Ep 160 Transcript - Dr. Chelsea Pierotti

Ep 160 Transcript

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Dr. Chelsea: I work with so many dance coaches and teachers who love the sport and are great at what they do, but their dancers have a hard time staying focused, motivated, and putting in the work to achieve their goals. Whether you're looking to increase focus and motivation and practice, help your dancers reach their competitive goals, or are searching for a way to unite your team around a single vision, I have just the thing to make it all happen.

I've created a new online course that shares the secret to creating a motivated and focused dance team. It's called Dance Team Catalyst, and it will unite your dancers around a single vision that guides them all season and helps them identify the goals that will actually build their confidence, motivation, and resilience along the way.

So do you set goals at the beginning of the season but have a hard time following through? Have you watched your dancers talk about big goals and dreams but then they're not ready to put in the work? Or do you have dancers who give up quickly when they can't get a skill or pick up the choreography? Dance Team Catalyst is the solution. It's a self-paced version of my highly-requested workshop about values and goal setting.

Now you can have access to my exact method for establishing unity and creating motivation among the team. I promised you’ll have the best season yet. I've seen it with every team I've worked with. So go to www.chelseapierotti.com/catalyst to learn more or click the link in the show notes below. That's www.chelseapierotti.com/catalyst to get started.

[Fun, Motivational Music] 


Hi, you're listening to Passion for Dance, the show for dance teachers and coaches. I'm Dr. Chelsea, and my mission is to change the dance industry by creating happier, more successful dancers through positive mental skills training. And this is part one of a two-part series about goal setting.

I decided to talk about goals in more detail because I have seen hundreds of dancers learn how to use goal setting properly and then have the most successful season ever. It's time to share that with all of you. I'm going to break it into two parts: the mindset part and then the how. Today is to set the foundation of the achievement mindset. How you think about goals and how you approach it makes all the difference in making it work for you. Then next week, I'll share the how, my exact goal-setting process that has changed my own life and so many dancers and coaches I've worked with.

In this episode, you'll learn the three key ways that an achievement mindset combined with good goal setting changes your performance. So let's get to it!


[Motivational Music]

Hi, I'm Dr. Chelsea, a former professional dancer and mental performance coach. I know what it feels like to be a passionate dance teacher who cares about your dancers, but you want to challenge them and help them be their best, and I also recognize that some traditions and teaching practices in the dance world are harmful. So I'm on a mission to change our dance industry by creating happier, more successful dancers using positive mental skills.

When you understand how to help your dancers with their confidence, how to find their own motivation, work together as a team and more, your dancers will unlock new levels of competitive success and happiness. And it's not just about them; you deserve the same. So we'll talk about how dance teachers can use positive mental skills to be more confident, resilient, and motivated as well.

Be sure to hit “subscribe” wherever you listen to podcasts. There are new episodes every Thursday, and each week you'll hear from me and my guests with advice and actionable tips for building mental toughness, covering topics about mindset, motivation, resilience, and building a community. Passion for Dance is a show designed to help dance educators like you have a positive impact on every dancer you teach.

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Goal Setting – 3:44

One of the most-used techniques in sport psychology is goal setting, and it's the most used because it can have a positive influence on so many other mental skills. Proper goal setting can reduce anxiety and increase confidence and motivation. But for goal setting to be effective, dance coaches must understand the mindset behind it. When you understand why goal setting works so well, you can help your dancers use that to transform their performance onstage.

Goal setting isn't just about saying something you want to achieve, writing it on a sticky note, and then going for it. That's why a lot of goal setting falls apart. We mean well and we set some big goal, and then somehow it never happens. Most people set a goal that's about the outcome they want: to win or to reach some sense of achievement. But that doesn't usually work very well, and there is a much better way.

In fact, I had a college student in my sport psychology course this week tell me in a reflection paper that she used the goal setting techniques we talked about in class to run her first 5k. It was a goal that had eluded her her entire college career, and now she was a few weeks from graduation and she had finally done it. Even though she wanted to improve her skills as a runner for years, setting the goal to run a 5k never worked until I showed her how to shift her mindset about the goal and use a new strategy.

As a dancer, the same principle holds. Setting a goal to be a professional, make it on Broadway, or compete for your favorite college team is not the goal that's going to help your mindset. If you want to cultivate a mindset that will help you achieve your dreams, good goal setting can get you there, but setting just that outcome goal is going to make it harder. There are three ways that an achievement mindset combined with good goals changes your performance.

Goal Setting Provide Clarity and Direction – 5:33

See, first, goals provide clarity and direction. If you are a young dancer in middle school with big professional dreams, how do you get there? Goal setting can provide a clear roadmap for success. I'll get more into exactly what this process looks like next time. But the point is that when you set short-term goals that all lead you down a path to your long-term goal, you're much more likely to find the personal motivation and drive to stick with it.

Goals give you that clear direction of what to do now. “What do I do in this class? What do I do in this combination,” that'll help you reach your long-term dreams that are probably years away. When you only have that long-term outcome goal, it's hard to find the motivation to show up today or know what you should be doing and where to put your energy.

