How to Set Goals for Netball Success?

Sports Psychology Tips: How to Set Goals for Netball Success?

Goal setting is a simple motivational tool yet often it is misused

The new year or the start of a new season often encourages people to dream big and set new goals and resolutions to stick by.  It can be a great opportunity to reflect on the last year or season, your netball performances and what you want to achieve with netball. All successful performances start with clear written goals, so why not start off your year or season on the front foot?

What is goal setting?

Goal setting refers to a successful action plan that we set ourselves that helps guide us to choose the right moves at the right time and in the right way. Those who have highly ambitious (but achievable) goals have been found to have better performance and output rate than those with ineffective or no goals. 

Benefits of goal setting

Research has found strong links from goal setting and success. For example, setting clear goals is linked with enhanced motivation, self-drive, a sense of accomplishment, self-efficacy, confidence in your abilities and ultimately improve your netball skills and overall performance. By planning and setting goals you are creating steppingstones to achieve what we want. This step-by-step roadmap to our goals is important to maintain perspective throughout the year or season and increase the chances of achieving what we set out to. 

The basics of goal setting

When thinking about what you want to achieve with netball this coming year or season, it is important to think about what type of goal you want. For this, there are three types of goals you can set:


This refers to the focus on improvements relative to one’s own past performance (e.g. improve scoring to 3 goals per game)


Specifies the procedures in which you will engage in during netball performances (e.g. focussing on planting your feet)


Represents a performance that focus on the end result, either winning or losing a specific game or event (e.g. beating a rival netball team)

It is important to discern what type of goal you are wanting to set to as these different goals can be more effective depending on the individual and overall aim. 

4 Tips to Develop Effective Goals

It is also vital to remember when setting goals that they must be achievable and realistic for you at the time. Goals are a way of directing you to a specific target and planning how you are going to get there. So, these goals must be specific to you but also bridge a gap between now and your desired future. There are many ways of doing this but the most effective is to ensure you set a range of short-term and long-term goals.

1. Goal proximity: 

By combining short-term goals with long-term goal outcomes, you can stay motivated by seeing progress and recognising differences in your netball performances. This systematic way of mapping out goals has been found to be a key factor in successful goal setting. 

2. Make them SMART:

This S-M-A-R-T acronym teaches you how to set specific goals that help you work towards your overall desired performance outcome

Specific (what exactly do you want to achieve?) What needs to be done, by who?

Measurable (how much? How many? Will I know when it is accomplished?) Quantifying your goals makes it easier to track progress

Achievable (how can I achieve this? Is it attainable?) This is a reality check- is your goal something you or your team can actually accomplish?

Realistic (is this worthwhile? Is it applicable to the current environment?) Make sure it is in line with your current ability and how that can be progressed

Time-bound (when will this be done?) Always set a due date so you have something to work towards 

3. Positive Attitude:

Using positive wording in your goals is important to encouraging your future self and focussing on what you want to accomplish. Try to think about what you want to accomplish in netball rather than what you want to avoid or stop doing. Our internal self-critic is one of the toughest hurdles to overcome, start the way you mean to go on! 

4. Writing your goals down:

Goals that are only said to us or others verbally don’t have as much staying power as those which you write down. Actualise your goals by writing them down in your diary, on your calendar, your notes in your phone or a sticky note on your fridge! The more times you interact with your goals the more likely you are to engage and be motivated to achieve them. By writing them down you are setting accountability for your actions, therefore it is up to you to go out and do it!

Following these 4 tips help set a strong foundation to setting your goals and achieving success in netball.  Execution of these goals is vital to the success, try not to ‘set and forget’ your goals! Set your accountability, be specific on the types of goals and how these can be achieved in a step-by-step process. Further, be sure to let others know what you’re doing! A supportive environment is a brilliant way to ensure success! 

Feel free to sign up to  “The Mental Edge”  if you’d like to learn more about improving your mental approach to netball or other sports.

Or to get in touch for one 2 one Sports Psychology Coaching with Olivia Scott, Mental Skills Performance Coach and Sports Counsellor, based in North Tyneside, near Newcastle upon Tyne who operates globally through online means using video calls.

Olivia Scott

Best Wishes 

Olivia Scott

Mental Skills Performance Coach and Sports Counsellor located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.  With a passion for helping netball players and other athletes achieve their ambitions.  

E: [email protected]

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