Visualization - mentail training

Visualization is a process of mental training to help athletes with the skills they need for the games they play. In visualization you run through the skills, drills, gameday plays, specialized series of actions that you will undertake during a practice or game.

The idea is to run through these in your brain to make them more natural actions in your body. When you imagine doing a skill or drill, your body contracts the same muscles in the same pattern and order that they would if you were doing the action live. In this way, you can practice reps of a drill or skill or an entire play to make the actions more automatic in your body. You can get similar results from the mental training, that you can from actual physical repetition of the drill. Thus visualization can give you more reps when there are not the on field/ice/court sessions available.

It can be a valuable tool to help you take your game to the next level. You can use it as a regular part of your training by practicing. Find a quiet area and decide on the skill, drill or play that you want to visualize. Start at the beginning of that action and image the whole thing - how you move your body, what you think, everything you do, what you see, what your surroundings are - the more real you can make it to your mind, the more effective it will be. Use all of your senses to make it as real as possible. Practice this over and over with any and every skill/drill/play that you want to use. You can use it for an entire shift, at bat, power play, or game. You can use it every week and change the opponent to what you want to accomplish in that game.

It can also be used to work through issues you are having with your game - misplays, mistakes, incorrect technique, areas where focus wavers, etc. You start with determining what the action should look like and visualizing that correct action. Then use the same technique above to put yourself in the place of doing the correct actions in that situation. Continue to go through it over and over again, even if you have never done the correct procedure in real life. The next time you are to perform the task, take a few moments to run through the correct technique with your visualization again and then attempt in real life. You should be working at a more correct level.

The more you practice visualization, the better you will become at it. And you can see how much better your game can become because of it.

If you haven’t worked with visualization before, give it a try and see what you notice.

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Thanks for reading!

THP The Healing Path