Article written and published by Steve ALEXANDRE

8 January 2021

What were your goals last year?

Every year you tell yourself that this time you're going to fix it. But you don't know where to start.

What are your priorities? Which road to take?

In this article, I will show you how to set your goals to reach them more easily. There are 3 simple steps to do this, while improving your basketballskills.

I don't just want to show you the road to success. I'm going to light it up like a basketball court on game night. So that you really take the right path.

The proof that this method works? It allowed me to improve my team and win the championship.

Why do you set goals? 

They are not there to pressure you, scare you or demotivate you.

No. The usefulness of a goal is much more positive.

It increases the chances of achieving your goals

Do you know Dr. Gail Matthews? This American psychologist conducted a goal-setting study.

Its results are edifying.

Study by Dr Gail Matthews: "Research shows that to be successful, your goals must be documented and shared."

This study shows that your chances of achieving your goals are :

  • 64%: if you write and engage with friends to achieve them
  • 76% if you write and engage with friends and in report regularly

This rate drops to 40% if your goals are only in your head.

So imagine your chances of success if you do nothing at all.

Imagine what you will achieve if you put your dreams on paper. All that you will achieve over time.

Perhaps it's worth taking a moment to reflect on this.

It propels you forward

Achieving your specific goals means determining the things you wantto achieve first, and within a certain time frame.

I'll give you examples:

  • Scoring 20 points per game
  • Breaking ankles with your devastating dribbles
  • Gain 10 kilos of muscle (if you are as thick as a toothpick)

Why is that?

Because you will focus your efforts on a few specific points. Like a magnifying glass that focuses the sun's rays on a single point to set it on fire.

This simple change will catapult your results.

It builds your self-confidence

Once you have acquired a solid foundation, you feel much more competent.

The more skillful you feel, the more confident you become. The more confident you are, the more you try and succeed in the field.

It's a virtuous circle. If you know where you are going, you design your success for the future.

Now that you know why it's important to set goals, I'll explain how you can do it in 3 simple steps.

How to set your basketball goals in 3 steps?

You'll see it's very simple.

If your goals are set correctly, they will be motivating and will be achieved or almost achieved. Above all, they will be a source of well-being.

If not, they will be as frustrating and demotivating as a cold bench on a basketball court.


  1. You will not put your efforts in the right place
  2. You will achieve one or more goals, but you will be frustrated

So I'm going to show you the 3 basic steps to follow.

This will make it easier for you to achieve what you want. And at the same time, you will progress in many areas.

Step 1. The correct challenge

What is it?

This means setting yourself a difficult but achievable goal.

I will tell you more.

If the challenge is too high for your current level, you are unlikely to achieve your goals.

Do we agree?

The actions you take will not be optimised. Your progress will be weak.

On the other hand, if the challenge is too easy for you, there is nothing really at stake. Little effort is required. Again, your progress will be weak, and you may lose motivation.

On the other hand, if the challenge is difficult, but achievable. You will be highly motivated and willing to make the necessary efforts. You will pass the stages with ease.

In the end, you will be more competent.

So how do we go about it?

Two years ago, I won the Regionale 2 championship with my team.

Imagine the start of the next season. If I had set the goal of reaching the National 3. Would the challenge have been correct?

No. Because it would have been too difficult for our current level. I would have set my team up for failure.

In our situation, the correct challenge was to aim to stay in the Pre-Nationals, while being in the Top 6.

Can you see the difference?

This is the method:

  1. You setyourself a specific goal
  2. You think for a moment
  3. You ask yourself the following questions:
  • Is it currently within my reach?
  • Will it help me to progress?
  1. You adjust this objective

If you are currently a substitute. Your goal could be: to become a starter.

If you are in the regional selection, your objective could be: to enter a training centre.

If you score 10 points per game: score 15.

Is it clearer now?

The classic mistake to forget in order to achieve your goals?

It's about setting a goal and going for it. Like a powerful bull charging into a crowded arena.

The likelihood of getting a pole in the head? High.

It's worth taking a moment, isn't it?

In short, if your goal is difficult but achievable, it is effective. That is to say, a source of progress. Motivation. Success!

Now you know how to set a goal. Now I'm going to tell you how to succeed while improving your skills.

Reliable shooting means more baskets scored!

Request access to your free training to score more baskets.

Step 2. Add additional objectives

What does that mean?

The idea here is to set yourself outcome goals AND means goals.

What is a performance target?

It means achieving a specific result.

Winning the championship. Entering a training centre. Play for a professional team. Scoring 15 points per game.

What is a means objective?

These are all the things you need to achieve a result.

Improve your shooting (if you want to score 15 points per game). Strengthen your mental skills (to manage your emotions better). Build a strong physique (to play in the top division).

Why is this important?

What happens if you only set an outcome goal and fail?

It's simple. You are disappointed, your motivation drops. You don't feel like you've made any progress.

