A year ago I took a Sports Psychology class at BYU by Sports Psychologist Craig Manning. He’s one of the best in the world. He’s currently the Sports psychologist for the Milwaukee Bucks and has worked with several U.S. Olympians and Redbull Athletes to help them perform their best at the highest level. Throughout the entire course we kept a “performance journal.” It’s game changing, and I have all of the athletes I coach keep it as well.
The first thing you do is figure out what you really want to accomplish most in the next year. He says that if you don’t know what you want, you’re never going to do great things. This can be really hard. It’s hard for me right now, I haven’t completely decided yet what I want to focus on yet this year and made hard fast goals. I need to. Writing this is motivating me to set real goals.
Once you figure out what you want most, it’s time to reverse engineer the goal. Basically if your biggest goal was to win State Championships in October, then you would work backward month by month to where you’re currently at, creating benchmarks that will show you’re on the right track. This is how a dream becomes a reality.
The above example could look something like this.
September: Be Region Champion
August: Win first Region Race
July: First in the state to finish at Nationals
June: Fastest on team.
May: Top 5 in State at national race.
March: Develop Sufficient Technical skills
February: Build Big Aerobic Base
Now that you have your season blocked into goals, you can set the right short-term goals that will actually lead to accomplishing your big goal.
To do so you take each month and break it into two parts. And that’s where the “performance journal” comes in. You choose an Objective to work on for two weeks that will lead towards your Monthly Goal.
Everyday you write the following in the morning:
Daily Plan 1:
Daily Plan 2:
Daily Plan 3:
The daily plans are actionable things you can do that day that will lead towards your two week objective.
At the end of the day you do the following:
Daily Positive 1:
Daily Positive 2:
Daily Positive 3:
It may even be good to do 5 daily positives. That’s what the more recent research is suggesting. The idea is that whatever you focus on grows. Focus on what you’re doing well, and you’ll be better at doing good. If you focus on the problems they’ll grow, and you’ll just repeat the problems more.
Focus on what’s working.
If you take one thing from this today, it’s this: FOCUS ON WHAT’S WORKING.
After you finish that you rate yourself on the following from 1-5.
Motivation, Anxiety (How well you controlled your anxiety), Concentration, Confidence, and Decision Making.
This system allows you to develop all of the skills necessary to complete your biggest goal of the season, and a lot of little ones along the way. I’ve been slacking since the summer with keeping my “performance journal,” but last week I started doing it again and I’ve already seen my practice become more deliberate.
Maybe more than anything else, this will help you accomplish your goal.
Also, read Craig Mannings “Fearless Mind” book to get a further understanding of these principles and read a lot of good stories about it! He came up with this, not me. But it’s SO good!
I didn’t talk about this yesterday, but I think this was another key to breaking 5 minutes on the mile. I kept this journal almost everyday my entire mission, and leading up to the mile I never missed a day. It helped me stay focused and efficient with the little time I did have to train. It makes everyday intentional.