Athletic Team Notebooks and Journals
-Writing to Advance Learning and Performance in Sports.-
What do Wimbledon Champion Serena Williams, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, and the Gonzaga University Women's soccer team have in common?
Answer: They all write to improve as athletes.
A little background about writing & athletics
Sports psychologists have used writing activities with athletes for decades. Many coaches have, too. I started using writing activities with my own athletes in the 1980s. Since 2005-06 as a professor at the University of Maine, I've been researching writing to learn in the form of Athletic Team Notebooks and Journals. What have I discovered so far?
As learning tools, these notebooks and journals serve as a place for athletes to analyze and reflect. They engage seniors and first-year students, all-stars and benchwarmers—in different ways. And that difference is the beauty of such a learning activity. In terms of learning, player development, and communication, writing has the potential to offer a powerful difference for teams and athletes.
I've also witnessed as other researchers have attested that writing can help athletes...
-reduce stress and anxiety
-sharpen mental skills
-promote genuine psychological insight
-strengten coping abilities.
“Writing organizes and clarifies our thoughts. Writing is how we think our way into a subject and make it our own. Writing enables us to find out what we know—and what we don’t know—about whatever we’re trying to learn.”
–William Zinsser, Writing to Learn
This Resource Website
For information, click on the cover.
In the menu bar at the top you'll see resource pages such as "What's a Team Notebook?" and "What's an Athlete's Journal?" Here, you'll find models. Also notice the drop-down menu titled "More." Don't miss this! There's a slew of information, including articles and books. Most important of all, perhaps, I've included a "Contact Rich Kent" page. I'd love to have you drop me a note telling me who you are. Also, if you have questions or suggestions, please write.
Finally, the research book I wrote as the result of nearly 6 years of study is called Writing on the Bus. This book is especially for coaches and serious athletes. It's the only book like it! I've also written companion books, including Soccer Team Notebook, The Athlete's Workbook, and V02 Max Athlete's Journal. You can read more about these books on this Website, too. More team notebooks are in the works. If you'd like to receive a team discount on these notebooks and journals, just write me on the contact form.
Thanks to the National Writing Project for its support of this work.