Goal-setting is often termed as one of the critical aspects of success, especially for elite athletes. At a time when the sporting world has literally come to a standstill due to the COVID-19 outbreak, some of the top sportspersons are struggling to avoid getting frustrated due to lack of training.
According to Gayatri Vartak, a badminton player-turned-sports psychologist, sportspersons should try and utilise the ongoing phase for “tangible goals rather than thinking about intangibles”.
“Generally an athlete sets a long-term goal — an Olympic medal or qualification, for instance — and then you reverse-work for that so that you be at your peak three weeks before the tournament,” Gayatri told The Hindu from Pune.
“Since we just don’t know when sporting calendars will resume, I would advise nobody does goal-setting for success in tournaments or rankings till everything settles down. Instead, the goals have to be set on day-to-day activities. Have a goal with your sleep pattern or maintaining your weight or doing fitness activities based on the advice from your trusted strength and conditioning expert. These kind of goals will hold you in positive frame of mind.”
With sportspersons confined to their homes all over India, Gayatri has been extremely busy, conducting telephonic or video sessions with 100-plus athletes she works with.
Gayatri stresses that most of the athletes she has been interacting with have made peace with the situation and are enjoying a rare longer stay at home.
“Yes, the first week or so was difficult to deal with for many, but now most of them are getting used to enjoying time at home, with the family,” Gayatri said. “It’ll definitely hold them in good stead whenever things get back to normal.”