Be sure you know how to spell SUCCESS – Goal Setting

How-to-Spell-SuccessIn 1967 Aretha Franklin had the whole world spelling “r-e-s-p-e-c-t” in her hit R&B song. It was catchy, clever, and unforgettable.

On the forensics front, prior to the national tournament we must make sure we know how to spell ‘S-U-C-C-E-S-S.’ How about a memorable acrostic that would help students and coaches do just that?

Nope. It didn’t work…

S = Speak?

U = Utter?

C = Count the…

C = Cost? (oh brother)

E = Exercise?

S = Strive?

S = Suitcase? (huh?)

Not success. Fail. Acrostic FAILURE! Sigh…

Thankfully, there is no real need for a literal spelling of success. Let me say it like this.

We all realize that the tangible accolades at a national tournament have merit (i.e., ranks, titles, medals, or trophies). After all, this is a competitive venue where students have worked hard and want to perform well. Nevertheless, even though these awards are worth striving for, none of them should ultimately define true success.

Here’s a recommendation. Prior to the tournament, coaches and competitors should set very specific goals that fall under two simple categories.

Personal Goals – these will include specific objectives that you hope to achieve related to personal growth. Is there another competitor/coach that you have admired all year and would like to finally meet? Do you struggle with ‘small talk’ in the hallways outside of competition rooms? Is it time to hone conversational skills and learn to meet/greet others in a casual manner? How many new email addresses would you like to come home with and thereby expand your network? Will you interface with the tournament director and express your gratitude? There are countless other examples.

Performance Goals – these will include specific objectives related to events. They should help competitors target particular improvements that have been pinpointed on previous ballots or help them incorporate ideas that they have received from coaches/parents throughout the year. Things like better times, ranks, audience connection, and overall improved performance related to ballot criteria.

WRITE DOWN THESE GOALS in advance. Then, by the end of the tournament, you will know whether or not you have accomplished what you set out to do. When you meet your goals you have been successful.

This is a great way to define success, whether or not you know how to spell it!