Mindset Made Simple Tip #46 To watch or listen, click HERE.
In and out of athletics, we all deal with times in our lives where we are not at the top of our game, whether we are in a slump or flat-out injured.
And since it is summertime, it is also surgery time for our athletes, and it may be our time to deal with that nagging injury or medical issue we ignored all year long (I know how you coaches operate because I did it too 😊)!
As I look ahead to a daunting week for our family medically, I have been thinking about how we can help those around us who are working to get back to the top of their game.
I want to help you and your athletes improve in “down” times, but truth be told, I really want to help my dad get better. He is having heart issues and may need a major (and I mean major) procedure that will take a ton of recovery. He is set in his ways, like we all are, but I am hoping that the practices I outline here will help him regain strength and confidence as his heart health improves with or without the major procedure.
We all know how amazing our brain is! A few weeks ago we talked about the benefit of watching ourselves be awesome (click HERE for a refresher) and how our brain treats both activity and mental rehearsal as the same experience. AMAZING!
I also mentioned that WE NEED TO USE THIS TO OUR ADVANTAGE!
You have probably heard of the free throw study completed by Dr. Judd Biasiotto from the University of Chicago where Dr. Blaslotto split students into groups completing one of the following three things for a month.
· Group 1 did not to practice or play basketball at all for 30 days
· Group 2 practiced shooting free throws for a 30 minutes a day for 30 days
· Group 3 spent 30 minutes each day visualizing hitting every free-throw for 30 days
After 30 days, he found that Group 1 did not improve at all (shocking – maybe this is the point our athletes really need to hear 😊). As expected, Group 2 improved to the tune of 24%. But most impressively, Group 3 improved by 23%! Only 1% less than the group that actually shot the ball!
Don’t believe it?
There’s more! Other studies have found that people have increased their white blood cell count (Donaldson, 2000) through using mental imagery (a.k.a, visualization).
You have been using visualization since you were a kid – watching yourself shoot the winning shot, throw the long bomb, drive in the winning run!
Now it’s time to use it to help us get out of that slump or recover from injury!
As we used to tell our injured athletes, there is always something you CAN do. We can lift with the opposite arm or leg and visualize the one that can’t be used (this will help alleviate muscle loss during inactivity).
We can do mental reps. We can watch others play our position and pretend we are in the game moving as the play dictates.
We can watch ourselves walk, run, shoot, score, swing, throw…MOVE and IMPROVE!
Visualization does not have to take place laying on our backs in a Zen state. It can be done in movement, standing, sitting, at a traffic light, while brushing our teeth.
We ALWAYS have our brains with us so we can ALWAYS watch ourselves move…EVEN WHEN WE CAN’T!
However, we are much more likely to do what we schedule, so have our athletes (or your dads 😊) schedule their rehab visualization into their time in the training room or into their morning or evening routines.
They can take a page out or BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits and tie it to each time they sit down to eat…or every time they open a social media app (if you REALLY want them to get better, this may be the trigger to tie it to!!).
However, or whenever it is done, watching ourselves MOVE will make us better…it will help our confidence…it will keep us motivated…and most importantly, it will allow us to live, support and perform at our peak for ourselves and those around us!
I may have to hide this post from my Dad for a few days so he doesn’t know what’s coming, but I can assure you that we will be using this (or I will at least try to teach an old dog new tricks) as he moves to the next stage of his treatment.
Now it’s your turn to use it to your advantage!
Here’s to a healthy week!
P.S. Thinking about implementing a more intentional Mental Performance program for next year? I can build one for you that fits your schedule and budget! Let’s set up a time to talk about how we can build your team’s mental toughness. Give me a call or text at 234-206-0946 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach
email@example.com • 234-206-0946
Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:9