We often make mistakes in sport but by utilising and practicing skills sets we can cope and adjust to almost every situation. This takes time to master and requires dedication by the performer to condition the mental skill set until it’s automatic. The use of visualiztion training is a key tool that you as a performer can master and apply to an array of performance situations. To maximise these techniques I recommend you apply your own experiences to them and rate them on that basis…. The only success I am interested in is the results in performance!
Now…the SERVE!!…why so many misses during matches whilst when in training you land 9/10? Part explanation is that when entering a performance situation it is highly likely that your nervous system will recognise the context it is in and start triggering relevant information, including your previous performances. All of this information will contribute to how you are feeling about yourself, at the very least, and have consequences for your self-confidence and your automatic or unconscious perception of yourself and the environment you are in. Depending on the information collected in your nervous system, this can be help or a hindrance.
So its match day….you throw and you miss….again….and…again…so what can you do???
Have you ever considered the ability you have to edit the internal representation of the action and the consequences editing your movie that you replay in your mind!? You will often find that the ability to review mental video of a performance or event is a key mark of high level professional. What takes the pro even further is the ability to edit that video, correct any mistakes, and run it with the perfect result. So how? Let me show you……
Pick an occasion that you would like to remember serving the ball differently, for example, a time when you missed the line. Follow the steps below to learn how to mentally correct the vision/ memory. Make sure as this rehearsal comes alive as if your watching a movie out in front of you…then go back through the steps one by one building the image.
- Run the memory as if it were a movie on a screen in front of you. Start the movie when you have the ball in your hand and you are about to throw the ball. Stop the movie as the ball reaches the line and hits the court.
- As the movie gets to a part that you are not satisfied with and you want it to be better, go ahead and pause the movie, notice how you can cut that scene out of the movie and replace it with exactly the scene you want to make it just as you want it and better. For example, as you reply the movie in pay attention to the execution of the throw upwards of the ball, did it leave your hand smoothly and with pace….
Now keep adjusting the footage until it is perfect and gets the results you want. Adjust the movie of your action until its picture perfect…..
- When your movie is just right ,pause the movie at the beginning and look at yourself in the movie, become sensitive to your body posture (physiology) as it is on the screen
- NOW ‘step in’ to your image/body that is on the screen, so you are looking through your own eyes at the memory/event
- Run the Movie a few times from this position, – that is through your own eyes, in your own body. Notice how different the memory of the event feels NOW.
The challenge I put to you is to do this technique every day for 2 weeks. I can tell you how outstanding the results are but that would be pointless. The only thing to do now is to experience the results for yourself. Additionally, if you are training and/or competing, conduct this technique after every session…… only if you’re serious about achieving your own excellence, of course!
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