Mind Over Sports

Archive for July 2008

david-beckham-la-galaxy-4I honestly don’t know if David Beckham uses visualization or not, but I would be very surprised if he didn’t.

All the great athletes do. Since my website is constantly visited by so many soccer enthusiasts, many from foreign countries, I thought I would write something about how an athlete can best use visualization to enhance his or her performance. First, there is no right or wrong way to use visualization. Whatever you believe will work for you, will work. However, I’ve found that it is important to be unencumbered with psychological baggage before you begin the visualization process. If you have unresolved issues in your personal life you must first resolve those issues (or at least begin the process of resolving them) before you can use visualization effectively. Also, if you have a high sense of self-worth, if you are highly spiritual and if your life is in harmony, what you visualize will actually come to pass. And by the way, I don’t believe you “attract” what happens to you but rather actually “create” what happens to you.

I also recommend that, if you have the budget, you should produce a 3-4 minute highlight video of yourself, portions of it in slow motion, with a music soundtrack with meaningful lyrics. You would then watch your video over and over again, and then, just before game time (in the locker room) you would listen to just the soundtrack on an audio playback unit and if your life is in harmony, you should create the same images that appear on your highlight video on the soccer field. I call this “Image Transference.” But since many of you reading this probably do not have the resources to produce your own video, here is a recommended visualization script for you to follow, using a music track you select for yourself that has special meaning. Also, while visiting this website you might want to take the “Self-Esteem Survey” that appears (lower right of page) which will tell you where you are in your life at this moment in time and whether or not visualization will be an effective tool for you to use in your game. In preparation for visualization, I recommend that you dim the lights, be in a prone position, and listen to the music track you’ve selected.

Here now, is the script:

I invite you to sit comfortably in a chair, or on the floor, in an upright position, with your spine straight.  Now close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply . . . and begin to count down slowly from ten to one . . . relaxing more and more deeply with each count.  10 . . . 9. . . 8. . . feel yourself going deeper and deeper. . . into a quieter, more relaxed state of mind. . . 7. . .6. . . 5 . . . deeper and more relaxed. . . 4. . . 3 . . . 2. . . 1. . . you are now in a very deep, very calm state of mind.

Now see yourself in that special spot where you are completely at peace with yourself…where you are totally happy…it may be under an oak tree in the forest, or next to a stream in the woods, or floating in a boat on a lake…it’s a place you love to be because it’s so peaceful. And once you’re situated in that spot, then you see before you what appears to be a television screen…and as you watch that screen, you suddenly see yourself…you are on the screen…performing on the field. And see with you that one person who has always been your idol…you watch them play… you duplicate their style.. their every move is your move…you and they are one… excellent timing… excellent rhythm… you are in sync. And also see that individual you want to excel for… the one person who, throughout your life has been an inspiration for you… the one person who has stood by you through good times and tough times. You know there are many people who love you…who care about you… they are with you… they are for you.. (PAUSE). You are relaxed…you are calm. The referee blows the whistle… the game is on. You are running easily, freely… you feel the wind in your face… you are doing what you do best… running forward to support the ball… running back to mark your opponent. You are relaxed and calm. You see the ball… yet you see the whole field. You know what you will do with the ball before it comes to you. You know your assignments…on corner kicks… free kicks… offense… defense… you are totally prepared for this game. You are performing at your best… (PAUSE). And finally, the game is over… see yourself… tired, but happy…. you are sweating… there is a towel around your neck…everyone is patting you on the back… giving you high fives hugging you… congratulating you. See yourself enjoying the reward you promised yourself. . . you did it. . . you made it happen. . . you. . . are a winner (PAUSE) And now, take approximately 30-seconds to slowly open your eyes. Thirty Seconds.

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greg_norman_and_chris_evert000x0432x367The reason Greg Norman had such a remarkable return performance in the recent British Open was not because of his relationship with his new age guru Tony Robbins, or the former Australian prime minister, Bob Hawke, who helped him get back on track, or his golf coach Butch Harmon who showed him a shorter swing…it was his new marriage to Chris Evert.

The Great White Shark was quoted in an interview with Associated Press Sports Columnist Jim Litke saying that his messy divorce followed by his current happy marriage to Chrissy had left him comfortable, confident and poised to pounce on an opportunity, such as the British Open. “That comes from a good, safe happy mind in a lot of ways. I’m very content in my mind.” Now all he has to do is address his self-limiting belief that he tends to choke coming in the home stretch of important golf tournaments. But in time, I think his marriage to Chrissy will help him with that also.

adam-ottavinoI recently read an article in the Springfield News-Leader about Adam Ottavino, a talented pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals organization who is currently playing for their farm club, the Springfield, Missouri, Cardinals.

The article related how he was a fast rising star who once showed a great deal of promise but then had a period of disappointment, and that his career was once again on an upswing. In an interview with the reporter, Ottavino stated: “I’m a notoriously slow starter…at every level I’ve been at. Hopefully I can keep this going.” My advice to Adam is: If you believe you’re a notoriously slow starter, you will be a notoriously slow starter. Because what you believe to be true is true for you, regardless of how it plays out in the real world. Our beliefs are powerful forces that can affect us positively, or negatively.


N. V. I.
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