Professional Footballers Australia (the PFA) has teamed up with Adelaide United captain Stefan Mauk to distribute Inner Game Journals to youth and academy footballers across the country.

Developed by the 25-year-old A-League midfielder, the Inner Game Journals encourage athletes to set goals, build positive habits and help them understand the values behind motivation and high performance.

Mauk developed the resource while based in the New South Wales hub during the A-League’s 2019/20 season. 

With the Journals endorsed by over 200 professional athletes across diverse Australian sports, including 40 Olympians, the PFA hopes to equip Australian football’s next generation with an important tool for developing as athletes on and off the pitch. 

PFA Co-Chief Executive Beau Busch said that delivering the journals to players within the academies of A-League and W-League clubs provided the dual outcome of supporting Mauk’s entrepreneurial spirit, while providing youth players with a tangible resource for self-improvement. 

“We’re delighted to work with Stefan to help share his Inner Game Journals with young aspiring footballers,” Busch said. “There continues to be a body of evidence that supports positive outcomes associated with goalsetting, mindfulness, gratitude and journaling – all of the activities that the Journals cultivate within professional athletes. Our hope is that we can create more resilient players who have a holistic approach to mental and physical health to build their on and off-field development as professionals and people. 

Mauk currently delivers tutorials and education for grassroots clubs and primary and secondary schools, covering wellbeing in sport, high performance and insights into his own career. 

“I really want to help inspire self-awareness within young athletes to optimise not only their performance, but their growth of healthy habits,” Mauk said. 

“The journal is something I look back on and wish I could have when I was just starting out to help me better understand how to set goals, achieve them and also navigate the inevitable challenges that come with having a professional career.” 

The PFA has previously worked with footballers to support their entrepreneurial spirit, including Jerrad Tyson’s with the launch of his book The One Percenters, and the PFA’s recent partnership with Dean Heffernan’s Heading Pro.

About the Inner Game Journals

The Inner Game Journal was created to help athletes understand themselves through daily assessment. Athletes learn what their optimal routine is to improve their performance on field. Our mission is to inspire a culture of self-awareness within athletes of all ages to optimise performance. Find out more at

Athletes using the Inner Game Journals include:

Kyle Chalmers (swimming), Madi Wilson (swimming), Nina Kennedy (pole vault), Maeve Plouffe (cyclist), Annabelle Smith (diver), Brandon Starc (high jump), Emily Whitehead (gymnast), Keesja Gofers (water polo), Jess Stenson (distance runner) and the softball Australia team, Xavier Duursma, Zac Langdon (AFL), Chelsea Randall (AFLW), Jenna McCormick (W-League/Matildas), John Asiata (NRL), Laura Hingston and Annabelle Smith (platform divers), Isabel Houghton (W-League player with Adelaide United).’