How many of you have kids that are super busy to practice their skills as much as they should?
Or maybe they need to work on skills that aren’t so easy to practice such as confidence, self-control, or being resiliant.
I’ve always been a big proponent of visualization and mental rehearsal but lately I’ve been using it for one very specific skill. See, I love to play basketball. I play with my friends on Wednesday and Saturdays as much as possible.
The problem is that I’m not very good. As one of the oldest and smaller guys playing I’m at some disadvantages. Add to it that I’m just not very good at ball handling or shooting then I’ve got some real problems.
Lately, I’ve been working out a lot. I’ve lost weight, gained a ton of strength and am moving better than ever. But my shooting still sucks. The guys that are covering me know I can’t make the basket so they play off of me. And then I can’t drive past them for the easy lay-up.
When I’ve had time and a good location to practice, I improve and have a pretty nice shot from 15 feet. But recently, there just hasn’t been any time.
So I decided to do a little experiment.
Every time I took the dog for a walk and pass a tree, I would think of it as a basket. I would imagine the ball arcing through the air and going “SWISH” right thru the center of tree. I imagined what it felt like to have my body in the right position, to have my arms in the right position and have the ball leave my hands perfect.
As I got better at visualizing I imagined passes coming from the right and left sides. I imagined rolling off a screen to make the shot. I even imagined being tired and having confidence to take and make the shot.
Well, my shooting has greatly improved.
Guys are no longer playing off of me. As a matter of fact, I’ve even faked the shot, had my defender go past me and go up for the lay-up. It is a great feeling when you fake someone out like that.
Recently, I’ve discovered some sources that go into visualization in more details. I’ll talk about them in a later post. But for now, talk to your kids about mental rehearsal. Have the practice it. It can be done almost any time…and any place.
In my next post, I’ll go into some techniques and strategies to use for any sport.