Anorexia nervosa is a psychological disease characterized by an intense fear of becoming obese, a disturbed and distorted body image, significant weight loss unrelated to other illness, refusal to maintain normal body weight, and amenorrhea. Bulimia is an episodic pattern of uncontrollable food bingeing followed by purging. It is characterized by awareness that the pattern is abnormal, fear of being unable to stop eating voluntarily, depressed mood, and self-deprecation. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia are the two most common eating disorders. It is difficult to get an accurate assessment of eating disorders due to under-reporting. Athletes, in particular, are very secretive because they run the risk of being dropped from the team if the problem is discovered. They will only share the problem when the problem is almost catastrophic and professional help is needed. As a coach, I have known that at least six of my athletes suffered from this self-destructive behavior.
Research demonstrates that goals are a powerful means for effecting behavior changes. Goals that directly influence behavior focus a performer’s attention on important elements, increase motivation and persistence, and facilitate the development of new learning strategies. Goals that indirectly influence behavior can alter important psychological factors, such as self-confidence, anxiety, and satisfaction.
Structure a COMPREHENSIVE goal-setting program to help an athlete overcome either disorder.