It’s the championship game. Pouring down rain. Tie ball game. The clock is ticking down, with one minute to spare. The ball is passed to you. This is your chance. The moment you’ve dreamed of your entire life. You wind up to take the shot and ……..ring!!!! You’re alarm goes off, waking you from your slumber.
Not only did you miss out on your chance for glory, but now you’re groggy, and pissed, and the last thing you want do is leave your warm covers.
In EP 22-Arrow Tip Tuesday: Create A Morning Ritual, I talk about how snoozing your alarm is kind of life telling yourself the day isn’t worth waking up for. I’ve been trying out a new technique lately, that allows for extra bed time.
In my past morning routine, I immediately hopped out of bed and pounded out twenty push ups, and a one minute plank on my sides, and face-down. That strategy was effective in jolting me awake. But, since my concussion, I’ve transitioned into a more gentle approach.
Instead of bouncing right out of bed, I take the opportunity to capitalize on my half-asleep state and visualize. Most often I’ll wake up before my alarm goes off. And immediately upon awakening, I’ll visualize exactly how I want my day to go.
I have this theory that this comatose state is magical and allows me to tap into my soul. After doing some research, I think I’m onto something.
In all my interviews, nearly every person thus far has mentioned that they practice visualization. Jacqueline Wiles visualizes her ski race, Michelle Betos visualizes right when she wakes up, Emily Menges and Katherine Reynolds visualize before arriving to games.
Visualization is powerful for athletes because when you imagine an activity, you are using the same pathways in your brain that are used when you actually perform that action. So, it’s as if you are doing an actual reputation, further ingraining the skill into your brain.
Why visualize half-asleep?
Visualization is extra beneficial right when you wake up, because you are in a deeper brain wave state.
Brain waves are electrical pulses from masses of neurons that communicate with each other.
Delta-waves occur when we are in deep restorative sleep.
Theta-waves occur in lighter sleep, and deep meditation.
Alpha-waves occur when we are present, in a resting state.
Beta-waves occur when we are awake, alert, thinking rationally.
When you visualize upon awakening, you will often be able to penetrate deeper into your subconscious, causing the images to stick more.
What do I visualize?
When I visualize in the morning, I lay down on my back, shut my eyes, and imagine exactly how I want my day to go.
I make sure to get as detailed as possible and make myself feel exactly how I want to feel. Visualizations are the way you want to feel, they maximize your experience because the brain learns and retains information better with emotions.
I imagine the immense energy I feel when I pop out of bed, the music that will be playing when I walk into the the locker room, my body moving effortlessly at training, performing my neck stretches cooling down…all the way to how I want to feel when I get to bed.
I often visualize something going wrong in my day. I do this to train my mind to not be shaken if I encounter an unanticipated challenge during my day. This prepares me to get myself back into a clear space.
Sometimes I’ll top the visualization off with a something I want to happen in my life-like blasting that game-winning goal that my alarm so rudely interrupted me from.
This usually takes me 10 minutes.
Then I hop out of bed, make my bed and resume the rest of my morning routine which I’ll talk about in future episodes.
For the scientific benefits of visualization check out this article:
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