Jonjo Shelvey’s se­cret di­ary

The New­cas­tle pass mas­ter is us­ing a jour­nal to doc­u­ment his thoughts on and off the pitch

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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.”

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