Physical Education



Sport Psychology


What is SMART in goal setting?

1 year ago


8 Replies





8 Answers

Ravi Mistry

SMART stands for






This is a framework for how you should set any goals relative to your ambition ensuring that you can understand what, how & why you will be able to reach your goals

Rebecca Forshaw

Hi Muhammad

SMART is a way of making sure that goals set are effective. Each letter of SMART represents something that should be considered when planning a goal. Different exam boards have slightly different meanings so it is important you know your exam board and which applies to your exam.

For EdExcel SMART stands for: -

S= SPECIFIC - meaning the goal should be very accurate and detailed - such as a time or distance to achieve

M = MEASURABLE -meaning the goal should have results that can be measured - such as comparing a time, distance to data tables or previous performances or records set.

A= ACHIEVABLE - meaning the goal should be difficult but reachable - I could achieve improving my distance ran by 0.5 miles over 6 weeks

R=REALISTIC - meaning the goal should be realistic to the skill level and fitness of the performer - asking a beginner at sprinting to match Usian Bolts' time is unrealistic!

T=TIME-BOUND - there should be a clear time-table of when the goal is to be achieved - improving my score on the bleep test over a 6 week period.

For OCR exam board - same as above apart from :-

R = Recorded - the goal should be written down

T=Timed - same as time-bound but worded differently

For AQA exam board - same as EdExcel apart from: -

A=Accepted - the goal should be accepted and agreed to by all involved - coach, participant, parents etc.

Hope this has helped - if I can offer any more tutoring then please get in touch

Georgia Weekley

SMART goal setting incorporates the basic principles when setting effective goals. All goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.

William Sherlock

A SMART goal is a goal that follows the characteristics of the acronym. It must be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and time specific.

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SMART is an acronym used that relates to goal setting. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Each aspect helps create clear and actionable goals, making it easier to track progress and achieve success.

Specific = What is the main goal?

Measurable = How you will track your success?

Achievable = Can you do this and how?

Realistic = Is it realistic to you and how?

Time-Bound = How long will it take?

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Dylan Beesley

This is how we ensure goals are effective and will help an athlete make improvements

Specific - A goal needs to be accurate to the athletes needs and detailed

Measurable - We need to be able to measure it and record progress

Achievable - Is it realistic and doable?

Relevant - Does the goal support the athletes long term aims and suit the athlete?

Time Bound - The goal needs to have an end point where it we either meet or fall short of the goal

For example a SMART goal for a striker in football would be: In the next 10 games I am going to score 3 goals with my right foot.

Matt Parry

SMART goal setting is a process that athletes, coaches and psychologists can use to ensure that the individual that is setting the respective goals are setting ones that will be motivating, and not amotivating due to them being too hard. The process goes as follows:

S - Specific ... E.g. Are the goals being set for something specific to the athlete? If they are a striker in football, you won't want them setting goals related to a different position entirely.

M - Measurable ... E.g. Do you or the athlete have the ability to track their progress through data collection? Is there a way of seeing that they are on-track to achieve the goal, or not.

A - Achievable ... E.g. Don't set a target that doesn't seem achievable. This might be related to time-frame where you don't want to set a goal that has too short of a time-frame, essentially.

R - Realistic ... Similar to the A above. Essentially, is your athlete setting a goal that is realistic to their ability-level and standard that they compete at. If they are setting a target to score 50 goals in a season, but the most they have scored is 8, this would violate this principle and need to be adjusted.

T - Time-bound ... E.g. Setting a time-frame for achieving the goal is important so you can regularly monitor their progress and see whether they are on-target, or not. If they are, motivation and confidence should follow. If they are falling behind, it may be wise to adjust the goal to ensure that they do not lose motivation or self-confidence.

Hope this helps!


Natalie Douthwaite

Specific - the goal needs to be related to your sport and know what you are trying to achieve.

e.g. 100m sprinter trying to improve their time by 1 second.

Measurable - the goal needs to be measurable so you can see how well you have done and track progress

e.g. in 1 month I want to increase my long jump length by 10cm.

achievable - the goal must be within the capability of the performer but also not too easy.

e.g. Improving shooting accuracy in netball by 10% when already working at 50%

Recorded - goals should be written down for progress to be tracked

e.g. Writing down your time each time you run the 800m to see if you have improved.

Timed - goals should have a time frame in which they are sought to be achieved.

e.g. In 6 weeks by basketball shooting accuracy will have improved by 5%.

Think you can help?

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