It is a long-established fact that writing things down helps to increase the prospect of success and achievement. Keeping a log or a diary of your activities also helps to provide useful source of information, motivation and inspiration.
We all write things down to help us achieve something. From shopping lists to daily “to-do” lists; from performance appraisals to fitness training plans; they all get written down increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.
We can tap into this phenomenon to improve our mental skills by keeping a mental training log. A mental training log is completed by a player after an important training session or match. The purpose is for the player to write down everything that happened in his or her mind during the game. What were the positive and negative thoughts that came into your mind? It’s important not to gloss over anything or over-emphasise anything. The mental training log contains the good the bad and the ugly!
Write down all the things you said to yourself that helped you and all the things you said that inhibited you – what gave you your confidence? What created your self-doubt? Each performance should be described within 24 hours after the session or match whilst the information is still fresh in your mind.
The purpose of the log is to help guide you in analysing your thinking patterns and the way they affect you. The log builds self-awareness of the mental and emotional beliefs and reactions you carry into the game. It helps you see on paper the words you say to yourself during the stress of a competitive match. You become aware of when you feel powerful, in control, and at your peak; you also begin to see when you feel powerless, self-defeating and out of control.
It is best to write your log for three to four weeks during training and competition to look for patterns in your thinking processes. The patterns you see are an important source of information for you to set short and medium term goals in working towards an improved set of mental skills and strengths.
You can download a copy of a Mental Training Log by visiting: www.athleticmind.co.uk/mentaltraininglog/.
Enjoy the game!