Part of the reason good goal setting with more than just the end in mind provides such helpful direction is because it allows dancers to stay on track. If you have short-term and clear goals along the way, you know if you're making progress or not. It's clear. It's right in front of you. When you have a roadmap, you also know if you've made a wrong turn or stalled out. Without a roadmap, you could travel down the wrong path for months or years and not know it. Goal setting gives you the clarity you need to break down big dreams into achievable, smaller steps with the direction for how to make that happen and what to do when you drift off track.

Goal Setting Creates Increased Ability to Overcome Challenge – 6:57

The second reason goal setting helps dancers create that achievement mindset is the increased ability to overcome challenges, and dance teachers, I know we all want our dancers to be better at overcoming challenges because, as a dancer, you will have setbacks. You will have a solo performance that doesn't go well or an audition where you don't get noticed. But goal setting teaches you how to handle those setbacks and allows for your achievement mindset to see this as a blip in the road, but your path is still in front of you.

An important part of good goal setting is learning to adapt when your goals need to change. If you've ever had to change a technical skill in a routine because it wasn't ready to compete, then you know what I mean. Many dancers struggle with “dumbing down” a routine or feel like a failure when you have to reduce the technical skill that they are going to compete. But if you've done all the right steps to achieve that skill, and it's just not ready yet, adjusting the path is not as devastating. It's not a failure. You can still see the big picture. You can see that this is a minor setback and not the end of your journey. The skill will happen. It's just not ready yet, or maybe that specific skill doesn't actually serve your goal and you realize you're spending your time on the wrong thing. When you see it as one step in the bigger picture, you can also make the necessary adjustment so that you can continue to move forward.

If dancers need to build their resilience, and let's face it, most of them do, and they need to learn how to handle it when things aren't perfect, then goal setting is there to teach them that lesson. If you learn how to handle a setback when it's a small goal that you had over the course of class this week, you can take that lesson to the bigger setbacks that will happen on your journey. Goal setting has allowed you to learn the mental skill of resilience, and you'd be able to push forward in pursuit of your dreams.

Goal setting instills determination and resilience in dancers. Again, when it's done well with a supportive environment and all the right processes behind it, goal setting can be the mental skill that teaches you so many other mental skills, like resilience and motivation.

Goal Setting Can Make You a Better Dancer – 9:04

Finally, goal setting can quite literally make you a better dancer. When you set goals based on skills you want to be more advanced at or aspects of your performance that you want to improve, you direct your attention towards a specific focus. Rather than showing up to class and going through the motions of warmup, doing the same old barre progression, you focus on a specific improvement.

When you have a goal that's specific and well-tracked, you also notice improvement sooner and will feel more motivated to keep going. Often, goal setting allows dancers to achieve a goal even faster than they thought, especially if they aren't very confident to begin with, and that goal achievement helps dancers build the confidence they need to keep pushing past their self-imposed limits.

Goal setting shows you what's possible. We know that confidence is rooted in action. You're more likely to feel confident if you've already done it, and the best way to get more confident is to do the work. Keep trying, practice ugly, meaning don't worry about what you look like or who is paying attention. Just go for it. Go full out when the combination isn't perfect. Try that new jump, even if you make an awkward shape in the air. Just take action, and if taking action helps boost confidence, goal setting clarifies which action to take, tracks your progress, and helps you see the growth you need to keep going.

Goal setting helps a dancer learn to have a personal achievement mindset, not just focused on an outcome, but choosing a goal that's meaningful. This achievement mindset helps you use goals to have clarity on what you want to achieve and the path to get there. Then good goal setting builds resilience so you don't give up along the way, and it ultimately makes you a better dancer. When you change how you practice, you change how you perform. And this all leads to the how, and that's where I'm headed next episode.

There's a new method of goal setting rooted in psychological science that is changing the game. I've used it for a while now with hundreds of dancers, and the growth is incredible. Of the dancers I taught this method to last year, 94% reached their goals. It's amazing. I'm going to tell you all about it next week.

My New Dance Team Catalyst Course – 11:08

I've also decided that I want to be able to reach more dancers and help more teams successfully achieve their goals. So if you're a part of a high school or college team, especially (although this has worked well for my studio clients too), I created a new self-paced course to teach you all about values and goals. It's a way to create the most effective achievement mindset. That course is called Dance Team Catalyst. It's coming May of 2024. You can find out more at www.chelseapierotti.com/catalyst. Get all the tools you need to unify your team and create the path to achievement this season.

Goal setting is more than deciding what you want in life. It's about learning the mindset lessons it takes to get there. You can learn resilience, motivation, confidence through good goal setting. So if you've written off goal setting in the past, I encourage you to take a second look. There is a better way. So I hope this episode has helped you see why it matters so much, and next week, I'll lay it all out so you would know exactly how to do it well. Until then, thank you for listening and keep sharing your passion for dance with the world!


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Thank you for listening to Passion for Dance! You can find all episode resources at www.chelseapierotti.com/podcast, and be sure to follow me on Instagram for more high-performance tips at @dr.chelsea.pierotti. This podcast is for passionate dance teachers and coaches who are ready to change the dance industry by creating happier, more successful dancers. I'm Dr. Chelsea and keep sharing your passion for dance with the world.

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