The Student Athlete

The Pathway Performance Diary

In response to the increasing demands on young people Jacqui Freyne, Athletics Ireland Performance Pathway Manager, has developed the “Performance Pathway Diary”, where young athletes can log both their training and academic commitments. From her work with athletes over the past number of years especially during the pandemic Jacqui felt there was a need for a resource tool such as diary to help young athletes.

Working in conjunction with sporting experts such as, Olympian and Performance Psychologist Jessie Barr and Head of Performance Life Skills at the Sport Ireland Institute Eoin Rheinisch to create a focused and efficient resource for young athletes on their journey to becoming senior high-performance athletes.

The diary is designed to combine all of the commitments facing young athletes from their education to their training in a single space. The diary offers resources for tracking and analysis of performance to wellness spaces for athletes to have an outlet for their emotional and mental health. Throughout each of the tools there is a priority on functional design and visual communication through colour and symbols, designer and past performance Pathway Athlete Emma Prendiville used both her experience and expertise to collate this focus. This is to assist both athletes and their personal coaches to have a holistic view of the athlete’s performance as well as to plan training sessions in harmony with their education commitments.

Alongside following the traditional journal writing aspect of diaries, the Performance Pathway Diary offers accurate expert lead information from areas such as recovery and nutrition to injury prevention. Many people including experts such as Ciara McCallion (Sport Ireland Institute Physiotherapist), David Tobin (Sport Ireland Institute Nutritionist), Martina McCarthy (Sport Ireland Institute Senior Strength & Conditioning Consultant) and Emma Saunders (Sport Ireland Institute Performance Life Skills) have all had significant contributions to this information and its delivery in the diary.

Unique to the Performance Pathway Diary, is the input from established senior athletes from the realm of athletics such as Phil Healy, Fionnuala McCormack and Thomas Barr, featured throughout the diary are words of encouragement and advice from these figures such as:

“Continue working hard and stick at it” – Olympian Thomas Barr.

“Remember that each day is a part of a bigger picture and process, so it’s important to be patient with each day and detail, and to always focus on the present” – Olympian Siofra Cleirigh Buttner.

“Look after your head, this is your most important asset. Talk about your worries, talk about what makes you feel makes you better, write it down so you can look back at time when you might need a little help” – Olympian Ciara Mageean.

The diary has been distributed to approximately 150 performance pathway athletes to date with visions of reaching more before the end of 2022. For those who have already received the dairy it has had a positive impact.

The diary is a really useful tool to stay organised and keep account of training” -  Leagh Moloney, Multi-Eventer from Co. Limerick.

“The training diary is a great space to keep both your training and academic activity for the week and makes it quick and easy to look back on when you have a peek performance or may become injured to see what happened in the weeks leading up to it” - Lucy McGlynn, Multi-Eventer from Co Donegal

“The Performance Pathway diary has already helped me to keep track of my sessions, diet etc. and I am already reaping the benefits in my sessions as I am managing my times better so its been great to have it” - Sam O’Sullivan, Walker from Co Tipperary.

“The performance pathway diary has been a really important item to me since I’ve received it. The diary helps me to log my training day by day but to also keep track of my academics which is vitally important as an athlete and student. The performance pathway diary is hopefully going to help me develop and improve as an athlete and also as a person for the future to come.” - Scott Fagan Distance Runner from Dublin.

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