Play Ball!! - But first keep your eye on the ball!
Spring time brings us all outdoors. Time to get ready for summer sports like baseball, tennis, biking, swimming, golf and numerous other games.
Is your child ready for his or her game? Whether it is merely for fun or competitive, give your child the gift of learning how to properly participate in the game. Besides learning the specific techniques of the game, most sports involve a mind game. Can you hit that ball? Swim that fast? Run that far? See how the See It. Say It. Do It! Method
is very effective for athletes of all ages, young and older, novice and professional, male and female.
Here are some tips that great coaches and athletes use. Coaches and athletes know what separates the mediocre athletes from the champions, where hundredths of seconds or tenths of an inch count. Numerous athletes are turning to visualization training to take their game to the next level. When practiced, there is improvement in consistency and accuracy of the skill. The most successful athletes visualize (See It!)
before their pitch, jump, swing, run or shoot. Just as positive visualization helps to create top performance, negative visualization will often impair performance.
Think about the kid who gets ready to serve the tennis ball, thinking, “I’m going to hit the ball into the net. Just watch.” And what do you think happens? He hits it into the net! Or what about the young gymnast who keeps imagining she’ll fall off the bars? She does. What we bring our attention to usually happens.
Visualization training may be focused in different areas:
Start It Now!
Mental practice of specific skills
Reduce stress and anxiety
Preparation for performance
Maintain mental readiness even during injury recovery time
As Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers, once said, “ I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie.” If famous golfers like Jack Nicklaus and other athletes can visualize and succeed, so can your child!
Practicing with your child at an early age gives her a lifetime skill. The combination of solid physical training and confidence really comes together in sports. Allison Arnold, Ph.D., is the founder of Head Games and serves as a consultant to USA Gymnastics and U.S. Figure Skating in addition to amateur, professional and collegiate athletes. Dr. Arnold says. “It’s never too early to teach your child the basics of mental training. Training the mind is no different from training the body.”
If your child has not utilized visualization for practice, she might need a little experience to see the connection between her mind and her sports performance. Try one of these activities
, for the young child
or the older child
. Modify the activity specifically for your child’s sport by filling in the blanks.
If you would like to learn more about sports vision and how you can benefit, click here to see the video of Coach Dan Clemens interviewing Dr. Lynn Hellerstein on what sports vision is.
Next month, we’ll continue on the sports theme, talking about the importance of the declaration (Say It!
) and action (Do It!)
Feel free to send questions, comments or insights on your journey of transformation.
With love and gratitude,