Given the time of year, you’re most likely at the end of your competitive season or close to it. While it’s great to take a break and have time to unwind in your off-season, one of the most valuable things you can do immediately after your season ends is to reflect back on your season with a post-season review.
In essence, a post-season review is similar to what people often do at the end of a calendar year before heading into a new year. It’s a chance to assess your year and decide what things worked for you and which ones didn’t. In doing this, you’re setting yourself up to be more successful in the future while putting together a game plan for success for next season.
To walk you through this process, we’ve put together a Post-Season Review Guide. Be sure to download it now so you can answer the questions as you read through the article.
Before we get started with the Post-Season Review questions, first take a few minutes to close your eyes and remember back to your season. What are the first memories that pop up? What are some of the highs of your season and what are some of the lows? Which things feel big and impactful? Which memories bring you joy?
This is almost like putting together a mental highlight reel but can include any memories, not just the positive highlights. You’re getting a quick sense of what kind of impression your past season left on you to get a big picture idea of your season. This helps prime your mind to answer the more specific questions below.
Ok, it’s time to get started…
When answering the questions below, take the time to really think about your answers. The more effort you put into this the more impact this review will have for your future success.
Question 1: What were some things that really worked for me this season?
Take a few minutes now to think about what things worked for you this season. This exercise is important to help you identify those things that had a positive impact on your season. This list is not just a list of the things that felt good, but rather it’s meant to be a list of actions you took that helped you out.
For example, did you consistently show up to practice with a positive attitude? Did you overcome your fears and try new skills? Did you utilize a pre-meet routine that helped calm your nerves? Did you get your homework done in the car ride to gym so you could get to bed earlier at night? Did you practice your skills daily with SkillTrakker?
These are all positive things that you made an effort to do (whether you realized it or not) that paid off. Identifying these things is important so that you can continue to do them next season. If you don’t consciously acknowledge them then it’s possible you might not realize that you were doing them and how helpful they were. So write them down so you can remember to keep doing them next season.
Question 2: What are some things I struggled with this season?
Now identify some things you struggled with this past season. This doesn’t have to be a list of specific skills, although if you found yourself struggling on a specific skill, then it can be. Instead it can be a more general list such as “I found myself unmotivated to go to practice” or “I struggled to stay focused during meets” or “I never got enough sleep at night and was tired at practice.”
Take some time to really think about your entire season and write down some of the challenges you faced that you’d like to improve on for next year. What were some of your biggest stumbling blocks this season? What do you think held you back from achieving even greater success?
You’ll be off to a much better start next season if you can identify the things you struggled with this season and work to improve on those things in your off-season and next year’s season.
Question 3: Did I set goals this season? And if so, what were they and did I achieve them?
Goal setting is an important part of achieving your goals but it’s also something that gets lost as your season goes by. It’s easy to be excited at the beginning of a season and set some really big goals but it’s not as easy to stay consistent and focused throughout the season so you actually achieve those goals.
If you did set goals, think about the goals you set at the beginning of the season and ask yourself whether you attained them or not. If not, why not? Did you lose focus mid-way through the season? Did you have an action plan in place to see your goals through or did you just hope you would somehow accomplish your goals by winging it? Did you set really big goals that were unrealistic?
If you struggled to achieve your goals, ask yourself what you can do better next season. Do you need to create a vision board to help you stay focused? Do you need to set smaller weekly achievable goals in addition to your bigger season goals? Do you need a teammate or coach to help hold you accountable so you can achieve your goals?
By figuring out what might have gone wrong this season, you can improve on the goal-setting process for your future seasons and achieve even bigger results.
Question 4: What was the best meet of my season and why?
Think back to all of the meets you competed at this season and ask yourself which meet felt like your best. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the meet where you scored your highest, but the one where you felt the most confident and sure.
After you figure out which meet that was, try to figure out exactly what was different about that meet. Were you less nervous and if so, why? Did you have a good night of sleep the night before or eat a healthier breakfast? Were you less worried about scoring your best? Did you practice a lot leading up to that meet and feel really prepared?
Once you pinpoint your best meet and the things that felt different about that meet, you can use that information to help you improve in future meets. If you notice a pattern in your actions prior to your best meets then perhaps those actions are important ones to do over and over again before meets.
Question 5: What would I like to improve on for next season?
Looking at the list of things you struggled with this season, think about about all the things you’d like to improve on for next season. On the back of your Post-Season Review Guide write anything and everything you can think of that you’d like to improve on. Again, you can list certain skills if you have any you’d like to get better at, but it’s also important to list more big-picture things like managing your time better, putting forth more effort in practice, or getting more sleep.
After you have your list written down you might find you have a lot of things you want to improve on or just a few things. If your list is more than three items long, look through all the things you wrote down and pick the three most important things you want to improve on and write them down on the front of the Guide. It’s beneficial to narrow down your focus so you can really devote time to improving on these three things next season. If you have too many things to focus on you’ll find yourself either getting overwhelmed or too busy to put effort into improving them all.
Now that you’ve gone through and written down the answers to these questions on your Post-Season Review Guide you’ll have a better sense of what things worked for you this past season and what things you need to improve on. Hang this guide where you can see it often and use it as a blueprint for next season. Read through the things that worked for you last season everyday as a reminder of what to keep doing and use the information about what you struggled with to inspire you to make changes for next season. Look at the three most important things you want to improve on as often as possible so you can stay on track with your goals throughout next season.