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. View the entire “Tuesday with Mora” Mental Training Series, and additional coaching resources in the FREE JVA Dig It App and better your team one thought at a time.

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!

For related reading for coaching click HERE.

About the Author

Mora Kanim is the Founder and President of Coaching C.L.O.U.T. She founded Coaching C.L.O.U.T in 2010 with the vision of sharing her insights with others, and helping them build more effective relationships in their quest for excellence. Currently, Kanim works primarily with collegiate teams, club teams and various companies throughout the U.S. and Canada. Before forming Coaching C.L.O.U.T., Kanim was the Head Volleyball Coach at Kent State University from 1997-2007. She was at the University of Michigan from 1992-1996 and Cal State Northridge from 1989-1991 as an Assistant Volleyball Coach. Kanim also worked with the USA Volleyball team (Atlanta ’96), and the Under 20 USA Soccer Team (2010). A member of the1984 NCAA national championship, and two Final Four teams (1983, 1985), Kanim received her BA degree from UCLA in 1988. She earned her MA in sports studies from KSU. As a former NCAA Division I athlete and coach, Kanim brings a unique perspective to Coaching C.L.O.U.T. In the coaching profession for more than 20 years, Kanim has worked with thousands of athletes and coaches. Her study of Human Behavior has a dramatic impact on her ability to motivate, communicate more effectively with, and create an optimal environment for her athletes.

Contact Mora at