Sports Psychology
Log Keeping for Athletes

    In any process, it is important to keep an accurate record of our reasons for beginning, our strategies for making progress, and our relative level of success.  For athletes, one good way to accomplish this is to keep a daily journal of thoughts, feelings, and physical performance before, during, and after practices and games.  Just like the Captain's logs of olden sailing days, an athlete's log tracks the progress made on a daily basis.  Then, at the conclusion of the exercise, we can "map" our success, in a very concrete way.
    Just as Behaviorists utilize recorded data to analyze and interpret accomplishments, you will have extensive information tracking your progress.  We will probably not compile or analyze your data to the extent it would be done in a lab, but nevertheless, you will have quite an accurate record of your progress when you are through.  Remember: it is very important to take these exercises seriously if we truly want to benefit from the processes.

 ~  Make up a format that you can transfer easily to sheets of notebook paper that follows the following structure.  (You could just print this page, number the items below, and then number your paper each day with corresponding numbers.)  Then, each day, before AND after practices and games, jot down the answers to your questions.  Write down everything that pops into your mind, no matter how silly or irrelevant it seems at first.  Before long, you will notice patterns appearing, and those patterns will show you more than enough to enable you to see what stimuli are beneficial to your improvement.

    What skills do I need to improve upon today?
    What are my thoughts about how I will perform (in practice or game) today?
    What images come into my mind when I imagine today's activity?
    How do I feel about this activity today?
    What doubts do I have as I head into this?
    What positive motivations do I need to keep in mind so I can achieve my goals today?

    In what ways did my skills improve today?  Am I satisfied with my progress?
    How realistic are the above assessments?  Would statistics bear out my general impression?
    What are my thoughts about how I performed today?
    What images come to mind when I think about my performance today?
    What are my feelings about today's activity?
    Did my doubts or negative feelings hold me back in any way today?  How will I overcome them next time?
    How honest am I being with myself?  Am I being overly negative or too lenient with myself?

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