Goal Setting for Young Gymnasts

Adults are often told about the importance of setting goals, but do we need to set goals for our children? 

Benefits of setting goals

There are a number of benefits to your child if they have a clear goal, such as: 

  • improved self-image
  • increased confidence and self-esteem
  • establishing a sense of purpose for their actions
  • improved independence 
  • setting them up for success in later life, as it helps them focus and make better decisions
  • teaching them perseverance and resilience when things get tough

So, how can you help set goals with your child? 


One thing that is often misunderstood with goals is there is a belief that people don't achieve their goals because they lack motivation, when in reality, what they really need is clarity. 

For a goal to be successful, it should follow the SMART concept: 

Specific – the goal needs to be clear and precise 

Measurable –you need objective evidence to measure the achievement of the goal

Achievable – the goal needs to be realistic and reasonably easy to accomplish

Relevant – it needs to be relevant and aligned with any longer-term goals 

Time-based – you need a target date for completing the goal to help provide motivation 

In the context of gymnastics and your child, what could a SMART goal look like?

Here is a simple example: 

By 1 January 2022, I will be able to perform a forward roll and then stand up from the forward roll without using my hands.

How you can help your child with their gymnastics goals?

There are a number of other ways you can help your child as they move towards achieving their goals: 

  • help them write out their goal and place it somewhere that is visible to them. Read it to them or ask them to read it 
  • have daily conversations with your child about their goal to help give them direction and encouragement as they progress 
  • consider giving your child small incentives or rewards as they make progress towards the goal to help keep them engaged and motivated 
  • a goal without a plan is just a wish, so discuss your child’s goals with your gymnastics coach and understand what plan they have in place for your child 
  • discuss with your child what you both believe that they are doing well and what they need to work on and get support and input from your coach
  • break down goals for your child into smaller time frames, so instead of having a goal that is 12 months away, consider breaking this down into 4 smaller goals every 3 months

So speak with your children and ask them what their goals are and help them work towards them and set them up for positive life skills.



Dee Matlok is a wellness coach, former lawyer and a recognised change maker. She helps busy professional women create consistent healthy habits to make them feel energised and healthy. She has qualifications in nutrition, exercise science, food psychology and wellness coaching and is the author of ‘DARE to be Awesome: How to Design the Life of Your Dreams One Habit at a Time”. Dee is an avid runner and triathlete, and she has completed several long-distance triathlons and multi-day running events in some of the toughest terrains in the world such as the Sahara and Gobi Deserts. She is committed to raising awareness about mental health and wellness issues, which led to her nomination for the Australian of the Year Award in 2014. 


To learn more about Dee and her book DARE To Be Awesome check her out here.