Want to improve your overall softball game experience? Simple as keeping a journal. This is from the Daily Athlete-
Here are 8 Reasons every athlete should be keeping a Journal:
1) YOUR BRAIN IS A MUSCLE: Writing down your thoughts is like stretching for the brain. When it’s feeling a little stiff or tired, you need to spend some time opening it up to ensure it doesn’t get tight. Just like you warm up and cool down your muscles around training to avoid injury, you have to apply the same strategy if you want to keep your mind healthy. Otherwise, you risk mental fatigue, the potential for injury, and a slower recovery process.
2) YOUR GOALS BECOME CLEARER AND MORE ATTAINABLE: Goals by themselves are great to have. But just saying you have them or thinking about them is not enough. Through a daily journaling practice, you can create the structure for goal achievement. Every morning you can write out and plan the steps required to achieve your goals. In essence, you can create a psychological blueprint for success. By doing so you will no longer find yourself distracted by long-term goals because you know your daily actions are always moving you in the right direction.
3) IMPROVES SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SELF-BELIEF: Research has found that people who use reflective journals have higher levels of self-efficacy and belief in their abilities. This increase in self-efficacy is strongly linked to task completion. When you use a journal that is based on the principle of daily tasks, you are given frequent feedback which illustrates you are on the right path. By journaling in a way that cultivates positive affirmation and activates your neural reward systems, you allow yourself to build on tiny successes, with each one being just as valuable as the last. Over time these compounding micro-successes translate into higher levels of belief in one’s self and the ability to get things done.
4) TRACKS PROGRESS: When you look back on a year, it can be tough to really see how far you’ve come. This is why so many people take progress pics when they try out a new diet. The changes can be incredibly subtle and difficult to see without a direct comparison. Through a journal, you get to write down your thoughts and experiences on a daily basis. And after an entire year, you can look back and reflect on your younger self and truly see with your own eyes how much you’ve grown.
5) IMPROVES DISCIPLINE: In the same way that completing more small tasks on a frequent basis can improve overall self-efficacy, staying disciplined with a particular habit can improve your discipline with other habits. If you are constantly telling yourself that you are weak, you will become weak. Vice versa, if you are regularly being reminded that you have strength, you will build it. Discipline breeds more discipline; Momentum builds on itself.
6) FORCES YOU TO PUT IDEAS INTO YOUR OWN WORDS: When you’re getting started there is nothing wrong with looking elsewhere for inspiration. But just in the same way that you retain information better if you write it down in your own words, you should always be looking for ways to apply ideas, goals, and visions into your own life. You can have similar ideas, but at the end of the day, you should always bring things back to your own circumstances. Otherwise, you will always be trying to sort out someone else’s life, not your own. Through a journal, you can put those dreams and ideas onto paper and find ways of living that align with your own values. In addition, WORDS ARE REPRESENTATIONS OF IDEAS. By writing words onto paper, you are actively causing the mind to compose and re-compose ideas. Therefore, increasing your brain’s ability to retain information.
7) TURNS YOU INTO A BETTER LEARNER: The most successful learners know how to identify questions and problems as they reflect on what they already know, what they want and need to know, and how they will proceed to increase their understanding. Less successful learners need to develop the habits of the mind that are the underlying strategies of the learning process. A Reflective journal can create opportunities that allow people to think about their learning, their own lives, and the world around them. This process can often highlight problems, misunderstandings, and confusions, which ultimately helps determine new areas for growth.
8) CULTIVATES SELF-AWARENESS: When you wake up each day and stay present focused on the immediate, you don’t have to worry about what is going to happen in a week, a month, or a year. You start your day with one simple question: What can be dealt with in a single day? This question is not only a lot easier to answer but encourages athletes to be more present-minded on the small tasks. Being too caught up in the past or the future is often what causes poor performances. This moment is all that matters…now this moment…and now this moment. Always present, always going forward.