• Posted: December 2015
  • By: Josh Carroll

Well Formed Outcomes in the context of Sporting Excellence

Well formed outcomes are something that every successful person has done either consciously or unconsciously. The idea of a well formed outcome is simple, you can state what you want, then follow a 7 step process and with some help from your unconscious you will have a higher chance of achieving what you want. However, if it were as simple as that wouldn’t every person be a millionaire, rock star or a sporting prodigy?

The steps for a Well Formed Outcome

1. Stated in positive terms
2. Initiated and maintained by self
3. Specific sensory based description of outcome, steps and evidence
4. More than one way to get the outcome
5. First step is specific and achievable
6. Increases choice
7. Is ecological

The focus of this article is to look at the sporting side, is there a difference between being an elite athlete and a high level athlete?  It seems the elite athlete has a goal to be ‘elite’? This is a point that could be debated time and time again, as there will always be people who think that Lionel Messi or Usain Bolt have maintained their consistent level at the top of their respective sports by the ‘luck’ of talent. However, having a sports coaching background this is something that I’d categorically argue against. I think that from a very young age these elite athletes would have set a well formed outcome, which would instantly increase their ‘luck’ potential. This is because different stages of the outcome create a filter in your mind. Their attention will be drawn to things that would have supported their outcome. So this and the law of attraction (which will attract to you what you need to make your goal a reality) would merge together to generate this elite mind set.

In comparison you could look at a Championship football player, or a second tier sporting athlete in any criteria. This athlete is still unbelievably talented and the chances are they are superior to both you and I in their respective fields but they are still light years away from being the Lionel Messi of their sport. These athletes would have still had an outcome to be high level athlete from a young age as well. There are two simple yet potential reasons for why these high level athletes aren’t elite. The first of which is the ‘luck’ of talent that the high level athletes have, for example Usain Bolt physiology allows him to run the 100m faster than any other human. The other is the desire of the outcome; this is because the elite athletes have set the outcome of being elite and want that outcome so much that they are almost willing to die to achieve it.

To be elite at anything you need some degree of talent, but on top of this you need to have that set outcome and desire to achieving it. This is why it’s no coincidence that all the best free kick takers in football, have practised that free kick thousands of times, frequently when the other players have left the training ground.  The talented golfer Gary Player, once hit an unbelievable chip from the bunk on to the green, after the round a news reported said ‘Wow, you got a bit lucky with that shot’, to which Gary candidly responded ‘it’s funny how the more I practice that shot the luckier I get’. This is a great example of how someone who is elite wants to constantly improve and is also constantly re-updating their outcomes to fine tunes their game whilst reinforcing their life-long attitude to be the best.

To summarise, every elite athlete and person would have consciously or unconsciously set an NLP outcome which would have helped them along the way. This is because the NLP outcome setting process helps make an outcome more concrete as well as testing the congruency behind an outcome. If they had NLP support, the NLP coach would work with the athlete to help them define their outcome in a congruent manner. The use of third (observer) position is useful in exploring the congruency and ecology of an outcome.  When a person sets outcomes, they tend to get lucky and attract to them what they need to make the outcome a reality. 
So what are you waiting for, set yourself an exciting outcome and enjoy achieving it.

By Josh Carroll



  • Excellent course and great support from Michael throughout. I’d recommend this to anyone who would like to work more effectively with people, or improve their focus and gain clarity on goals and ways to make them happen.

    Natasha May
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