Basketball on the Edge – How the Simple Act of Writing It Down Can Make You a Better Player

Notebook Writing

As I’ve studied player development and personal growth I’ve come to the conclusion that a “Basketball Journal” is a critical part of any self-improvement plan on or off the court. Throughout my adult life, I had never been a “write it down” type of person. I didn’t make a to-do list, jot down ideas when they came to me, or grab a notebook when I heard something intriguing. Too often I would hear or see something and I would think, “Hey, that’s interesting”, but then it would quickly disappear from my conscious thoughts.  I’d often have an idea and never really follow up on it.  Starting in 2015 I built the habit of creating a weekly list of tasks and ideas both big and small.  I’ve definitely  increased my productivity and effectiveness. Since I started writing down new concepts or ideas I’ve grown as a coach and business owner. My Basketball Journal has become a tool that I use daily to grow in all areas of my life. I believe that a Basketball Journal is an invaluable tool in player development. A simple spiral notebook will work just fine for capturing your thoughts and ideas.

Why should a player keep a Basketball Journal?

1. To capture knowledge from coaches.

At the end of practice or a training session what is your level of recall? Do you remember all the drills two days later? The insights your coach shared? The teaching points the coach went over? Most players tend to forget over time. Develop the habit of heading to your Basketball Journal shortly after practice or a game to write down your thoughts, ideas, and what you learned. There is no better way to capture that information in the moment and then be able to revisit it later. If you don’t write it down, most of it is soon forgotten.

2. To capture your own original ideas.

A Basketball Journal allows you to capture ideas and keep your dreams alive until you can put them in motion. Once you make the Basketball Journal a habit, you’ll find that Ideas are all around you. Inspiration doesn’t always knock twice. Write your ideas down so you’re able to retrieve at any time. Whenever an idea comes to you, grab your Basketball Journal and write it down.

3. To capture your dreams and goals.

According to a study done by Gail Matthews at Dominican University, those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write down their goals. Your Basketball Journal can be a roadmap to what you want to achieve as a basketball player.

4. To work through your challenges more easily.

Writing things down gives you the perspective necessary to find the right solutions. Write down questions that you have about your challenge. When you ask the right questions, you will get the right answers. You may even have the answers somewhere in your Basketball Journal from what you have written previously. Look back occasionally at where you’ve been to help you meet the challenges of today.

5. To keep track of what’s working, and what’s not.

You can write down and track your skill development (How many free throws can I make out of 100?) How can you improve that skill? Is it better to shoot 100 free throws in a row, or shoot two at a time like you would in a game? Write down what method led to faster improvement. You can track your conditioning, your sleep, your nutrition, just about anything that impacts your game or your life. Write down what you tried and how it affected you. Rather than basing what you do on general guidelines you’ll be able to see what works best for you in a variety of areas.

Being diligent in using your Basketball Journal will result in improved performance on and off the court. Start the Basketball Journal habit today!

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