“A dream without a plan is just a wish.”
Often times when I ask young players what their ultimate basketball dream is, most of the time I get a response like “I want to play in the NBA” or “I want to play in college” or “I want to play Division I” or “I want to play professionally one day” etc.
I then proceed to ask them about how exactly they plan to achieve this dream and very often they have little or no idea. And this is exactly why players need to set realistic and smart basketball goals!
I love to hear when a young player has basketball goals or a BIG dream as I’m a huge proponent of shooting for the moon because as they say, “even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
I relate to this notion in my own life as I dreamt about making the NBA from the time I can remember first playing basketball. Although I didn’t quite make it to the NBA, I was able to play professionally in Europe for a number of years, which ended up being one of the great blessings of my life.
In order to get there, though, I set many basketball goals that acted as a “plan” to achieve my NBA dream.
This is where many young players lack the understanding and vision of what it takes to play professional basketball.
They don’t set basketball goals, and often times if they do, they don’t do it properly.
Goal setting in general is not an easy thing, and it does require time and effort, but hopefully this article can enlighten some players on how exactly to set basketball goals in order to achieve their dreams.
Basketball goals (and any goals in general) need to be S.M.A.R.T. That is, goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.
To be clear, a dream is the ultimate, big, huge goal, but in order to achieve that dream, players must set smaller S.M.A.R.T. goals along the way. These goals are essentially the stepping-stones to help a player inch closer to their dream.
Let’s look at S.M.A.R.T. and start with the “S”…