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Better Your Team One Journal Entry at a Time

By Mora Kanim, Junior Volleyball Association, 12/04/18, 12:00PM CST

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Coaches can use a journal "time out" when practice is not going well. Some athletes will love it and feel empowered immediately, others will take longer. 

In the most recent edition of "Tuesdays with Mora": Better Your Mental Game One Thought at a Time - Mora shared how your athletes can better their game by bringing a journal to every practice.

Why Journal?

Goal: To get the athletes to buy into the practice of journaling in order to see long term benefits of embracing the journey (process).

  • Coaches can collect journals periodically, only when the athletes want them to, or never.
  • Important that they decide that and communicate it before beginning.
  • Can also allow athletes to determine how journals would best benefit the athletes. Important that utilization of journals is consistent, whether that's every practice, weekly or bi-weekly throughout the season.

Coaches can set it up to be:

1) Free form - treat the journal entries as an open dialog that the athlete may feel more comfortable writing instead of speaking. They can ask questions, express feelings or concerns and coaches can respond...or coaches can ask questions and make observations.

2) Highly Structured – design questions that the athletes answer every entry. These questions can remain uniform or change over time.

Ex: Rate your practice tonight on effort 1-10. Rate your concentration tonight 1-10. 
Ex: What skill did you feel good about executing tonight? 
Ex: List three things you did well tonight during practice. 
Ex: Was there anything you got frustrated with tonight? Ex: Goals or focus for next practice. 
Ex: Catalog "Aha" moments or moments of clarity, achievements. 
Ex: Write down what you know about perimeter defense.

3) Combination of free form and structured.

Coaches can use a journal "time out" when practice is not going well. Some athletes will love it and feel empowered immediately, others will take longer. Over time, most athletes see and appreciate the value of journaling. Try it with your team this season!

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About the JVA

The JVA is an association of Junior Club Directors and Coaches who are dedicated to all facets of junior volleyball and have a desire to offer the best programming possible to their members. We are the leaders and forward thinkers in Junior Volleyball Programs and we are a voice for junior clubs. Our number one goal is to help club programs and events thrive.