athletes to set multiple goals within a game or season. Re-frame their mindset to acknowledge that victory is not always the ultimate measure of success. Help them identify other areas for growth and achievement, such as teamwork, resilience, or personal bests. This approach allows athletes to find fulfillment and motivation in different aspects of their performance.

Shift the Focus from Results

Success should not be solely determined by results. Every athlete has unique goals, and it’s essential to recognize and support their individual journeys. Emphasize personal development and growth, promoting a mindset that values progress over outcomes. By doing so, you create an environment where athletes can thrive and find fulfillment beyond winning or losing.

Constant Feedback for Continuous Improvement

Regular evaluation and feedback are vital for ongoing improvement. Don’t wait until the end of the season to address issues or make adjustments. Provide consistent feedback throughout the season, allowing athletes to stay on track or make necessary changes. Encourage athletes to take ownership of their evaluations, fostering personal responsibility and accountability.


Q: How can I help my athletes stay motivated when they are not meeting their goals?

A: It’s important to remind athletes that progress is a form of success. Encourage them to re-evaluate their goals and make adjustments as needed. By shifting the focus to progress and personal development, athletes can find new sources of motivation and continue to strive for excellence.

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Q: How can I teach my athletes to set effective goals?

A: Start by having open conversations about goal-setting early in the season. Educate athletes about SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) and involve them in the process of setting their own objectives. Regularly revisit goals throughout the season and provide guidance and support as needed.

Q: How can I help my athletes find fulfillment beyond winning?

A: Encourage athletes to set multiple goals within a game or season. Emphasize intangible aspects such as teamwork, resilience, and personal growth. By shifting the focus from solely winning to personal development, athletes can find fulfillment and motivation in various areas of their performance.


Navigating mid-season adjustments can be challenging, but with the right approach, coaches can guide their athletes towards new, attainable goals. By emphasizing progress, fostering goal-setting conversations, embracing multiple goals, shifting the focus from results, and providing consistent feedback, coaches can empower athletes to thrive and find fulfillment in their athletic journeys. Remember, success is not solely defined by outcomes but by the personal growth and development of each athlete.

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