Transcript: 3 best way to use your Soccer Journal

Podcast 3.17.21 

 [00:00:00] Hello. Welcome back to another episode of the TF soccer training podcast, where we are committed to helping you player grow on and off the field. I'm your host, coach Taylor, and I'm excited to have a happy join us today. If you have not already, please take your time to rate and review and subscribe to us on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

[00:00:19] It helps out a lot. This week, we were talking about soccer journals and how your player can best utilize them to help them grow with their game. I touched briefly on this in another episode, but I wanted to go a little further into depth 

[00:00:36], I'm going to give the three best ways to incorporate a soccer journal to help your youth soccer player. But first, we're going to take a quick break.

[00:00:49] Okay, welcome back from the break. We're talking about soccer journals and why they are key, but they're often underutilized as a part of a youth soccer player's arsenal.

[00:01:00] So the top three reasons 

[00:01:02]number one is to keep track of their technical training. And this is probably the number one and the most common reason that people use a notebook, a soccer journal, and it's to track what they do. And I think that's perfect.  Oftentimes I'll ask my players, okay, what'd you do this week to help you get better?

[00:01:20] And they're like, well, I kicked around a bit. I played pickup. And I said, okay. what about the stuff that I asked you to work on? And they said, Oh, well, I didn't really get to that. And I was like, "okay. So what did you do? " Other than just kick kicked around and go shooting.

[00:01:35] And most of the time they don't really remember, or they didn't really have a plan. Which is fine. Sometimes. Sometimes I say, go out there and have unstructured fun, be creative. You need to enjoy yourself. Soccer should be fun. You should be trying different things. But there comes a time where you do need to have intentional training there because of the time when you need to practice, particular skills that are gonna take you to the next level.

[00:01:57] And when you're on your own, you have to make sure you have a plan. I actually want to shout out to Beast Mode Soccer soccer cause, actually posted this not too long ago, I was talking about,  IDPs, which are individual development plans or individual development programs,

[00:02:13] It's taking the time to really step-by-step make a plan.  Then from there, you can ask your trainer, you can ask your coach, you can ask, even if you have an older mentor or somebody that you look up to in the game, you can ask, okay, well, what else should I add?

[00:02:28] Is this good?  What can I focus on? And if you have that, if you go into your training with the plan, With the program that you're following, then you can feel accountable. Then you can feel like you have accomplished something. 


[00:02:43] That's one of the most simple ways, but it's probably some of the best ways to be able to use your soccer journal. 

[00:02:50]So this leads me to my next point, which is keeping track of your athletic training.  This could accomplish multiple different things.

[00:03:00] You know, you can talk about your running, your SAQ,  and mobility and stretching. And of course resistance training or weight training as well.

[00:03:06] If you've been to a gym recently, and I know gym are starting to   open back up and you see the bodybuilder, you see the serious athletes will have their notebook ready to keep track of their reps, keep track of what they're doing. They use it just as we use the soccer journal before to keep track of our technical training plan.

[00:03:25]They do the exact same thing to keep track of their reps that keep track of their progress. Are they loading enough? Are they completing all their reps?  Do they compete to failure? All these different things, they're keeping track of their progress. 

[00:03:40] It's almost like having your own set of like data or analysis that you can be able to go back and look at and say, last week I did this many reps, and I failed,  I need to stay at this level. Or maybe it's like, Oh, this is getting a little bit too easy. I feel like I'm kind of plateauing

[00:03:55]. I need to add the load back on.

[00:04:00]  So again, this is the second way you can use your soccer journal to keep track of your athletic progress. But I really use your soccer notebook or your soccer journal is to keep track of your mental headspace.

[00:04:10]  The most beneficial way to be able to use it. And so there are two parts to this.

[00:04:14] The first part is, is use the notebook to just kind of check-in, to see how we're feeling. Are we progressing towards our goals?  Are we staying the same? Are we going backward? what's happened this week with me in training?  To be able to keep your player grounded.

