The Power of Visualization
a tool for all levels of skills
Visualization is a powerful mental
training method, if used correctly, can transform performance at the
beginning, intermediate, advanced, and elite levels of figure skating.
This form of
mental training must be
used regularly and requires the athlete to form a realistically picture
in their mind the exact way you, as a coach, want them to perform an
element or the full routine.
brings major improvement to almost any area of a figure skating
performance - however there are several aspects which need to be done
correctly in order to extract the best results.
The conscious mind must
achieve the correct level of
relaxation to connect with the subconscious mind. Relaxation is a
process that decreases the effects of stress on your
mind and body. Relaxation techniques can help you cope with everyday
stress and with stress related to various health problems,
The Mayo Clinic
recommends the following methods to reduce stress symptoms and help you
enjoy a better
quality of life, especially if you have an illness. Explore relaxation
techniques you can do by yourself.
Relaxation techniques can
reduce stress symptoms by:
- Slowing your heart rate
- Lowering blood pressure
- Slowing your breathing rate
- Increasing blood flow to major muscles
- Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
- Improving concentration
- Reducing anger and frustration
- Boosting confidence to handle problems
To maximize the benefits of
relaxation techniques, combine with other
positive coping methods, such as exercising, getting enough sleep, and
the support of family and friends.
There are several main
types of relaxation techniques, including:
- Autogenic relaxation. Autogenic means
that comes from within you. In this relaxation technique, you use both
visual imagery and body awareness to reduce stress. You repeat words or
suggestions in your mind to relax and reduce muscle tension. For
example, you may imagine a peaceful setting and then focus on
controlled, relaxing breathing, slowing your heart rate, or feeling
different physical sensations, such as relaxing each arm or leg one by
- Progressive muscle relaxation. In this
technique, you focus on slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle
group. This helps you focus on the difference between muscle tension
and relaxation. You become more aware of physical sensations. One
method of progressive muscle relaxation is to start by tensing and
relaxing the muscles in your toes and progressively working your way up
to your neck and head. You can also start with your head and neck and
work down to your toes. Tense your muscles for at least five seconds
and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat.
- Visualization. In this relaxation
form mental images to take a visual journey to a peaceful, calming
place or situation. During visualization, try to use as many senses as
you can, including smell, sight, sound and touch. If you imagine
relaxing at the ocean, for instance, think about such things as the
smell of salt water, the sound of crashing waves and the warmth of the
sun on your body. You may want to close your eyes, sit in a quiet spot
and loosen any tight clothing.
Other common relaxation techniques
- Tai chi
Creating a Mental Image of
To create a "new" mental image in
the mind, it is first
necessary to make an impression on the subconscious mind. The
visualized images need to be:
- emotionally charged
- used regularly
Unfortunately, it is a
fact is that visualization
is not always used correctly.
Few individuals realize they are
visualizing all day long. This type of visualization is often
filled with negative thoughts which is constantly influencing their
Many figure skaters
experience recurring patterns
of self sabotage caused by the skater unknowingly visualizing
themselves to fail.
Alpha and Theta
relaxation states can bring
instant stress release and provide positive support to hypnotic
suggestion, guided visualization, and affirmations.
The ideal psychological
state or "Zone" results
from learning how to apply three basic mental skills:
Top sports psychologists highly
recommend hypnosis for teams and individual athletes.
- Voluntary Relaxation/Energy
- Mental Rehearsal
- Cognitive Restructuring
Most coaches agree that achieving
success in sports is at least 89%
mental and that hypnosis can help an athlete to
relax, focus inward, and visualize success by thinking like a
Thinking like a champion creates a
positive state of mind
before starting a program and continues until the program ends.
How many times have you seen a skater miss their first element and they
can't recover? It is just down hill until the music ends!
Self hypnosis can help train a
skater's brain and nervous
relax under pressure. Hypnosis
also has a remarkable ability to help a skater to perform "in the
focusing his or her attention on just the element to be performed and
not worry about what has already happened.
Research and experience
have proven that athletes
achieve their "Peak Performance" starts with the use of proper
nutritional, and psychological training.
relaxed state of being alert. The goal of the athlete is to perform the
planned actions in a relaxed, controlled state. Too many young
athletes experience a form of "stage flight" that makes a lasting
impression on their ability at their best in future performances.
Site contains some on-line games to:
- Improve memory and attention
- Offer rigorous training
- Fun and easy: full workout
in less than 10 minutes/day
- Detailed feedback and
healthy relaxation techniques
Coping: Relaxation Techniques
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