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Kendra Giesbrecht: From Pen to Performance Journal

Meet Kendra Giesbrecht, a 17-year-old alpine ski racer with a passion for success. She’s not just conquering the slopes; she’s also helping fellow athletes reach their full potential with her innovative journal. Dive into her world and explore the power of goal-setting and determination through her journal, linked below.

Tell us a bit about you and your journey as a Ski Racer from Banff!

My name is Kendra Giesbrecht, I am a 17 year-old alpine ski racer from St. Albert, AB. My home hill is Norquay, and my home club is the Banff Alpine Racers E-Team (BAR). I started ski racing with Snow Valley Racing when I was six years old.  I experienced many successes such as winning a gold medal at the Alberta Winter Games when I was 12 and qualifying for Nationals when I was 14.  After U16, I switched to Banff Alpine Racers and have been there since.  In the last two years, I have had the opportunity to race provincially, nationally and internationally.  I am currently ranked #1 in Slalom and  #3 in Giant Slalom for my age group in Canada. 

Along the way, I have made some lifelong friends, worked with incredible coaches and had unbelievable travel, training and racing experiences.  I cannot begin to explain the gratitude I feel to this sport that has absolutely shaped my life.  

What motivated you to create this journal? 

From a young age I was always taught that journaling is a great tool for athletes. Many of my coaches actually made it mandatory to journal as a part of our training routines.  So, I got into the habit of doing it, even when I didn’t want to! But I learned to love it and to truly understand how impactful reflection can be.  I decided to share my way of journaling with other athletes, as I believe it can be beneficial to them, but also it is a way to take some of the skills that I have learned over the years and use them to earn funds to support my training and racing.

Why do you feel journaling is important to you?

Journaling is a great tool to track your successes and failures and truly understand your progress.  I feel that journaling is a way to materialize your thoughts and provides you with a chance to think through the lessons you have learned through your coaches and drills and to plan your next step.  It is also important to keep track of external factors that impact your performance.  Things like sleep, nutrition and hydration can dramatically affect how you feel in training and competition.  Knowing what works for you is a process of tracking what has worked and what has not over time.  

It is also important to recognize the emotional journey of elite athletes.  Writing down your disappointments on difficult days and your excitement during triumphs allows you to keep perspective and reflect on the whole experience rather than focusing on one particular event or result.

I love being able to look back on my journal entries from two months, a year, three years ago and be able to see what I was working on and how I overcame those habits. It’s a testament to how far you’ve come and how hard you’ve worked. 

Why do you feel others would find this resourceful?

Athletes need to determine how to use journaling for their own personal growth.  There is no one right way to do it. In creating this template, I wanted to make sure to include the crucial pieces and have them as reminders for athletes not to overlook some of those elements, while also allowing freedom and flexibility to personalize the tool.  From Pen to Performance offers tips and strategies that I have found successful, and a practical approach to goal setting – things that others might also find helpful.  The daily template reminds athletes to consider sleep, hydration, nutrition, mental health and feedback, but also allows space to “brain dump” any other thoughts about the day.  Journaling has helped me grow a deeper understanding of my sport, which has led to improvements and success.  I truly believe that it can help all athletes.

Get your copy of the From Pen to Performance: An Athlete’s Journal today by clicking here!