How Basketball Players Set Goals and Achieve Them


“I’m a firm believer in goal setting. Step by step. I can’t see any other way of accomplishing anything.”

Michael Jordan

Good basketball players know the importance of setting and working toward goals.

If you want to be at the top of your game, it’s vital that you set goals and strive to achieve them by working hard with lots of practicing. Use a basketball machine to fully taking advantage of your full shooting capabilities.

Here are some tips on setting goals as a basketball player, so you can focus on achieving your dreams and reaching your full potential, both on and off the court.


#1: Actually Create and Set Goals

Setting goals are vital if you want to continue to grow and develop. Zig Zigler once said “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it everytime.”

When you have a goal that you want to reach, write it down and check up on your progress of reaching that goal. You will start to make different decisions when you are looking at your goals asking yourself, does this get me closer to reaching my goal? If the answer is no, you might want to rethink your next move. Like most things in life, achieving your goals are not easy, especially if it is a hard goal to achieve. Set some quick win goals and others that take longer to achieve.

If you want to keep the goals to yourself to avoid unwanted opinions this can be done also, but start with setting goals today!


#2: Know Why You Want It

Setting goals is one of the most important things for a basketball player. The goals can range from making varsity as a freshman or scoring over 20 points per game, but many benefits come with setting your personal goal.

Not only will you be able to reflect on what went right when you achieved it, but you’ll also have an outline of what doesn’t work and some ways to improve it. Even if you don’t achieve your goal, reflecting on your attempt should help show what you could do differently for success in the future.

Setting achievable goals is one of the best things any basketball player can do: players who want to make varsity need talent and hard work in the off-season. Similarly, players who want to score 20 points per game must focus on their offensive skill-set and balancing their time between drills and set plays. To dramatically improve your game, work with a basketball shooting machine.


#3: Focus On Actions Rather Than Results

Regardless of your goals, you will only succeed by taking action on them. A proven system for ensuring success is by setting long-term goals, short-term goals, weekly tasks, and daily habits, as these are the steps to achieving your BIG goal.

You must stick with a routine to achieve your desired outcome. Recognize what habits need to be changed, replaced, or added to for success. Although it takes time for any new habit to become part of your routine, patience pays off when you get used to working hard to achieve hard or long term goals.

The most successful people focus on one thing at a time until they’ve mastered it before moving on to another skill set.


#4: Write Your Goals Down

No matter your level or age as a player, goals are always helpful to stay organized and focused on achieving your end goal. A few goals many people set for themselves when playing basketball include improving skills; getting a team victory, scoring a particular number of points; or having more rebounds.

For a player that wants to get more 3 point shots, practicing with a basketball return machine offers the best means of practice as it allows you to get thousands of shots in a single hour of practice.

Write down your individual goals so you will have a physical representation of them rather than just some lofty idea stuck in your head. Put this list somewhere that you’ll see every day and be able to keep track of it.

Put up reminders around the house with little notes reminding you why these things are essential to you. Every day, week, or month, go over your goals to constantly remind yourself of where you’re going. Think about what you must do today to get closer to your goals.

What are other smaller goals that will help you achieve your BIG goals? What obstacles may get in your way? If something stands between you and your goal, figure out how to get around it. Let nothing stop you from reaching your goals.


#5: Break Your Goal Down Into Steps

Determine your “why.” The reason you want to accomplish your goal will help you be able to push through any obstacles you encounter on your journey. This must be a big, tangible goal that drives you daily.

Find areas of weakness. A crucial step before setting goals is identifying what parts of your game need work. For example, maybe you want to develop more range on your jump shot or work on layups when driving down the lane.

Create realistic expectations for yourself. High expectations can motivate you, but if they’re unrealistic, they’ll only discourage you from trying hard enough. Set challenging yet realistic expectations that give you something to shoot for and are achievable with hard work and dedication. Having high expectations and working hard will lead to success.


#6: Focus On Actionable Habits Instead Of Dreams

There are three steps involved in achieving goals. The first focuses on actioning habits, the second visualizes your dream, and the third connects with like-minded people. Your task starts with identifying what your current mindset looks like.

Be aware of your thoughts as they arise, and note them throughout the day. For example, if you think I’m never going to make this shot, you need a mental shift to combat that statement, such as by thinking, “Just do it. Or I can do this.” By consistently working on changing these negative thoughts into ones more focused on success, you will start implementing the action habits necessary for achieving your dreams.

First, visualize what it would be like if you successfully reached these goals; for example, how would it feel? What would you do? Who would be there with you? After creating an image of what your goal would look like, begin thinking about how you can achieve it.

Let’s say you want to become an NBA player. What are you doing now that could be improved? How can you correct that so that your actions lead you closer to becoming an NBA player? What should your diet look like? All of this would lead you closer to your ultimate goal, which will eventually guide you in the right direction in becoming an NBA player.


#7: Actively Pursue Opportunities Related To Your Goal

To become a better basketball player, you must actively pursue opportunities related to your goal. One way of doing this is by setting short-term goals, like increasing your vertical jump. It will eventually lead you to your end goal, which could be to dunk a basketball.

Just because someone else’s workout plan works for them doesn’t mean it will work for you.

A key question when setting these short-term goals is whether they align with the longer-term goal and if the short-term goal is realistic given current lifestyle and other responsibilities. Second, timing is also essential; overworking yourself can often lead to injuries that delay progress.

Finally, be sure to factor any desired change into the goal rather than coming up with a new goal once you have already achieved it.


Now, go out there and achieve your goals!