9 Benefits of Keeping a Daily Practice Log

Photo Courtesy: Nick Peck

By Katie Willis, SwimmingWorld College Intern

The idea of keeping a practice log had never struck my mind until hearing Olympic hopeful Caeleb Dressel mention his use of this technique. Dressel writes down his practices, his weight sessions, even his thoughts in a composition notebook. It seems like it would take a lot of dedication, but Dressel tells that he hasn’t missed a daily practice log this year.

“It’s just a good way when you need to look back, see where you’re at a point in the season. Everything’s there,” he said.

caeleb-dressel-usa-swimming-nationals-2015 (3)

Photo Courtesy: Sue Borst

One day, my brother came to me with a journal structured specifically for this purpose. He gave it to me saying that it would help keep me motivated. Here are some ways keeping a practice log could help you as a swimmer:

1. Keeps the Course


Photo Courtesy: Mary Pruden

A practice log acts as something similar to a planner. It can be a tool to keep your mind organized and make sure you stay focused on your objectives and goals.

2. Gives A Better Overview

Having every practice and every dryland laid out in front of you will give you an ideal outlook on how you’ve done over the course of a season. Maximize your work in and out of the pool by knowing where you are and where you may be headed.

3. Maintains Motivation

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 13:George du Rand during the heats session 100m butterfly for men on day 6 of the SA National Aquatic Championships and Olympic Trials on April 13 , 2016 at the Kings Park Aquatic Center pool in Durban, South Africa. Photo Credit / Anesh Debiky/Swim SA

Photo Courtesy: Anesh Debiky/Swimming South Africa

This may be one of the key factors to this log. You want a constant reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing so that you can continue to improve and move forward. I feel that keeping motivated is one of the hardest things to do in any sport. Therefore, a documented history of your progress will be useful when creating and maintaining goals.

4. Allows for Better Goal-setting

Like in the last point, the log would prove to be good for creating goals. But because we have all the progress made at hand, we can analyze our abilities in depth and expand on future goals.

5. Helps Manage Goals

Spiral bound blank lined notebook page with a plastic ballpoint pen with room for your text or message

Photo Courtesy: Stephen Gibson

Because a practice log is a linear program, it allows an individual to look at what progress they’ve made and ensure that they are correctly working toward their goals.

6. Day-to-Day Progress Tracking

Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether or not we are improving, in the water and on land. A practice log grants swimmers an ability to track those ups and downs, learning how to properly manage them over time.

7. Accountability


Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

Because swimming is an individual sport, it is on you to train hard and smart. Working toward reducing wasteful workouts and striving to maintain excellent performances.

8. Provides Feedback

A swim log lets you know as a swimmer what is working and what isn’t working. It allows for swimmers to look back on their mistakes and correct them the next time around.

9.Amplifies The Love For The Sport


All in all, I believe that anything you do as an attempt to improve and exceed is something that adds on to the original passion you have for the sport of swimming. Looking back on this log can be a daily reminder of why you started swimming and why you are still swimming. This is an easy way of maintaining a good routine and should be able to produce beneficial results.

I’ve been writing in my goal journal every day. I write down just about anything that comes to mind– where I am both physically and mentally. A journal is a good tool for just about anyone to use because it helps an individual physically record any kind of emotion they may be feeling and then act on that feeling accordingly.

A practice log is something every swimmer should try out. It could prove to be a very good use of your time.

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