I’m a big believer in visualization. I’ve always been happy with the kids when I teach it to them and I’m always happy with the results.
I’ve done some long progressive relaxation and visualization sessions and have always felt it was worth the time and effort. It took a while for me to be comfortable with it, but now it’s pretty easy.
However, I’ve looked for a simple one that teaches kids who important it is to visualize. My best athletes come to it fairly naturally. The newer ones and the ones with little sport or athletic background have a more difficult time.
Plus, they tend to visualize things that aren’t very likely. If they are just learning to compete, they aren’t going to win the league championship.
This is a visualization that I got off of Tony Robbin’ CD Get the Edge. I’ve done it years before and had forgotten about it. However, it works, is simple and gets the point across that what you think about has a direct impact on how you perform.
I think it would work with any group of youth athletes…even in the classroom.
This is how you do it…
Have the kids stand up and face one direction. Instruct them to point one arm straight out in front. Then they turn their body as far to the right as possible. They keep their feet flat on the ground as they turn. They should notice how far they have turned.
Next, have them close their eyes. Have them visualize turning again. Have them see themselves turning further than they did.
Also, say that it is easy and effortless. They notice that as they relax, they can turn further and further.
Then while still visualizing, have them practice this 3 to 5 times. Have them make a movie of themselves turning further each time and it’s always easy.
Next, have them open their eyes, point their arm and turn again, this time for real. They should notice how much further they go. By relaxing and imagining that they can go further, their body follows what the mind said.
Most kids will go 20 to 40 degrees further. Some might be able to go almost all the way around.
It really is quite amazing. If you don’t believe me (or Tony) try it right now. Stand up and give it a go.
There are many things that kids and teams can visualize for to improve. It could be a specific skill…it could be just having a feeling of confidence when they play or practice.
Either way, this is an powerful way for kids to experience the power of visualization.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.