Daily Drill #3: Visualization


The best thing to do is to lie down or to sit in a comfortable chair. Take a few deep breaths, then play the audio below. This is a guided visualization. All we want to do, is recreate the game in our minds – we want to make it as real as possible. You want to be able to see yourself from the outside as well as the inside. We call this watching from the Third Person and the First Person, respectively. Have fun with this, and remember, you don’t have to have see every single minor thing. Your mind is made to recognizes patterns – it doesn’t need total and specific details. Just make it as real as possible – as you do this, you will get better. So simply turn off the lights in your room, and sit back and just listen to the message. Visualizing like anything takes practice to get really good at. Take the next few minutes and focus – focus only on this. Give it 100% of your awareness. It pays off.

How it Works

The Four Keys to Effective Visualization:

  • Frequency: the more you do it, the better you get at it. Don’t miss a day, and if you can do it twice per day
  • Duration: how long can you sustain the image of yourself being successful. At first it might only be a split second, but soon you will be able to go for minutes on end, visualizing yourself succeeding.
  • Vividness: use your imagination while you listen. Use all your senses, especially, vision, touch, and hearing.
  • Intensity: add emotion to what you are seeing, make it compelling. Feel the feelings of success on the court. Feel confident and composed. See yourself with swagger and poise.

Model a Genius

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If you don’t have time to sit in a dark room and do this drill, you can take a walk and visualize or do it on a car ride (if you are not driving.) The best is to do it in your room in the morning. Sometimes it is helpful to do a relaxation drill before starting your visualization. Relaxation helps things sink below the conscious mind into the subconscious. Try one such relaxation below:

Also! Listen to this science talk on why visualization works!


This is from a transcription of Michael Jordan to the Max:

“People have said a lot of things about are physical tiredness, but our mental toughness is there, and I don’t think that should ever be overlooked.”

On the Bulls’ philosophical edge: “I think Phil [Jackson] had a lot to do with that with his Zen practice and his whole emotional approach to the game of basketball. I’ve had a whole lot of coaches, but he gave me an understanding of life in a whole different frame. I think his teaching of Zen Buddhism is ‘[use] how you view yourself to deal with the realities of life and somehow be able to correlate that to the simple game of basketballPhil Jackson: “This is something we’ve talked about as a basketball team is about how to be in the moment and be able to visualize what might happen in those times. Michael embraced this, and I think the beauty of his game was that he had all these abilities to adjust, not force his own predetermined ideas that allowed all these things to come together in his game.

MJ: “I tend to be calm; things tend to slow down… I go into situations where people don’t know the outcome, but I’ve already experienced it in my mind, just playing tricks with myself, so it didn’t feel new to me and I wasn’t afraid to fail with it. Once I began to understand that, I became a master of the game of basketball.”

“The crowd gets quite; the moment starts to become the moment for me. Once you get in the moment you know when you’re there, and when I saw the opportunity to take advantage of it I never doubted myself.”