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Are You Doing This DAILY (and with detail)? The Importance of Visualization

"I’ve been visualizing ever since I was 12 or 13 when my amazing mother introduced me to it," Bianca Andreescu said. "I find it very helpful ... I believe we create our reality with our mind."

No big deal, she just won the U.S. Open at 19 years old, defeating 23 time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams.

YOU know visualization is a powerful mental training tool for athletes. You may already be implementing it with your team, maybe by utilizing our popular BRAVR™ Method.

But I want to take a moment and REALLY talk about visualization. 

In my humble opinion, visualization is the single best tool for getting your subconscious brain aligned with what you are working toward. When you fail to do this, hard work doesn't mean as much as it should. You can easily work and work and work and self-sabotage every step of the way without even knowing it.

That’s why, when I work with athletes, I teach them to visualize. When I work with mindset...

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Coaches: If There Was ONLY One Tool I Could Teach You, This Would Be It.

 

This video was originally streamed on Facebook Live. Watch the video, and/or read the brief synopsis below to learn about the most powerful mental training tool you should be teaching your athletes. 


I get some variation on this question from coaches a lot:

Lindsey, which mindset tool will help my coaching and my athletes the most? 

My answer? 

The greatest all-around tool that can truly benefit everyone on your team (including you) is visualization. 

If you follow this blog, you've likely heard me mention visualization before (most recently, here, and here). Today, I'm going to keep it simple and talk about how visualization can help you really get through to your athletes. 

What is Visualization?

Visualization is a method in which you imagine a storyline. This enables you to experience something on a deeply emotional level without posing any real risk.

Learn more about the scientific research behind visualization in our previous blog, The Top 5...

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The Top 5 Reasons to Visualize (w/ Scientific Proof)

Visualization helps program the subconscious brain to be successful. Here are the 5 reasons you should start practicing visualization today.

#1. Builds Confidence

Visualizing success in your training or racing and you can subconsciously improve your belief in your abilities. We all compete according to how we see ourselves. Change how you see yourself, and your performance changes. Just take a moment and think of 5 times you were at the top of your ‘game’. Write them down. Then take a deep breath, close your eyes and replay all seven of those instances in your mind.

I'll bet you feel more confident in your abilities and more sure of your enormous potential. It’s powerful stuff. Simple but brings out your BEST you.

#2. Controls Emotions

Controlling emotions is one of the most important aspects to mental training. Staying calm under pressure, reacting appropriately to adversity, getting hyped for competition, ignoring unhelpful emotions in the heat of the moment....

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How Coaches Can Make Small Communication Shifts for Big Impact

We sat down with communication expert, Betsy Butterick to discuss how you can make just a few small changes to communicate with your team in a positive, constructive way that nurtures growth. You can watch the entire interview here and read about he interview below. Here are a few highlights:

  • How to deal with difficult parents.
  • How to communicate effectively with athletes on sensitive issues.
  • How to correct and critique so your athletes actually hear what you are saying
  • How to nurture a positive environment with your words. 

This is an in-depth coaching masterclass, so buckle up and get ready to learn from Betsy!


COMMUNICATING FOR CHANGE

Betsy began our interview by teaching us the very actionable strategy and high-power impact of communicating with athletes in a positive way. Namely, she discussed how coaches can reframe negative feedback and rephrase it in a positive way. By sending a positive, constructive message, you can create change and increase...

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3 Simple Tricks to Increase Competitiveness in Your Athletes

Everything is going well until… it isn’t. Then what?


The thing is, you know and I know, that your athletes are going to STRUGGLE at some point- one mistake is going to turn into 2, 3, more? You will likely lose, an athlete will be in a slump. Someone will get injured and another will just have an 'off' day.

So if we KNOW this is going to happen, why not have a plan for when it does? In this information packed interview, I team up with Fast Pitch Fit founder and mental training expert Jenn Starkey to talk about how athletes can use her 3 simple hacks to get them back to a strong, competitive mindset when things aren’t going their way.


Her exercises demonstrate the true power of visualization and mental training and her way of teaching is truly special. (this will be a GREAT video to share with your athletes).


