3 Reasons Why Measuring & Tracking Your Training Maximizes Your Growth

How purposeful are the workouts that you participate in? Whether you’re an athlete, coach or trainer; one aspect of a workout that is often overlooked is “measuring and tracking.” Typically, most workouts include making a specific number of shots in a drill or performing a drill in a certain amount of time. But, unless you keep track of your performance from one drill to the next, you won’t be able to actually MEASURE and TRACK your growth over time. Short term goals are important, but if you’re not creating a road map for long-term success, you might be falling short without even realizing it! Here are 3 reasons why measuring and tracking your training will maximize your long-term growth as an athlete…

1. Holds You Accountable
Whether you’re a self-motivated athlete or one who needs to be pushed by a coach, there will be those times when you’re working alone on your skillset, focus, strength & conditioning, and other areas that will help improve your game. Many of the drills you perform can be measured… by score, time. Etc. But, if you don’t keep track, how are you going to know you’re improving? By keeping track of your results for the same drills over time, you will begin to actually measure how much you are improving…or if you are improving at all! You will also be able to track your personal best for each drill which will provide you with an ever-increasing goal to attain. This is what holds you accountable.

2. Keeps You Motivated Longer
If you’re a serious athlete, you like to be challenged because it brings out the best in you. But, when you’re working out alone, it’s easy to lose your motivation because you aren’t being challenged by other athletes or being pushed by your coaches/trainers. You CAN continue to be challenged by your last workout if you take your previous scores/times and set higher scores and better times as your next goal. Putting a carrot on a stick…just outside your reach is one of the best motivators there is. Pushing yourself to higher limits will help sustain high levels of motivation.

3. Allows You To Track Short and Long-Term Goals
The first step in goal-setting is to set a long-term goal for yourself three to six months out. Once you have figured out your long-term goal, you can then start to create those short-term goals that will help you achieve it. Here is a popular acronym for goal setting called SMART to help you:
S stands for Specific/Short-term – Performing an action that can be replicated and done daily
M stands for Measurable – Choosing actions that can be measured by score or time
A stands for Appropriate/Attainable – Make sure it directly relates to your long-term goal
R stands for Realistic/Reachable – Set goals that you can achieve based on your current abilities
T stands for Time-Based – Setting an actual date for your long-term goal will keep you motivated daily

With a more purposeful approach to goal-setting using the above strategies, the first step is to determine what you can and should be tracking & measuring. If you have a coach or a trainer, the next step would be to sit down with them to help you develop measurable short-term goals that will help you ultimately reach your long-term goal. (If you don’t have a coach or trainer, there are plenty of resources online such as drills and workouts that will help you build your roadmap to success.)

Once you have identified appropriate drills that can be measured, you’ll want to create a method of tracking your results that works for you. Whether it’s a notebook, Google sheets, an excel document or any other “spreadsheet” – make sure it is clear and easy to fill out over time. Each sheet should be a week-long so that you can keep track of multiple short-term goals (or drills) on the same page while also getting a snapshot of your progress on a weekly basis.

A good idea would be to set realistic goals for your drills at the beginning of the week with the idea of trying to attain it by the end of the week.

Keep it simple – don’t over-do it.
If you are performing the workout alone and need to stop after each drill to write down what you score, keep the measurable drills limited to about 30% of your workout so that you don’t lose momentum, or “flow.” You might prefer to use an electronic device such as a phone to keep track of your scores/drills during the workout, but don’t forget to transfer these scores to your spreadsheet when you are done. If you have a coach or trainer who can keep track and write down your scores for you, you will be able to get in more measurable drills (50-75% of your workout) without killing your flow.

Players that are more self-directed end up surpassing those players who rely on pure talent or athleticism. If you want to be the best version of yourself, a little measuring will go a long way.