Systems for reaching your goals

This blog is part of: Sports Coaching – The Ultimate Guide

Achieving your goal

What are systems you may ask? Systems are a set of behavior and habits which help to reach a certain goal. If you want to become a good sports coach, You will need to implement and improve systems for doing so. For example, a sports coach that want to become better at leadership has to start behaving in a way which leads to that goal. This could be:

– Reading about leadership

– Seeing how others lead

– Trying out new leadership methods

– Reflecting on these methods.

These are behaviors that lead into becoming a better leader. Together they form a system. In this blog I will show you examples of systems and the SMART way of setting goals. This knowledge can be used to become a better sports coach, person or athlete. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Examples of systems

Improving your knowledge of the game

This is a system which might be used to gain knowledge about a subject. The system I thought off goes as following:

1. Identifying knowledge gaps

2. Read and watch content about this subject

3. Talk to other coaches about this

4. Implement new knowledge in practices and games

5. Observe results

6. Ask for feedback from other coaches

7. Implement improvements.

This system is quite long. It is possible to skip steps such as 3 and 6 or you can define the steps differently so it includes a wider set of behaviour. Usually, the more specific you become, the more steps a system will have. It doesn’t matter how specific or wide as long as it works effectively for you.

Showing someone taking steps.
What steps to take?

Setting up goals

This one can be done in multiple ways. The system I thought of goes like this:

1. Identify current abilities of team/athlete.

2. Make a projection based on previous results.

3. Create long term and short term goals using this knowledge

4. Reflect and adjust goals after a certain period of time

Creating systems for athletes

Sport professionals are usually there to help the athletes reach their potential. Systems can be used to help them do so. In addition, systems will help athletes understand what behavior is needed and expected if they want to work to their goals. It gives them a blueprint which they can work with and iterate on. Also, providing this can be really appreciated by your players. Showing them the way builds trust and respect.

So when would you do this and what kind of systems would be useful for your team/athlete? Let’s take a look at an example: 

Daily routines around the athlete lifestyle

1. Go to bed on time.

2. Eat enough and healthy

3. Drink water regularly

4. Watch training videos or matches

5. Train weaknesses 

6. Stretch

7. Repeat and adjust

This is a routine which seems quite obvious. But I personally didn’t know about having a regular routine for a while. Someone had to tell me about this before I started implementing it. You can be that person for the next youngster who wants to be like Mike.


So we have come to an understanding that systems are a set of habits and behavior which help people, teams or even companies reach their goals. In sports a system can help athletes to get locked into the grind. However, the key point which makes sure these systems keep helping you is about reflecting and adjusting. Learn how to take a step back and look at the process. Be critical! Also, as a sports coach it is crucial to make sure that the systems work. Do this by first setting out goals which are measurable. One good method for setting goal is the SMART system. The system stands for:






When using the SMART system, the goal you work towards to becomes very clear. Which in return makes it easier to reflect on the system you created for your goals. 

Key takeaways

Systems can help in becoming the team, athlete and person which you want to become. Maybe even more important, it can help people around you reach their goals. Whether it’s for setting up goals, improving knowledge of the game or for the athletes, systems provide the guidance for working on yourself. They are the foundation for reaching great things.

To use systems effectively, make sure to first set out clear goals to achieve. Use the SMART method. After doing so, the next step is to identify the habits, behaviours and routines which are needed to accomplish these goals. And in the end, make sure to reflect and improve!

What do you think about systems? Did you used it before? Let us know through Facebook or LinkedIn. 

If you want to learn more about this topic, make sure to read the following article.

This blog is part of: Sports Coaching – The Ultimate Guide

Thank you for reading!

Cheers – Max de Klerk

The co-founder, Max de Klerk, standing in front of a wall

Leave your thoughts