Advice for parents and coaches
Giuseppina Del Vicario (“Vidheya”) recommends teaching young people how to relax and visualize to correct their mistakes.
“First, teach them to relax themselves, to make the mind free,” she said.
“Then have them do the movement mentally, and observe the mistake.
“Then have them correct the mistake and do the movement correctly, in their mind.
“Then they can get up and do it physically, correctly.
“This is much better than asking them to remember instructions that you give to them.
“It is much easier for them to remember what they see and to remember what they visualize.
“Discipline of the mind is the best discipline you can have,” she added.
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She encourages people to get totally involved in their mental training.
“While programming, feel like your body is moving,” she says. “Sometimes the body actually moves. It is so precise that you can actually feel it. If I don’t picture it mentally and feel it, it doesn’t work.”
Deep breathing can help control nervousness, Vidheya pointed out.
“Have them take several deep breaths. We are programmed for this naturally. When we are excited, we breath rapidly. So take a few deep breaths, and relax as you exhale. Breath control is an activity that connects the mind and the body.”
Advice from a record-breaking athlete
Bruce Schneider of East Brunswick, N.J., used a lot of positive thinking and visualization to go from being an average player to batting “cleanup” on the fourth-ranked team in the world.
Along the way, Schneider set a new single-season home run record. (A “cleanup” batter is usually the strongest hitter, selected to bat fourth in order to score any of the first three batters who may be on base.)
“It has only been in recent years that athletes and coaches started to understand the powerful resource that is available to all of us: the mind,” Schneider said. “Realizing this and learning to use this knowledge – and new mental skills – to its advantage can and will help every single athlete become better. Your mental abilities, once increased, can help you in every aspect of your life. I know, because I’ve done it myself.”
Schneider observed, “The biggest mistake coaches make is placing too much emphasis on mistakes. It is important to give positive images, positive reinforcement.
“Teammates can help others by keeping all comments and suggestions positive. When an athlete is performing, do not use words, or let anyone else use words, like don’t’ – or any other negative word or expression.”
Schneider continued, “Motivate your children and your athletes by finding out what they want, not what you want. Find out what they desire, and paint mental pictures of it for them Help them increase their desire, their belief in their ability and their expectation of success.
“Never let them use drugs to get ahead,” Bruce cautioned. “I know people on dialysis, people who have died, because they used steroids to help them improve their physical performance.
“You have to be very, very motivated to take steroids because they will ruin your life! Take that same motivation and use it to train harder, to concentrate better, to give that something extra’ that helps people win.
“Show your children and your athletes how to use the alpha level to increase motivation, to improve physical skills and to achieve whatever they desire.”
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