Journaling - A Tool for Consistent Peak Performance

Journaling - Another Peak Performance Tool


One of the best and most productive things a bowler can do to enhance his/her performance and overall career is to journal.   Journaling is basically a planning tool for future events.  Journals work to enhance motivation, confidence and concentration and give you the data you need to improve your performance.  If there is one thing I wish I could do over in my PBA career it would have been to journal.  It would have provided me with something to reflect back on when I was at my best and gave me a direction on how to get back to performing at the highest level.


Here are some advantages of journaling your practices and competitive events:


  1. The successes and challenges of the event - in bowling, there is a tendency to focus on the negative.  It’s all about, “What went wrong and how can we fix it.”   If the focus is always on the negative, it will have a progressively detrimental impact on confidence and mindset.  So, when keeping a journal, be sure to make note of what went wrong, along with thoughts about how to achieve positive outcomes in the future, and also make note of what went well and take a moment to enjoy some sense of accomplishment with that.  You want to reflect back on when you were at your best.


  1. Mental Reflection - In reality, one of the keys to being mentally tough is being able to examine your feelings and emotions and make sense of them.  Write down the areas of practice and/or your competition during “Green” moments, “Yellow” moments and “Red” moments.  Reflect on all the emotions, feelings, self-talk, breathing, releases, etc. during the event and write in as much detail as possible.  Journaling will help you track when you are at your best (Green), when you are starting to speed things up (Yellow) and when you are losing all confidence and routine (Red).  This will give you a blueprint on why these three areas were present.


  1. Your Routine - A great way to prepare for a competition is to develop a pre-event routine.  From what you eat and how long you sleep to the type of music you listen to and whether you use visualization or other preparatory tools, a pre-game routine can help you get centered and focused on what you need to do to be successful.  Like anything in life, your pre-game routine may go through various levels of change.  If you’re superstitious, your routine may change from tournament to tournament.   If you’re on a winning streak, what was your routine like during that stretch?  I know some bowlers who eat the same meal before every tournament.  This is part of their routine to get them mentally ready.  One way to help track these changes is to make notes of them in your journal.


Once you become comfortable and proficient at journaling your practices and competitions, you now have another tool that provides direction on performing at your highest level.  I recommend reading your journals consistently.  Read when you were at your best and study what the journal is telling you about your physical and mental game.  What did your physical feel like?  What were you working on in practice prior to your tournament?  What was your routine?  What was your self-talk?  Breathing?  Release? What was your confidence like?  What did your practices look and feel like?  What were you focusing on?  The more specific and detailed that your journals are, the more feedback and direction you will have in your future performances.  Start journaling today!