Jonjo Shelvey’s secret diary
The Newcastle pass master is using a journal to document his thoughts on and off the pitch
Joey Barton is fond of quoting Nietzsche and Orwell on social media but, despite his best efforts, footballers aren’t really considered to be the deepest of thinkers.
But if you thought players spend all their afternoons playing FIFA and taking selfies in the gym, you’re wrong. Well, at least in the case of Jonjo Shelvey.
The Newcastle midfielder started working with a psychologist last year, who handed him a black book to document his thoughts after training and matches.
“I write a few things down that I’ve done good and bad,” he revealed. “Sometimes I’ll take it with me to the golf course and make notes after I hit a bad shot.
“It’s great for everyday life and it’s good to flick back through and have a quick read. It’s always refreshing your memory of what you can improve on and what you’re doing well.
“With so many training sessions you forget what you’ve done, so it reminds me.”
The 26-year-old’s temperament has often been questioned, but he feels that working with a psychologist has altered his mindset.
“We meet two or three times a month,” he continued, “just to see where I’m at mentally.
“It’s helped me massively. Now I’m able to take a step back from certain situations and see things from other people’s perspective.”