Tip Sheets

Why Student-Athletes Should Write

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800.443.9441 | solutions@blackbaud.com | www.blackbaud.com June 2019 1 TIP SHEET 5 Reasons Why Student-Athletes Should Write BY RICHARD KENT, Ph.D., University of Maine At age 13, Mikaela Shiffrin began taking daily notes about her ski racing. Now, she's a two- time Olympic gold medalist, a three-time Overall World Cup champion, and a four-time world champion . . . and still writing. "Athletes should write down anything that they think is important . . . thoughts about their technique, goals, favorite foods . . . keep track of their aspirations and their passion," said Shiffrin. On the courts of Wimbledon, tennis superstar Serena Williams holds up her journal during a press conference. "Writing down your feelings in a notebook or journal can help clear out negative thoughts and emotions that keep you feeling stuck," she explains. And on the golf links, the NCAA's Player of the Year, Maverick McNealy, credits writing for his success in 2015 and now as an emerging PGA player. "I think I know what makes me play well better than just about anybody . . . . That's from writing stuff like this down. You start to see trends really quickly over what makes me play well and what makes me play poorly." Athletes at all levels, from the schools to the professional ranks, use athletic team notebooks and journals to promote learning and development. Why? Writing is a powerful way to learn. Such writing can also inform an athlete's coach. Here are five reasons to incorporate writing into your athletics' program: 1 Writing is a foundational tool to learning. Writing impacts athletic performance by helping athletes learn and become students of the game. Consider the notebooks that scientists, researchers, and writers keep. Pop your head into any college classroom—students write to capture ideas and make meaning. Listen to writing teacher and author William Zinsser highlight writing as a way to learn:

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