"Mental Conditioning" is a big part of competing in sports in today's day and age. To be the best you must be able to focus onand visualize your short term and long termgoals. These are the skills that Athletic & Personal Development program coaches like Angus Mugford teach IMG students. Not only must you have the ability to learn how to master this tool but you must also implement the skill while practicing and training. These are the tips that IMG Academy lacrosse camps Coach, Pat Haley, gives to his students. Check out what Coach Haley has to say about "Visualization" in this week's "Lax Talk" :
It's not easy to get motivated all the time or to maintain focus. One good way to stay committed is by using visualization. There are many ways you can motivate yourself through visualization to practice at a higher level. For example, if I am practicing time and room shooting, I'll imagine a big game situation with a big-time Goalie who will be very hard to beat.
This makes me put full effort into every shot I take both physically and mentally. Taking practice shots with that kind of effort (full leg drive, full hip rotation, and full wrist snap) and that kind of focus (aiming for only one hole in the net without showing the goalie where you want to put it) makes all the difference in the world. And if you can try to really visualize such a competitive situation, you are also learning to deal with adrenaline and nerves. It makes shooting a hard and accurate shot during a game become second nature.
You can also use visualization just to see yourself doing things better, so it can help with confidence as well. Anytime you are getting better and doing things better on the field, see yourself that way, decide that is who you are going to be. Also, anytime you see a great shot, pass, check, save... or even just a great effort, use that as a lesson. Visualize yourself doing things like the best players - at least the fundamental part of what they are doing. Part of being a better player is just seeing yourself that way.
Use your imagination and figure out what will motivate you to practice with full effort. If you can âbring itâ every time you decide to go out and work on your game, you WILL become the best player you can be.
- Coach Haley