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Pivoting for the Goal: How to Help Athletes Through Mid-Season Adjustments

A recent study found that children today are under significantly more pressure to be ‘perfect’ than past generations. If you’re halfway through the season and it’s not going the way you hoped, it’s also easy for you and your team to fall into a slump. When the goals you set at the beginning of the season are suddenly unattainable, how can you and your athletes find motivation to keep going?

As a coach in this tough environment, you can show athletes that not reaching a goal isn’t the end of the world. Rather, it’s a chance to re-focus and pivot towards a new, more attainable goal.

Frank L. Smoll, PhD, a sport psychologist and professor at the University of Washington, explains how you can help your athletes learn to pivot from their original roadmap and make mid-season adjustments that will help them realize their new goals.


Many of us have been taught that once a goal is set, anything short of that goal is a failure. But that simply isn’t true. Smoll suggests coaches advise young athletes not to “set goals in stone, as they’re meant to be revised.”

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