Pre-Game Visualization and Activation Routine
Proven pre-grame routine for elite teams and programs. Elevate focus and confidence with preparation and mentally induced muscle memory.
Preparing to Compete
Prior to competition, athletes complete a Sevwins Pre-Performance Journal to prepare for their competition. This can be inter-team competitions, scrimmages or games. The goal is to get athletes to prepare for competition by committing to two mindset strategies:
Define who you will be today. A strong mantra will be used as a focus trigger or adversity reset.
2. Performance Target
Define the one thing you will do better today than ever before. This creates a strong state-of-mind and focus on improving 1% today.
Separate to be in the Moment
The refreshing aspect of sports is that practices and games create a special space and time where outside stressors can be set aside and dealt with later. Our goal, as coaches, is to teach athletes how to separate and focus on the task-at-hand. This results in the ability to perform in the moment.
Coaches can help athletes learn to separate life stressors from practices or games using two proven methods:
Remind athletes to put outside stressors “on the shelf” as they enter the field or gym. Let them know those stressor will be waiting for them when the practice or game is over. Right now, there is nothing they can do about those stressors.
Embed separation strategies in the below visualization and activation routine.
Learning to separate life stressors from competition builds experience to deal with adversity during competition. For example, a basketball player’s shot is blocked. Is the player able to quickly regroup and get down the court to focus on defense? When a baseball player has a tough at-bat, are they able to leave the at-bat in the dugout to focus on defense.
There are many examples where separation can become the differentiator in an athlete’s ability to perform at a high level and recover from adversity. Separation and mantra triggers go hand-in-hand to enable athletes to reach their potential.
Build Muscle Memory & Confidence with "Movies"
Rehearsed visualization or often called guided imagery, mental rehearsal, mediation and a variety of other names, allows athletes to practice complex motor skills to develop and sharpen routines, approaches and muscle memory. Visualizing movement patterns share the same brain mechanisms as physical movements. In other words, visualization taps into the same brain activity used when physically executing the same skill. Visualization creates muscle memory and confidence.
Visualization and Activation Basics
The subconscious mind recalls memories in the form of short visuals or what we like to call “performance movies.” Our goal is to tap into the subconscious mind to create memories that translate into successful movement patterns, feelings and intended outcomes. To do this, Sevwins subscribes to visual manipulation that young athletes can quickly grasp and understand.
Organizing visualization reps into short movies like a Netflix, YouTube or Hulu interface can help athletes visually store and organize reflective movies. Our goal is to create a series of “movies” athletes can create, fine-tune and recall in preparation and during competition.
Visualization is like anything else – it takes repetition and hard work. Some athletes will need to replace negative videos with positive videos through repetition. Others will need to work on entering into a first person state to maximize the impact of visualization.
Coach Guided Visualization and Activation Routine
The following Visualization and Activation Routine is baseball specific and focused only on position players (not pitchers). Adapt the scenarios for your sport or position type. The goal is to create visual movies that are specific to a critical activity the athlete will rehearse prior to competition. In the case of baseball, we provide guidance for one offensive and one defensive movie that results in several byte-sized rehearsals.
1. Set Up: Visualization and Activation
Begin 30 minutes prior to competition or when you, as a coach, feel it is the right time.
Remind athletes the purpose of visualization.
Have athletes lie down on their backs (on the field, in the locker room, etc.).
The Visualization and Activation Routine will take roughly 8 minutes.
The routine is designed to be guided by a coach to identify key scenarios and movement patterns.