The pursuit of excellence involves an extraordinary drive to get better. In order to learn from your sport experience the athlete must reflect on the lessons learned from the performance. I always tell athletes “You took 3 hours out of your life to play the game, and the performance will give you feedback; win/loss, a time, a score, etc. But what did you learn?”
What did you learn about yourself, your teammates, and/or your sport?
What went as planned?
What went well?
What do you have to get better at?
You may lose the game or perform poorly, but what did you learn from the experience?
Because even failure can be positive feedback if you are able to learn from the performance.
This is where the feedback sheet can be so helpful. When you write something out it helps you take ownership of it and gives you a different perspective than just letting it role around in your head. Generally, right after performance is not an effective time to reflect on the sport experience because you may be too emotional and this can distort your perspective, later that night or the next day is a more appropriate time. The feedback sheet can not only serve as a means of reflection to learn from the experience but it also can help you “let go” of that experience and “forgive” yourself for what just happened. I have found this to be critical in professional baseball where there are so many games in a season that you can not afford to “hang on” to the last game for extended periods of time.
For Example: If your goal is to get better at being in control of yourself in the pressure situation the first step the first step in gaining self-control is to develop an awareness of your performance so that you can recognize when you pulled out of the most appropriate mental state for you. The feedback sheet is an opportunity to reflect on when you started to lose control and what interventions or strategies you implemented to regain control.
What didn’t work?
What will you do next time?
I strongly suggest you utilize feedback sheets as a technique to help you get the most from your experience.