Michael Jordan and Visualization Techniques
“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” — Michael Jordan
Ask your child if they are familiar with Michael Jordan. He credits much of his success to the power of visualization and imagining himself making the shot, winning the game, seeing his name on the trophy. If there is a new skill he was working toward, he would visualize it and then practice it.
This formula made him one of the most iconic basketball players in history.
Did you know that when you visualize something it is powerful enough to begin the process of creating a neural pathway in the brain– just like when you are actively doing something? This is pretty cool as there is solid science behind visualization. When the brain visualizes something repeatedly it can actually make the action feel familiar once it is experienced. The process of visualization strengthens executive functioning skills as it can anchor learning in the brain.
Here are a few more ways you can help your child use the power of visualization:
- Before going to bed ask your child to close their eyes and picture the morning routine going smoothly. Depending on their age you can remind them of the steps in their morning routine.
- Visualization can be used to help your child remember to pass in homework assignments. Help your child picture themselves in the classroom going through the routine of passing in homework.
- If your child is nervous about a presentation they can picture themselves giving a fantastic presentation.
Visualization is a practice and needs to be done multiple times and includes as many details as possible. For example, when your child pictures themselves giving a fantastic presentation they will want to consider:
Where they are sitting when their name is called.
The path they will walk to the front of the room.
Where they will stand and what will be surrounding them.
Will they be holding something?
What is their plan for eye contact? Will they start at the left side of the room and scan to the right?
What level is their voice at?
What are they doing with their body?
As you can see this could turn into a very overwhelming exercise so keep it simple. Even just having your child close their eyes for a minute while picturing themselves being successful can help!