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NCHPAD - Building Healthy Inclusive Communities

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Goal Setting


Two wheelchair athletes posing for the camera.
Two wheelchair athletes posing for the camera.
 In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.

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Goal setting can be done before and after selecting appropriate activities. Goal-setting can be used before selecting activities in order to help determine what activities may best serve the health, fitness, athletic, recreational, and social goals of the family and the child. Goals to consider prior to selecting activities include:

  • making new friends
  • developing specific motor skills
  • learning independence
  • participating individually (recreationally or competitively)
  • participating on a team (recreationally or competitively)
  • increasing aerobic or anaerobic activity
  • interacting with peers who may or may not have a disability

Once you and your child have determined the goals you have for a specific activity, together you can determine what activities will best serve the attainment of those goals.

After selecting an activity, you and your child need to decide specific outcomes and goals that you want to achieve as a result of participating in that activity. These outcomes and goals should be measurable and achievable. Each goal should also be written down and put in a place that is typically visible, such as the refrigerator or bedroom door. Additionally, once a goal is achieved, a new goal should be set.

As an example, let's say that the appropriate activity that was chosen was recreational basketball. This can apply to either ambulatory or wheelchair basketball. Assuming that the child is 10 years old, somewhat active, enjoys basketball, but has never played it, here are some goals that may be established for this activity:

  • learn the rules of the game
  • make two new friends
  • write down what you enjoyed most during each practice/session
  • write down one thing that you learned during each practice/session
  • lose 5 pounds by being more active
  • successfully perform a lay-up

These are just some examples that offer some insight as to how you can set measurable and attainable goals for each activity that is chosen.


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