However, if you add means objectives? You succeed more easily. You have the feeling of progressing while feeling good. And you move towards the desired result.

If you don't achieve the desired result, at least you have learned new skills. You've made progress, so your motivation remains intact. Everything you need to bounce back from failure.

Isn't it beautiful?

So how do we go about it?

Again, it is very simple.

  1. Identify your outcome goal,
  2. Identify what means (or processes) you need to achieve it,
  3. Adds meansobjectives in addition to the targeted result.

Here, for example.

When I set myself the goal of winning the championship with my team, I set myself 3 objectives:

  1. To improve my players' offensive teamwork
  2. Improve their shooting skills
  3. To better understand the mental aspect of my players (to better guide and coach them)

For this last point, I followed a certification of Mental Preparation with LNF - Les Nouvelles Formations - French leader of Mental Preparation for sportsmen.

This allows me to help my players to :

    • Strengthen their motivation,
    • Better manage their concentration,
    • Better manage their stress,
    • Improve their internal discourse,
    • Build their self-confidence,
    • Set ambitious targets but within their/our reach.

Want to know how to approach a competition mentally?

Here are all the details in these videos: How to Manage Your Stress Before a Competition.

The classic mistake is to forget

You've done a lot of work to figure out what you want to achieve. What you're going to have to go through to progress in basketball. But, you put all that work in a corner. And you forget it along the way.

It's a pity, because you forget what's important to you.

Let me give you a tip to avoid this.

Keep your goals in sight. It's as simple as that.

Put them on your fridge. On your desk. In your room. Read them over as often as you can. Share them with your best friend. That way, you'll have them fresh in your mind all season long. Every time you train.

Remember the study by Dr Gail Matthews that I mentioned at the beginning.

Final tip. Keep track of your progress against your means goals. Like in Kill Bill. Beatrix Kiddo knows exactly what targets to shoot.

Now you know how to set a goal. How to succeed while improving your skills. 

So let's look at how to make your goal easier to achieve. 

Step 3. The time objective

How to eat beef more easily? No matter how delicious it is.

Answer: piece by piece.

For your goal it's the same thing. You have to make it more digestible. More appealing.

Divide your target result into the three times:

  • Short term: 6 months to 1 year
  • Medium term: 2 years
  • Long term: 3 to 5 years

Think of it as a step-by-step progression.

You can also define the long term as 1 year. The short term is 1 month. The medium term 6 months. It's up to you to choose according to the time you have available.

How to do it?

The best way is to :

  1. Break down your goal into sub-goals
  2. Spreading them over time
  3. Carry out the actions necessary to achieve each sub-objective

You will see the ox smaller than it is.

It reminds me of that famous summer. I had set myself the goal of scoring 15 points per game the coming season.

I have divided my objective as follows:

    • Short-term goal: to be ambidextrous by 15 September
    • Medium-term objective: to score 10 points per game by 15 October
    • Long-term goal: to score 15 points per game by 15 December

In addition, I have added 3 goals to become ambidextrous before September 15:

  1.  Scoring 90% of attempted baskets with the left hand. I have practiced the Mikan Drill every day that summer.
  2. Improve the quality of my dribbling with both hands. I set up a dribbling routine 5 min per day.
  3. Being able to score 75% of my penetration attempts. I worked tirelessly on my finishing

Not only did I improve my dexterity. But my self-confidence has also soared.

By the way, I recommend these exercises. They are exceptional!

Avoid this if you want to succeed

"Work expands so as to use the time available for its completion" - Parkinson's Law

Don't forget to set an end date(deadline).

Setting a goal without a deadline, or not spreading it over time, is the best way to fail. Or even to give up along the way.

You didn't try that hard to get there!

Move towards your dreams

So, I've shared with you my complete method for achieving your goals.

It takes a little time at first, but you'll see, it's easy to follow.

Don't you have time? Of course I do.

Tomorrow, instead of slumping into an episode of your favourite series on Netflix, do something else.

As Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War, said "He who has no objectives is unlikely to achieve them.

Start by listing your goals for the year. The ones you want to achieve first.

This is what will make you a much better player. Stop practicing and sweating without a purpose.

Take charge and you'll get results beyond your expectations. You will acquire or perfect solid foundations. Manage your emotions better, get stronger physically. And much more.

It's up to you to set your goals. You have plenty of choice.

So start. Now!

Thank you for sharing this article. The buttons are just below.

What are your goals for this year? Tell me in commentswink

See you soon.



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I am Steve ALEXANDRE. I am a certified coach of the French Basketball Federation and a certified mental trainer.

I help you to be more efficient in :

  • Improve your technique
  • Strengthen your mind
  • Develop your physical skills

My goal: to help you reach yours!

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My name is Steve ALEXANDRE, I am a certified coach of the French Basketball Federation, a certified mental & physical coach. Assistant-coach for Breakthrough Basketball Camp USA.

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