Lion’s Den Blog – Practice Immediately after Performance & the Mental Movie – Ending on a Positive Note
Practice Immediately After Performance
This tip is about the importance of practicing when you’re fresh. It is about a different kind of freshness, which comes in the moment just after a performance, game or competition. At that moment, practicing is probably the last thing you want to do. But it’s the 1st thing you should do, if you’re not to worn out, because it helps you target your weak points and fix them. As a professional footballer David Beckham said “I always achieve my most productive practice after an actual match. Then, any free-kick mistakes are fresh in my mind and I can go to the training pitch and work specifically on those mistakes.”
Watch a Mental Movie Just Before Sleep
This is a useful habit that I learned many, many years ago and since have heard it from dozens of top performers ranging from a variety of sports and professions. Just before falling asleep, play a movie of your idealized performance in your head. A wide body of research supports this idea, linking visualization to improved performance, motivation, mental toughness and confidence. Treat it as a way to rev the engine of your unconscious mind, so it spends more time churning toward your goals.
End on a Positive Note
A practice session should end like a good meal—with a small, sweet reward. It could be playing a favorite game or it could be more literal. (Chocolate works quite well.) My son always ended his practice session with a gymnastic tumbling move of a ‘round-off back hand spring.’ (Mainly because all his team-mates loved watching it!) And that made him feel great!