Watch the video, and take her lessons back to your team to show them how the smallest mental adjustment can mean the difference between a foul ball and a home...

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The Top 4 Reasons You Don’t Visualize

I’m bad at visualization,” said a young tennis player I've been working with recently. I get this a lot. In fact, I would say about a quarter of the people I work actually verbalize this statement out loud (there's no way to know how many people believe it but choose not to say it).

So, I wanted to take a little time to talk about visualization, to break it down a little further. After all, visualization is one of the most powerful tools you have for training your subconscious to achieve what you say you want to achieve. And it's not just for sports, it's a highly valuable tool for all parts of your life. Research has shown us this time and time again.

If you are a coach, parent, or an athlete, not only should you be utilizing visualization to help you achieve your own goals, it should be the backbone of your mental training program.

With all this on the line, why isn’t everyone utilizing this powerful (and super simple) tool?

There are a few common myths...

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Using visualization to crush the next pitch

Coaches, have you ever had a hitter who puts in the work, does extra reps, and who genuinely cares?

She’s a player who legitimately works HARD.

Yet she continues to spin her wheels and her progress is slow at best, leaving both of you frustrated. However, she still has moments of brilliance that keep her going and reaffirm to you that she, indeed, can do it.

Knowing she’s capable, you push the fundamentals in practice and do everything possible to prepare her physically for competition. But nothing much comes from it.

So, what’s the next step?

If we were to poll all the softball coaches reading this, it's likely that most of us would say the mental game is incredibly important. Yet, when we examine the time spent working on our mental game each week we find we’re severely lacking.


Softball: The mental game

In the game of softball, I find that hitters most often lose out on the full benefits of mental training mainly because there are so many of them....

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Mind over matter: Use visualization to increase your one rep max

If you’ve ever had a ‘max day’ in the weight room and found yourself staring at an amount of weight you’ve never seen before, much less lifted, wondering what in the heck you are thinking taking on such a task, you know what I mean when I say weight lifting is extremely mental.

For those of you who walk out of a good weight workout feeling more confident and powerful than when you walked in, you know what I’m talking about: weight lifting expands the mind just as it expands the body.

But did you know that the mind can actually benefit from lifting weights even when the body cannot?

Read further, this is just plain amazing.


Mind or muscle?

According to HumanKinetics.com, “there is a temptation to focus entirely on an idea of humans as motors when one considers resistance training.”

Sure, the human body is an incredible machine with lots of motors (aka muscles). In addition to our motors though, there are a lot of things that make humans...

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The Coach vs. The Critic: Who's in control?

Picture this: It's 10 years from now and you are up for a promotion. You should be elated, but instead just feel exhausted by your 50+ hour work week. You glance in your reflection in the window. Even through the smudged glass, you see the deep line that has made a home between your eyebrows.

When did that happen? You ask yourself.

Then it sinks in: you’re unhappy. You haven’t been happy for a long time. This heavy realization begins to weigh on you as you consider the "what if's" of your past. You ask yourself, What if I had traveled more. What if I had taken the job I actually wanted. What if I had taken that year off to spend time with my family. What if...

What if you had made your life decisions based on the parts of yourself that you wanted to preserve. What if you had chosen the life course that would best reflect the strengths in yourself that you value, not your parents, friends, or professional community. The strengths in yourself that you value.

...

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Jim Clem: Character traits & 6 pieces of advice for winning pitchers

We’ve talked about understanding yourself as a pitcher. We’ve talked about the things that can hold you back from achieving peak performance as a pitcher.

Now, we’re going to talk about character. Specifically, the character traits of winning pitchers, and six rules to follow to excel both on and off the mound.

Character traits of successful pitchers

In truth, if you were listening closely, our past articles featuring pitching coach Jim Clem already mentioned the winning character traits. (Surprise!) Admittedly, they’re not very specifically pointed out during the interview and were woven into the fiber of the entire conversation, so might have been tough to pick out.

Don't worry: we'll give you a hand by pulling a quote from directly from the interview:

…the personality characteristics of successful pitchers I think are determined to be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually balanced, and have a really great competitive nature...
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