31 March 2009

see it in your mind

This morning my husband was practicing an oral argument in the shower and I could tell, in his mind, he was there - in court, kicking ass.

Later in the morning I heard about a study in which three high school groups participated. One group practiced shooting baskets for one hour a day for two weeks - they were 2% better at the end of the study; another did nothing regarding basketball & got worse over the course of the study; the third group also did not pick up a basketball but instead practiced in their minds for an hour a day and they got 3.5% better. That's right- better than the people who actually shot baskets. The "mind" group used all of their senses - they thought of the smell of the gym, felt the ball leaving their fingers and saw it arcing perfectly, imagined what they were wearing, heard their sneakers squeak against the waxed gym floor and the swish of the baskets...and this alone made them better. The person telling the story said it's like footprints in the snow - you have walked this way before and know the path.

I believe it - I know this is true and encourage my students and clients to try and do this - to see, hear, smell and feel what it will be like and see themselves doing it, with the outcome they want.
I know this is helpful for me - when I swim or bike or run right now, in my mind's eye I have that triathlon number scrawled on my arm, the sun is shining and I cross the finish line, sometimes with my arms raised in the air, victorious. And when I was pregnant, I would see my births happening each day...of course I studied my options and thought about what it would be like if things didn't go according to plan, but what I focused on, what I rehearsed, was seeing myself push out my babies in the way that I wanted to.

Prepare for everything, but plan for success.


Laurie said...

That's good. Because I have been training in my mind as well. Does that count! Maybe I'm 3.5 percent in better shape than if I had not thought about the triathalon at all!! For what it's worth, I can see you crossing that finish line victorious, as well.

DoulaMomma said...

I'll be right behind you Laura...