Some people like keeping a sport journal, other people hate it. Although it can be time-consuming, keeping a log of your training, including how you felt and the mental skills you used, can give you valuable information to help you become more aware of what it takes to perform at your peak. But even if you hate keeping a journal, making a brief list of your thoughts after each competition can really help you close the book on one event before you open the book on your next one. Obtaining this kind of closure will help you focus your energy on what you need to do today, rather than keeping you weighed down by ruminating about what you failed to do yesterday.
Here’s what you do: After each competition take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side, list all the things that you enjoyed and all the things that you believe you did right. Realize that even in your poorest performances there are positive things that you can focus on. Even if you came in last in a race or your team got hammered, you can reward yourself if you tried your best and didn’t give up. On the right side of the paper, list the things you think went badly and how you would like to do them differently in the future. After you do this, tear the paper down the middle and put your negative comments in an envelope, put it in a drawer, and forget about what you’ve written for the next week. Keep the list of all your positive things where you can see them every day.
Yes, this may seem somewhat juvenile, but it really works. It’s important for you to learn from your mistakes, but especially when you’re competing in one event after another, it’s critical that you don’t get bogged down by ruminating over them. This technique is a ritual that will give you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes after the racing is over while keeping you focused on what you’ve been doing right so that you can maintain a positive attitude for the rest of the week.
Thu, October 1, 2009
by Dana Blackmer filed under