One of the more surprising things I encountered when I started coaching a U11 (now U12) girls team, was the way they approached practices. They were not always motivated to work hard at practice, even if they were paying attention and trying to learn what the coaches were showing them. We’ve spent a lot of time trying to get the girls to do things at ‘game speed’. It took a number of creative things to get them motivated to practice with intensity, and honestly, we still have issues with it at practice. So anytime someone comes up with a new idea related to this, I’m interested – you can only make them run so many hills.
Over at Sports Girls Play, they’ve created a printable training journal template that players can use to track how their training is going in any sport. The idea revolves around creating a sports journal or diary so they can record how they think are progressing and how other factors may have affected their performance. The sheet is colorful and fun, but has sections that will get girls really thinking about what they did and should do.
I don’t know what age something like this would lose it’s appeal, but I’m guessing around the U12 or U13 age. For those younger players though, this could really be an interesting thing to do.
If you used these with your team, would you just give them out and encourage them to use the pages? Or would you ask the girls to keep them for a period of time and then share them with the coaches. Would that spur the girls to be more honest about themselves or less? I’m guessing less, but it also would be neat as a basis for discussing what a player should focus on in the future.
What do you think? It’s a very neat concept, but getting kids these days to be introspective with all the distractions of everyday life can be difficult. If your players (or parents your daughters) did use something like this, how do you think coaches should handle it? If any of you do use this, let us know how it went via comments or even a guest post. Here are some tips for keeping a training journal from the creators of the template.