Goal Setting for Football Coaches in 2021 should start now! As we enter 2021, it follows on from a year where as coaches we had to learn to adapt to a new way of working as we were met with the COVID-19 pandemic. Online platforms were more present than ever, with us searching for new ideas on social media as well as other coaching events and talks through Zoom. When we began our journey as coaches, neither were we expecting or prepared to change the way that we work to such an extent. However, in the midst of the all the difficulties it also provided coaches to find new ways to connect, share and learn.

We as coaches had to find innovative ways to engage our players to provide them with engaging content that could help to continue to support their learning and development alongside helping them to keep connected with their friends and football. Coaches were forced to be creative, to think outside of the box and to revel in the opportunity to create a new and exciting content for their players. As we enter 2021, I think it’s important before setting any goals for the new year, that we don’t ignore our achievements and newly learnt skills that we developed in amongst the countless challenges that we faced in the previous year.

2020 Reflection:

Goal Setting for Football Coaches in 2021 will be impacted on reflection upon the previous year. Begin to look at your own development and what you exposed yourself too as well as how you had to change the way in which you worked as a coach. Like many, achieving our goals that we set out at the beginning of year may not have been achieved; as you find yourself hitting roadblocks in many directions. Whether you were unable to get onto a coaching qualification you hoped to or were prevented from visiting a club that you wanted to learn from – whilst this may be disappointing, it created opportunities for us to focus on areas that we wouldn’t have previously spent time on.

Working as a coach can be consuming; a 7 day a week job. Whether you’re a volunteer coach, part time or full time – we know the role isn’t simply just what happens with your players at training and games. In 2020, we were able to gain perspective on life and what matters most. Many coaches were able to spend much needed time with family and reconnecting with friends as well as focusing on the physical health. If 2020 has taught us anything is that we shouldn’t neglect what matters to us most in amongst the midst of the demands of being a football coach.


As you reflect, here are some considerations that you may want to look back upon to help you set the scene for your goal setting for 2021:

  • Review your goals from 2020 / your overall goals (if you have any)
  • What matters most? I.e. family, friends, career progression etc.
  • What skills do you learn last year that you want to build upon in 2021?
  • Are there any other areas of coaching / teaching that you could look into that support you as a coach i.e. analysis, psychology etc.
  • Is there anything that you wanted to do last year that you couldn’t that you could look to do in 2021?

Goal Setting:

Goal setting is a way of you to help to understand what you want to achieve and how you will work towards it. As we are all aware as coaches, not every journey looks the same and there will certainly be plenty of hurdles along the way – but setting goals can help provide guidance to you as an individual and help you to think about where you want to end up eventually. There are many different methods to explore goal setting and we would encourage all coaches to explore these different methods to make sure that they’re relevant for their needs. In this blog, we will be exploring how ‘SMART’ goals can help you to shape your future and help you to understand how the process can help you to achieve the desired out come.


Goal Setting 2021


Lifetime Goals:

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney.

As you begin to draw up your goals, look at what you want to achieve in your lifetime and dream big. What does success look like to you? This may consist of personal or career achievements from owning a house and having a family to working full time within a professional football club. Your life time goals will evolve as you enter different stages of your life, however, beginning to think about the bigger picture of what you want to achieve for yourself can help to provide some guidance for you. The ‘SMART’ method can be applied to your lifetime goals to give you a clear idea of what you want those goals to be, how you will work towards achieving them and what is the time scale that you set yourself to do this.

Medium Term Goals:

Your lifetime goals are long term targets that you want to achieve for yourself. Medium term goals tend to be periodical targets that are regularly reviewed and set to help you to work towards your long term goals that you have set yourself. When setting medium term goals for yourself, link these back to your lifetime goals and set out a timescale for you to work towards these. As mentioned previously, link them to SMART and consider how achieving these goals will enable you to work towards your lifetime goals. In completing this process, as you begin to work towards them you will be able to refer back to the reason why you’ve made a decision to work towards something knowing what you’re aiming for the end result to be.

Short Term Goals:

Short term goals could be from monthly to weekly targets that will help you to work towards both your medium and long term targets. Typically short term goals will be areas that you can work towards within your day to day routine. Short term goals are like stepping stones or steps on a stair, you take on at a time knowing that gradually you are working towards your destination.

If you enjoyed this blog on Goal Setting for Football Coaches in 2021, then check out one of our previous blogs on ways you can improve: https://footballdna.co.uk/what-can-we-during-this-time-off-to-develop-as-coaches-and-players/