Stop, Learn and Adjust

Johnny Bradley @JohnnyBrad1ey

31st August 2017 – the day I left SINI.

Since then I have had time to reflect – the highs and the lows. The ability to reflect is crucial. I wish I had the opportunity to do more of it when working in SINI. I thought to get better I had to work harder, keep the head down, look for more data, more video, find better connections. However, experience has taught me, that sometimes to be better all we need to do is stop and reflect. One of the best coaches I worked with always said to her players “Stop, Learn and Adjust”. As analysts, we need to do the same. If we don’t, we will just burnout.

My black book

I am a passionate advocate of quality note taking, I have always taken great pride in all my notes, I use them as a mechanism to continuously reflect.

I will always invest in a quality notebook (Link), purchasing one every year. It contains all my thoughts, notes from important meetings, aspirations for analysis or technology, books I have read, conferences I have attended, quotes, reminders, to do lists. All my work is in one place, my little black book.

This is important for me because:

  1. It helps me recall important thoughts.
  2. Creates a record of all events I attend.
  3. Everything is in one central resource.
  4. It allows me to be creative.

I always use my black book when reflecting. I make time (usually over coffee). I make sure that all the knowledge that I have gained is not lost. My handwritten notes allow me to engage in the reflection process and better understand different situations or experiences. You may think this is so simple, however, it does take a little bit of time and sometimes you have to force yourself to do it. But imagine your black book after 1…4…5…10 years. The knowledge contained within your black book will be amazing. An unbelievable a learning tool.

And the best thing is, you created it.

So my advice, take pride in your notes. It is the first step towards positive reflection.


Author: Johnny Bradley

Johnny is a highly experienced performance analyst who has worked with elite athletes from a wide range of sports at numerous major championships. Johnny was Performance Analyst at the Sports Institute Northern Ireland for 10 years before moving to work as a lecturer in Sports Performance Analysis at Institute of Technology in Carlow. He has provided support to elite athletes from a wide range of sports including hockey, triathlon, rugby union, gaelic football, hurling, netball and swimming.