Ep. 161 Transcript - Dr. Chelsea Pierotti

Ep. 161 Transcript

[Fun, Motivational Music] 

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 promise 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] 


Have you ever tried to set SMART goals? It's a really common goal-setting method that ensures goals are specific and measurable, and it's supposed to help ensure you meet your goals. Well, I have a better way. This new method takes a very important step beyond the SMART method, and dancers that I've worked with who used this new method instead saw some pretty amazing results.

So, welcome! You're listening to Passion for Dance, the show for dancers and dance educators. I'm Dr. Chelsea. My mission is to create happier, more successful dancers through mental skills. One of the most accessible mental skills that makes a real impact on your growth as a dancer is goal setting, but I've seen goal setting fail when it's not done well. So let's make sure you're setting yourself up for success. By the end of the show, you'll have a clear roadmap to the scientifically-supported new goal setting strategy, a method that improves motivation, focus, happiness, and performance.


[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.

[Motivational Music]


If you have ever tried goal setting before and it hasn't worked because you didn't track things very well or there was never enough time, please stick with me today, even if you've written off goal setting, because this method is different. When goal setting is done well, it can improve all of the other mental skills you hope your dancers are learning. It's well worth it.

How I Used This Goal-Setting Process With a Team – 3:59

Science has shown the power of goal setting for decades, but you don't have to just take my word for it. I want to tell you about a team I worked with last summer who learned this method and it made an immediate shift in their program.

This was a high school team. They had some commitment issues the year before, and the coach was really trying to get her dancers to put in the work and make really big strides in their technique and competitive outcomes. It was hard to get the buy-in. Not everyone on the team was willing to do the work. As a part of a larger workshop, I walked them through this new goal-setting process, and things shifted right away.

The coach texted me two weeks later and said, “We do a five-minute goal check each week with their sister in the program and make a point to celebrate not only reaching goals, but also any progress and actionable steps achieved on the way towards the goal. They told me last week that the check-ins keep them accountable and they look forward to sharing what steps they have accomplished in the process.” Isn't that what we're all hoping for? I love to hear that. We want our dancers to look forward to putting in the work and be accountable for their teammates and actually get better.

That's what this method can do because goal setting is great by itself, but what makes this method special is that it's connected to your values with a clear plan for what to do when things get off track, because your pursuit of your goals will not be straightforward. And even though there'll be bumps in the road, when you set goals in alignment with your values and you have a clear plan for obstacles that will come up, you have a much better chance of achieving your highest goal.

Goal setting is so important because it's not really about reaching your goals; it's about the dancer you become along the way. Dancers can learn to pursue challenges with excitement, gain resilience to bounce back when they fall short, find motivation to keep going when it's hard, and develop a genuine love and happiness when they see the growth that's possible. If that sounds too pie in the sky, I promise I've seen it. When done well, goal setting can really shift so many other mental skills. So let's talk about this new method and exactly how you can implement it too.

Breaking Down the GWHOP Method – 6:04

Now, it's a silly acronym. I didn't make this up. I wish it was a better name, but go with it. It's the GWHOP Method. That's G-W-H-O-P. It works in a way that goes beyond the traditional goal setting you're probably used to.

G: Goal

Now, G stands for goal, and this is where the SMART goal comes in. It starts where you're probably used to. There's still a lot of support for SMART goal-setting method, and it does have merit, but in this method, it's just step one. You set a goal that's specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

This means goals about your training, your mental skills, your team culture, your leadership, whatever you want to focus on is clearly identified. It's specific, and you can track it. It's achievable but a challenge, relevant to your values and larger plans with a clear timeline. These are usually also process and performance goals.

Examples could be something like adding in 20 minutes of targeted conditioning 3 times a week for the first 3 months of the season, or complete five minutes of journaling at the beginning of rehearsal every Saturday morning for a month and then evaluate how we feel. You want each goal to be specific and measurable so you know when you have achieved it. It should be doable, something that's in the realm of possibility. Sometimes I really have to talk dancers down a little bit into what's actually feasible in our schedules. It should be relevant to your larger in-season goals and relevant to your values.

If you have a big competitive goal, great. These smaller goals should align with those outcomes and be connected to your larger values, not out of nowhere. And finally, the goal should have a specific time constraint determined ahead of time. Without that, it's hard to track progress and make adjustments if you need to.

