UK Athletics has launched a new performance drive to help deliver its aim of having British athletes reaching 50% of the 2012 London Olympic finals.
The "Power of 10" scheme will strive for at least 10 athletes in every age group achieving times, distances or heights better than predefined targets.
"Winning medals is partly about setting targets and exceeding them," said 2012 London Olympics chairman Lord Coe.
"This is about creating an environment where mediocrity is unacceptable."
Failure is not an option - these next six years are the best opportunity athletics could ever have to transform our sport
UK Athletics chief David Moorcroft
The programme is a partnership between UK Athletics and the governing bodies for the sport in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
And the aim is to increase the success rate for British athletes. Over the last six world level competitions, British athletes qualified for 33% of the finals.
Targets have been set in 1,233 events across the age groups, both regionally and nationally, and 35,000 athletes will be ranked by the end of 2006 so their progress can be tracked.
"Failure is not an option. These next six years are the best opportunity athletics could ever have to transform our sport," said UK Athletics chief executive Dave Moorcroft.
"We have got to change the culture. Lord Coe described our sport as being in danger of drifting towards mediocrity.
"We have to replace that with energy, confidence and vitality.
"The Power of 10 is not just another initiative, or a list of athletics rankings.
"It is a year-on-year drive for greater strength in depth across all events and all regions."