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Visualization: See Your Success

"See first with your mind, then with your eyes, and finally with your body."  - Master Swordsman Yagyu Munenori (1571-1646)

We're all stuck right now. Stuck figuratively, maybe, but also literally. Leagues and teams across the continent are shut down or at least paused.

But while you're away, think about how visualization might impact your return to the ice.

Visualization is like making 'mental movies' of what you want to do in hockey, sports in general, or even life.  When making movies in our mind, we want to make it as real as possible...

Here's why...

Your brain can't always tell the difference between something real (like when you see your computer or phone in front of you) and something imagined (like a nightmare or dream).  In both, you 'see' events and objects, but the dream is only imagined, whereas what your eyes see is reality.

When creating visualizations or mental movies, you have many options because you have an endless capacity for creativity!  You can make any movie you want in your mind!  You can visualize winning the Stanley Cup, or your league trophy, or making an amazing, game-saving stop!  

When visualizing, keep these things in mind...

To start, don't put pressure on yourself to visualize for long periods of time at once.  Start with 15-20 seconds of focus, a break, then another 15-20 seconds of movie making! To start, use the first person (meaning see things through your eyes, not other peoples').  

Then as you progress and get better and better at focusing on your movie, open it up to more "camera angles".  Think of the NHL...they have overhead cams, in-net cams, behind the net, and the regular center-ice cam!

Include as much detail as possible. What do you see?  What are your surroundings? What is the temperature? Indoor or outdoor rink? Include the other senses. What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you feel? Watch on repeat!

(Remember, we can't get good at anything until we've done it over and over and over!!!)

Your mental tasks this week:

As you get in bed at night, take 30-60 seconds to make a quick 'mental movie'.  See your successes! As you wake up in the morning, take 30-60 seconds as your feet hit the floor to visualize your day and who you want to be.

Stay frosty friends


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