The Mental Edge 16 September 2023

16 September 2023

Mental Edge Newsletter

Helping You Gain A Mental Edge

How to Set Better Goals so That You Enjoy Your Sport More

Are you setting the wrong goals?

The majority of people that we support at Inspiring Sporting Excellence are highly motivated, goal driven athletes, coaches or sporting parents.  Yet, something I note is that many people set the wrong goals.  The goals that they set themselves or other people aren’t helping them get from A to B.  If anything, the goals are hindering them, holding them back from getting to where they want to.  Their goals can also spoil their enjoyment of sport.

Why is that?

To say it’s complex is a fair assessment. 

  1. You have the people who you spend a lot of time with – family, friends, coaches and teachers who unconsciously teach us poor goal setting principles. 
  2. We have social norms and the “outcome” based cultures and environment around us.
  3. Our curiosity with other people and “comparisonitis!”
  4. The competitive nature of sport.

Additionally, I’d add in we aren’t shown how to set goals at a young age or even at an old age.  With some open-mindedness this can change and you can set better, healthier goals for yourself and with others.

The negatives that come with poor goal setting

From my consulting I see a lot of people:

  • Just waiting for things to happen to them.
  • Thinking about what they should have done or concerning themselves with what they haven’t done.
  • Not setting goals out of fear in case they don’t achieve them.
  • Choosing their goals from statistics on a whim and without proper thought or support.

Helping these people and the seriously driven person who sets the wrong goals are our motivation behind the 2 most recent Demystifying Mental Toughness podcast episodes which has a lot of valuable content for you.  As well as the other helpful content further down in this week’s Mental Edge.


In this short solo episode I discuss the way that we view our ability goes on to underpin two different achievement goal states; task and ego involvement.  This then plays a part in how we view success and whether we get caught in the trap of comparing ourselves to others.

How we create a task/mastery involved climate is also something that I share.

Commitment, a measure of mental toughness is largely about making promises to yourself and then going on to follow through with those promises, without being sidetracked or derailed.  As a Sports Psychologist I note that a lot of people are highly driven and could be argued to be goal setters.  Regularly setting goals and striving to attain them.  Yet, they aren’t shown what are helpful goals and they don’t question whether the goals that they set are going to be beneficial for their performance or well-being.

In this solo episode I unpick this, where I ask you to consider your goals, are they intrinsic or extrinsic? Are they helping you get to where you want to get to?  Do you feel good, as a result of your goals? This episode should appeal to coaches, parents, teachers and athletes themselves.


David Charlton Sports Psychologist

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Online Sports Psychologist | Mental Performance Coach who supports many highly motivated athletes, young and old, developing their skills or who are already highly skilled so that they gain a mental edge and get the most from their talent across the globe from USA/Canada to Great Britain and Ireland to UAE, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, using ONLINE Video Conferencing.    

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence

Host of Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcast

Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub 

Author of The Mental Edge

With over a decades’ experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to transfer their skills from training to competitive situations, under pressure.

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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