Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Visualization might sound like some type of new-age junk, but I'm really convinced that it works.
When I was a varsity coach in South Tama, we always played better. We did it a lot at Como Park with the JV as well and I felt that we played well doing it. Visualization is kind of like driving however, you can't just get behind the wheel and go. There are some things you need to know for visualization to work. Below are some thoughts and ideas that will help you teach your players to visualize effectively.

1. Have them visualize process, not results.
   -Some coaches have players visualize winning a game, but why?
    What good does it do to visualize something they can't directly
   -You should have them visualize themselves DOING things
     to help them win the game, making shots, making good
     passes, etc.

2. Have them visualize good starts to the game.
   -Players have a lot of anxiety at the start of a game. As
    coaches you can use visualization to relieve some of
    that anxiety.
   -Have them visualize being calm on the tip, the tip
    happening and several good trips up and down.
   -Have them include simple things like making clean
    catches, making a shot, defense, etc.

3. Use visualization with skill development.
    -Great for skill development is to show them a skill
     have them practice it, then have them visualize how
     they should be doing it, then have them practice
     it again.
    -Visualizing things when they are laying in bed
      at night or sitting on the couch is great too!

4. Have them visualize a situation they struggle with
    and have them visualize it happening right.

5. When they screw up, have them visualize the situation
    where they make the correct decision.
    -If it's in practice, then have them repeat the situation.

Here is a great video from Josh Medcalf on visualization that has a lot of the same points as above.

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