Varying Levels of Participation
It is not realistic to have a single goal toward which all participants work. If this were the case, then some participants would not be able to accomplish the goal of the lesson, while others would not be challenged. Therefore, GAIN strives to vary levels of participation as well as the level of the activity to increase the chance for success during the lessons. It is imperative to create a level of participation to match the competencies and skills the individual possesses in order to optimize their potential of achieving mastery of what he or she should be able to accomplish. Creating goals that a participant would never be able to accomplish would have negative consequences. Determining the participant’s abilities, competencies, and skills can be done after the initial assessment.
For example, one participant’s goal may be to hit the ball 10 yards, while another participant in the same lesson may have the goal of hitting the ball 50 yards. It was suggested by Dave Compton (personal communication, January 17, 2006), Site Coordinator of Salt Lake City GAIN, that rather than discussing the goals in measurement terms, such as yards, it would be better to place targets on the green at the various distances to reflect the individual’s goal, and identify that hitting the specific target is the goal. Asking the participant to hit a target instead of specifying a distance is beneficial because stating the goal in "yards" can be anxiety-producing as well as lead to automatic feelings of inferiority if one’s goal is at a much closer distance than another’s.
Individuals will also have different long-term goals. These goals depend on the abilities and interests of the participant. For example, one participant’s goal could be to go to the driving range or putting green, while another participant may strive for playing 9 holes, and another for playing 18 holes. Combined with the information from assessments on ability, these goals are formulated from how far the individual wants to go with his or her involvement with golf.