Visualizing is a very common skill to apply while doing any sports to learn proper movement.
From when I first began to snowboard (in 1990) until now, I’ve been using this visualization method.
Thanks to my continuous use of this method, I’ve gotten to the point where I can use this intuition when watching my students ride.
This is all thanks to the mirror neurons inside of the brain.
Well, I’ve been using this visualization method since I was a child as well, and I would think that there was nothing that was too hard.
However, when teaching students on site, many of my students don’t understand the visualization method and are unable to do it.
Of course, since there are a lot of new challenges when it comes to teaching, it’s normal to not be able to visualize the best way to go about doing something.
But if I asked them, it seemed like they didn’t really visualize anything on a regular basis.
Visualizing is now kind of my habit as I use this skill on a daily basis while coaching, but I also understand that there was almost no situation in my students’ lives that would make them have to visualize something inside their heads until then.
So I tried to find out how they are able to understand and visualize movement that they have never done before.
To use the method in the best way possible, you should understand the functions of the left and right brain.
Before I reference these, there are a lot of simple classifications for each brain function similar to what’s listed below.
1. Analyzing Movements (Left Brain)
First, we will practice the basics of the visualization method, “Cognize.”
You can’t imagine something you haven’t done before.
Therefore, first analyze all movement in detail for that performance, and then you will understand how it can be done verbally.
While seeing the videos and sequence images, you should write it all out on paper.
It’ll be like you’re writing a “How To” tutorial.
This isn’t the imaginative “Right Brain” being used; it’s the data processing “Left Brain” at work.
2. Image Input（Right Brain）
Next, make the Image Controlling Right Brain store the images within your mind.
Try playing back the images over and over again.
By seeing the images over and over again, you can get to the point where you can close your eyes and vividly imagine the situation.
3. Understanding Intuition
With the detailed analysis that was written down and the video images that were memorized, you can practically try to position your body.
You can check your positioning in front of a mirror etc. to see if it’s a good position.
You can also use your cellphone camera like a mirror as well.
Now, you can recognize calculation errors with signals coming from your brain (images) and muscle movement exercises.
In other words, is what you see in your reflection the same as in the images? Is it any different than the analysis you wrote out?
What did your body feel like when you tried out what you imagined?
Those feelings of your muscles will be stored back into your brain as information.
Corrections can be made by rechecking the information sent back from the muscles with the images.
In short, you can compare and fix the data implanted in your Right and Left Brain and your intuition (in front of the mirror).
Read the analysis you wrote out, and watched the videos over and over again.
Position your body according to the analysis data in front of a mirror, and at the same time remember the feeling of your muscles while playing the video over again in your head.
Did you know that your right brain can’t distinguish reality from imagination?
The Left Brain is said to theoretically control the input of the Right Brain, but it seems when you are remembering something with emotions and concrete, detailed images, things are stored very deep in the Right Brain.
That is because the neurons become thicker and nerve connections become stronger with repetition.
The best visualization method is to paint the images in your head until it is detailed, place fun, good-feeling etc. emotions onto it and to repeat the processes over and over again.
Next time we will look into the different aspect of visualization!!