I like to have my young players keep a journal. I think it can work for players of all ages. I like the idea of the journal being a place where the young players can write anything they wish regarding their tennis games and preparations. They should use the journal to write about what they ate before the match; what they did in preparation for the match; how they felt before, during and after the match; what tension the racquets were strung; name of their opponent; what did they do against a certain opponent; their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.
Another concern they can write about might be what they were thinking before the walked on to the court? Was I in a good mood? Was my mind clear or was I worried about too many little things?
I want them to tell me what they did strategically against a certain opponent. I want to know what they did well and what they did poorly during the match.
It is never clear what they are going to write after each match. There is no form or set of questions they have to follow. But this is exactly why I want them to use the journals. I want to find out something about the way they think after and before their matches.
I never check the diary after every week. I might go several months between checking the diary. I hope the players do not go that long between writing in their journals; because I believe their journal writings can reveal patterns for improvement.0
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