Some of the best memories of your life are on the pitch. A soccer journal lets you relive those times and give yourself an important career long tool to raise your game to another level.
Get something with at least a couple hundred pages and can fit in your soccer bag. Anything too big will get in the way of your other gear and anything too small you will fill up too quickly and have 50 different little pocket books around your room. In terms of format inside just simple blank or lined pages will do, no need for anything fancy with dividers but if you want to go all out by all means cater it to your own likes and needs.
Thinking back to all of your soccer days from the beginning to now, it more or less seems like it flew by and is one giant blur. But when you put things on paper and look back at them later on, you realize how many good times and moments you've had and how far you've come.
1. Setting Goals - You've heard the old expression that a goal is just a wish until it's written down with actionable steps. What could be more important in your journey through this sport than setting goals, accomplishing them and setting even great ones. Use this journal as something to hold you accountable to tracking and accomplishing all your goals no matter how big or small.
2. Reflect on Special/Funny Moments - When all the dust settles and your playing careers is complete (I know it's hard to imagine now) you will have an incredible record of your thoughts, funny moments, victories, defeats and special stories to look back on. Be sure to use this journal not only to talk to yourself and pump your own tires but also to write down things that made you smile, laugh and inspired you. When you're looking back at this in your 30's you will be so thankful you kept such detailed notes.
3. Reflect on How You Played - Using this journal to rate yourself after every game is a great way to see how consistent or inconsistent your performances were. From this you can start to tinker with your pre game routine until you have performances that are consistently in the 8's, 9's and 10's. This can also be a great wake up call if you are noticing that your scores are consistently low, to get an accurate score rate yourself, have a teammate rate you, your coach rate you and someone who watched the game (parent or friend) to really get an accurate unbiased score.
4. Track Your Training Progress - Write down these following headings in your journal (Conditioning, Strength, Technical, Tactical & Mental). Now you can track how you are growing in each of these categories from where you are to where you want to be and how you're going to get there. For example let's take conditioning and let's say you are currently at 10.5 on the beep test and your goal is to complete it at level 15. So you write down 10.5 and the workouts you need to get to your goal, every week or two when you try the beep test write down you new score so you can track and see your improvements. If you need an organized form to help you track all of these things feel free to get it here with your own Soccer Evaluation Form.
5. Learn and Grow As A Player & Person - This game teaches us so many life lessons such as dealing with victory and defeat, the value of hard work, the importance of meaningful relationships, the important of dedication and perseverance ands o many more. Every time you come across one of these lessons with your team jot them down in this journal. Soon enough not only will you have an incredible resource for the on field challenges of the game but lesson you can take with you for the rest of your life.
-Looking back on past accomplishments both team and individual can boost your confidence in times of doubt. This brings back memories of the hard work and tireless hours spent to achieve certain things reminding you that you are a special player and why you worked so hard.
-We play because it's fun. If it weren’t then we wouldn't play and sometimes we need a reminder of that. Looking back on past teammates, pranks and funny moments can make you remember why we play and love this game so much. Plus it feels good to reflect on the clowns you use to play with.
-If you need that spark this is just the thing you need to get going. Whether coming off an injury or moments of uncertainty, reflecting on things you've done and things people have said about you can really give you that motivation to get going again.
-In case there was any doubt, reflection is the better half of a man. Erase all doubt about who you are, what you've done and what you still have to achieve by giving yourself that sense of reassurance while flipping through some old pages of your soccer journal.
Visualization and Mental Imagery Accuracy
-While replaying moments in your head and practicing your visualization it's important to get every little detail in there. What better way to remember every little detail than reading through it and adding to the accuracy of your mental imagery.
Tracking progress and Setting Goals (S.M.A.R.T)
-Looking back at goals you've set and achieved allows you to set new goals and pave new bricks on the path to becoming the player you want.
-The best part of the game is bonding, life long friendships and long lasting memories. With that said looking through pages of your journals and seeing stories about old teams and old friends plain and simple makes you feel good. If nothing else creating a soccer journal gives you shear and utter enjoyment and great memories.
There are several more reasons to develop something like this but the main thing all of these have in common is they help your game.
As you climb the ranks you will find that you'll look for any little thing to help you get an edge and stay sharp on the pitch every time you step out there. This is one of the many tools that can help you develop a more confident state of mind and a more enjoyable time spent among teammates.
Remember this is yours so make it unique to you!! I could tell you exactly how to set it up and write it but that would take some of the fun out of it. This is yours so go nuts with it, draw pictures, put down quotes, goals, etc. Have fun with it.
You should be cracking a smile every time you open it up either to read it or write something inside of it. Remember write highlights and leave out no details, in a few years time it'll be the best reading material you have.
Absolutely. Many of the players (including myself) I’ve played with in the pro ranks kept a soccer journal for several different reasons. Some for fun, others to keep their spirits up and others because they knew they wouldn’t player forever and wanted to keep track of every wonderful moment. Many of them moved on to work for different clubs and always looked back on their journal to remember what it was like to be a player on a day to day grind. So many pro's now show the journal to their kids and read it over to get a smile on their face from time to time.
The beauty of a soccer journal is that it serves several purposes for different people and no matter where you are taking a trip down memory lane is just a flip of a page away.
Everyday if you can! This journal is to express, track and write whatever you feel is helpful for the day. Start off with a paragraph a day just summarizing how your day was, what things you did today to get better as a player and a funny story or two if they happened to come up. There are no hard and fast rules about this journal, I've provided you with some advice and guidelines but make it your own and make it fun for you to write in it everyday and talk about all the great blessings, accomplishments and struggles you had that made you better today.
A great journal has your own detailed thoughts and the words and advice of others that have inspired you along the way. If your coach, teammate or someone else you respect pumps your tires after a game about how well you did this or that then of course you should write that down, that is the gold nuggets you'll stumble upon later that will lift you up when you need it most.
It's worth mentioning again that when evaluating yourself on how well you performed it's always good to get a collection of a few opinions out of 10 on how you played. We can think we are better than we are at times or too tough on ourselves so ask a coach, teammate, friend or parent that saw the game/practice and ask them how they think you played out of 10.
1. Say It Into Your Phone on Voice Notes - On your walk to the car or home from training or a game while the game or training is still fresh in your mind just talk into the recorder on your phone so you don't forget anything when you're writing it in your journal later. It can be quick or you can ramble on but getting something you can refer back to later will give you a better chance of capturing what actually happened more accurately.
2. Type A Few Key Points in Notes On Your Phone - Open up where you write down notes in your phone and just put a couple quick points down so you can remember its importance later. It can be a certain play, the way you felt, something someone said to you after the game or whatever else that you thought was important and worth writing down right away.
3. Record A Quick Video of Yourself - If you have the privacy record yourself speaking into your phone so you have a video to back up what you want to write in your journal later. Maybe you'll start to create an online journal with video so you can look at it down the road and reminisce on that once youthful face!
4. Back It Up On Your Computer Every Few Weeks - There's nothing more reliable than good old pen and paper but you don't want to lose that entire book so every couple weeks try and take pictures, video or upload it in text to a computer so you always have it.
5. Have Pens In Your Soccer Bag - Throw a few pens in your bag so if you're waiting for your ride or taking the bus home you can start capturing the day then and there. If you get ink on your gear we don't know each other.