Resources 20 Sep 2012

BCP Moto Coach: Setting goals

Resident coach Lee Hogan discusses the importance of goal setting.

Goal setting is one of the most important parts of being a champion. To reach your goals you first of all need to have some, right? Let’s take a closer look at how to not only set your goals, but also what you can do to help achieve them.

Setting goals is one of the most vital aspects of motocross, at any level in the sport. Image: Simon Makker/

Dare to dream!
Remember when you were just a young kid with the whole world in front of you, watching your favourite rider on television. You might have thought to yourself, one day I’m going to make it to the top! I bet you if you had of asked Chad Reed or James Stewart when they were around 12 or 13 years old what they thought they would be doing at the age of 25 they both would have told you they’d be on top of the world racing AMA Supercross in America.

And that dream is what woke Chad Reed up each morning around 5:30am, living in a caravan in the small town of Kurri Kurri in NSW, to go water his practice track so that by the time the sun came up it was perfect to go and put 60 litres of fuel through his Supercross bike.

Any athlete who has ever achieved greatness in any sport has not just done it by chance or fluke. Whether you are talking about sport, business, losing weight, gaining muscle or any task at all that you would like to achieve, you greatly improve your chances of being successful when you set realistic, achievable goals.

Keep it real
One of the trickiest things to do when setting your goals is to be right on the money. If you aim your sights too high then you set yourself up for disappointment every time. If you set your sights too low then you achieve your goals every time and never really push yourself.

If you try to find some middle ground in between those two extremes then you will find that your goals are never really far from the back of your mind. Your goals should be what drives you each day, whether it is training, or saving money for that holiday or even saying no to that mud cake after dinner.

Write it down
The best thing to do when setting goals is to sit down with your parents or your girlfriend/wife or whoever it may be that is close to you and talk about your goals and what you are hoping to achieve. Make sure you have a notepad and pen and write down key points. It’s important to remember that goals are meant to be medium to long term, and objectives are the smaller goals that we set in between to help us achieve the big goals.

For example, our main goal may be to win the national motocross championship in the Lites class. So we write that down in big capital letters on a bit of paper. Now it’s time to set some smaller goals, or objectives to help achieve the big goal. These may consist of the following:

1. Get my suspension and engine set up well before the season starts
2. Stay injury free through the pre-season
3. Get my fitness to the level that I need to race the current championship format

After a lengthy international career, Kiwi Josh Coppins is one of the best when it comes to reevaluating his goals. Image: Simon Makker/

And the list of objectives can go on and on until you are satisfied. Once you have your list of objectives sorted out, you can actually break it down even further. For example, to achieve the objective of successfully doing two 35-minute motos at full race pace, you might start with doing two 20 minute motos, then two 30’s and so on.

It is important to set dates with these interim goals though, as the last thing you want to do is to find yourself struggling to do a 20-minute moto when round one is the following weekend.

A lot of riders find themselves in the middle of the off-season, thinking to themselves that they have so much time to prepare and the next thing they know they are hopping onto a plane for the first race thinking ‘Where did all that time go?’. By setting goals and smaller objectives you will almost never find yourself in that position.

Be flexible
Occasionally you will need to re-assess your goals and change them accordingly. For example you may have set a goal to win the state championships in your second season, but actually went out and won them in your first season. In this case you would certainly aim your sights a bit higher for the following year. Perhaps aiming for a top five in the nationals, who knows!

Goals should never be set in concrete as circumstances can often change. However, don’t go and lower your goals just because you had one bad weekend. Sometimes your dreams and goals can seem like they are a world away from you but if they mean enough to you then you have every chance to achieve them.