Now, good goal setting that's based on values is a deeper conversation for another day. But generally speaking, goals should come from values. So, be sure to set those first. Use both process and performance goals rooted in your team's values. So the idea to remember today though, is that setting a clear SMART goal is a great place to start. That's the G in the GWHOP method.

W: Why

Step two is W, which stands for why. Once you set a goal to improve on a skill, or focus on team culture or leadership, it's essential to understand why. Now, I usually take this individually. Each dancer should reflect on their own why. They may not want to add the extra conditioning, or they may not care about a goal that you think is important. But if they can connect it to a personal value, that shifts their buy-in. What's in it for them? Why does working on this goal matter?

H: How

H stands for how. This is truly where the magic happens. Once you set a goal and you know why it matters. Discuss the logistics of how it will happen. Break down each goal into small, actionable steps. Delegate planning. Set a schedule. Put things in a calendar. Decide what actions need to happen in order to complete this goal and articulate exactly how that's going to happen. Get into the nitty gritty, and really plan it out.

O: Obstacles

O stands for obstacles. As I mentioned, and you've probably felt before, goal progress will always fluctuate. It's never perfect, linear growth. Every day is getting better than the last, even if, of course, that's what we're working for, that's not real. So take time when you set the goal to consider what will get in the way. Will mindset get in the way? Will finding a ride or remembering to bring something to practice hinder your goal progress?

Have each dancer consider what will get in the way for them, and then write down their personal obstacle before those setbacks even have a chance to arise. Let the dancers think about this individually again. What could get in their way? What's most likely to make it hard for them?

P: Plan

And then finally, P stands for plan. Knowing your obstacle, what's the plan? How will you handle it? Before you have a chance to be in the middle of all the stress, know that something will get in the way and make a plan for dealing with it. That greatly increases your chances of resilience during a setback.

GWHOP Method Applied to a Team – 10:22

So that's the GWHOP Method: set a goal, understand why breakdown, how you'll achieve it, determine potential obstacles, and decide on a plan for handling those challenges.

Back to the team I mentioned at the beginning, one goal we set was to hit a new skill that they were working on for their competitive routine three times in a row. So the SMART goal was that everyone would hit this specific skill three times in a row by a specific date. They were focused on it individually first. We have to get the skill before you can put it in the routine. So each dancer committed to working on the skill so that they could hit it three times in a row by a specific date that made sense in their competition calendar.

Then we talked about why. Each dancer wrote down their personal motivation to achieve that skill. For some it was for the sake of personal gratification or because they really wanted it in the competition routine or because they wanted to show their friends they could do it when they performed for the school. Whatever made it matter to them, they wrote down why it was important to work on it.

Then we talked about how. They set standards for at-home practice and talked to coach about dedicated weekly time in practice that made sense, and they established a buddy system that they had to check in with their sisters once a week to discuss progress. Then they could share something like, “Last week, I was able to do two in a row, which felt great. This is how I'm going to practice this week,” or they could tell their buddy, “I went to an open gym to work on it over the weekend.” The goal progress checks with their team buddies allowed them to highlight any progress and effort and then take accountability for their work, and then often they could get help if they were stuck. There was a clear procedure for monitoring progress and keeping everyone on track.

Then, each dancer wrote down obstacles like space to practice at home or having a job that limited time or their fixed mindset around that skill, making it hard to believe that this was even possible. Then everyone discussed their plan for overcoming those obstacles, both mental and physical.

I hope you can hear how that is so much better and more effective than simply saying, “Get X skill for competition.” It's what most dancers do: “I just have to get this skill.” But it can be so much more than that. Goal setting needs to be connected to a personal why and then have clear plans for implementation and resilience.

So I hope this inspires you to consider this new method of goal setting. And if you're looking for more in-depth help for achieving your goals, I hope you check out my new online course, Dance Team Catalyst. The course will walk you through the whole process, all the way from setting team values to the types of goals like process and performance, my staircase method that maps out the order of goals and more. It's everything you need to have a successful program this year. Learn more at www.chelseapierotti.com/catalyst, or see the link in the show notes wherever you're listening now. It's available right now!

So check it out, and really dive into good values and goal setting this year so your team is more united and ready to put in the work. Visit www.chelseapierotti.com/catalyst for more details. I know you can have the best season yet, and as always keep sharing your passion for dance with the world!


[Motivational Outro Music]

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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