Friday, September 16, 2005

In Pursuit of Excellence

I'm studying how to use Mental Training for my juggling from Terry Orlick's book In Pursuit of Excellence. The book is amazing and it is completely sold me on the value of training your mind.

I've recently been able to begin using imagery. Imagery is the process of doing your practice in your mind's eye. Apparently, your brain doesn't completely know the difference between imagined and real practice. So when you focus your mind on creating the perfect move or run or routine (which takes practice to get good at) you actually trick your mind into feeling like it has had more real training.

Imagery doesn't replace practice... it helps. And remember, it's important that you mentally rehearse your moves in full detail of the sights, sounds, and especially bodily sensations that you would normally experience. Orlick suggests using something he calls feeling-oriented imagery. That is when you stand and pretend to go through the motion of the drill you are practicing in your mind. That allows you to really get the feel of the technique into your mind.

I am going to take Orlick's advice and start with 15 minutes of feelinig-oriented imagery in the mornings and eventually work my way up to 1 hour. The important thing to remember is to get quality over quantity.



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