[00:04:34] It protects your player from the highs and lows of soccer, but also in life. They may be flying high. They might've had a great week. They might've played great. The coaches might've said how amazing that they were playing. And it's so easy to a little complacent when you're starting to have that success to be able to get an oversized ego,  and, say "I don't need to work necessarily quite as hard this week."

[00:04:56] Vice versa is true as well. They might've had a really poor week and

[00:05:00] I know I had those weeks as well, where I feel like nothing is progressing. I'm kind of staying the same. I feel like I'm staying static

[00:05:06]When they had a bad day where they had a good day, this journal helps them remember how awesome it is just to be playing soccer. And it keeps them level-headed and it keep them steady. It's a way of grounding them


[00:05:25] And for myself and for other players who have given the same advice to, It's allowed them to get out of their own heads, instead of drawing on the past or they're starting to worry about their future. It just allows them to get their thoughts on paper and to leave it there.

[00:05:37]. So the second part of, using your soccer journal is being able to build up your soccer self-image by using your journal in two different ways. So I know I brought this up in previous episodes and I got this idea from Dan Abrahams book, but it's being able to use that memory and use their [imaginations, if they took their soccer notebook, they took their soccer journal and wrote down the three best games and they use details about how they felt and their decision-making and their thought process. And the key part here is they really had to put themselves what they were doing.

[00:06:15] They're remembering all the things that they did well. And the players who have done this, have felt way more comfortable, way more confident, and they have felt I'm in way more control going into this game. I know how I can play.

[00:06:29] I know the level I can get to. I'm going to make sure that's on the top of my mind.


[00:06:33] If they use their imagination as a tool, it's going to be able to take them to the next level, because now you're not hindered by, this is how I best played

[00:06:41] They imagine themselves playing their best game,  how it would feel for them to lose their marker in the score, the goal, or for them as a goalkeeper staying on their toes and tracking the shot or a defender or midfield or whatever position that they play putting themselves in the moment and, they feel like they can play their very absolute best.

[00:07:02] If they imagine themselves and write that all down, then it's something that they can review quickly maybe before a game or before a training session. How much more are they going to break the limits that they put on themselves. I've talked about it before the studies have shown that your brain really can't tell the difference between what's happening in real life and what's happening in your mind.

[00:07:23]  if you're really trying to feel it in your body. So if they can imagine themselves playing they're very best and really feel it in their body, what does it look like for them to score the game winning goal, maybe a top upper 90 type shot.

[00:07:38]. They will be able to break through their limitations. If you're a parent listening to this and you're saying, "okay, what can I do for my player?" There are so many other ways that you could use your soccer journal, but two really good ways that your player can implement right away.

[00:08:00] Number one, have them start keeping track of other technical training so that they know what they're doing.

[00:08:04] That they can look back week by week and say, okay, a month ago, this is what I was doing three weeks, two weeks last week. Okay. This is what I'm going to be planning on doing for the next week.  And they will see their growth over time.  If they feel like they're stagnating, they can see, okay, well, I didn't leave work as much on this 

[00:08:21]  The second part of it is to have them write down their best game, their very best game, and have them write down so that they're, putting themselves in the game so that they can see and feel them completing the actions. If they're a midfielder. Have them write down, what did it feel like?

[00:08:39] "How were you successful that game?" And really talk about how it felt, how easy it was to get around defenders, how easy it was to be able to find space or connect passes, or how did it feel when the ball left your foot and you score that rocket goal upper 90, have them write that down?

[00:08:58] So that they can be able to [00:09:00] really put themselves in that mode and if they use their soccer journal, and do these two things, They will take off and not plateau. 

[00:09:07] So again, your player can use their soccer journal for anything. But if they can start taking those two things that just talked about, then I believe their soccer game will continue to keep shooting up. I appreciate you taking the time to listen today. Again, let me know if you have, any feedback.

[00:09:30] I enjoy any feedback I get from coaches, parents, players. Keep sending me your feedback. It's awesome. Until next time, please take care.