DR. HELLER’S MENTAL SKILLS NEWSLETTER
“Peak Performance for Mind and Body”
Quote of the Month
“Make Each Day Count Rather Than Count Each Day”
So many people procrastinate and avoid seizing the moment and taking action to achieve a goal. They put things off with excuses like, “I will do it later”, “I’m too tired.”, “It’s too hard”. Afterwards we think, “I would of…, could of… should off…”. To avoid regrets, act now!
The take away:
Pick one of the following quotes or affirmations that best resonate with you and review them regularly.
“A stitch in time saves nine.”
“Strike while the iron is hot.”
“He who hesitates is lost.”
“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
“Do it now!”
“To avoid regrets, act now!”
Vision Training and Sports Performance
Good vision is certainly important to be able to perform at your best in sports. If your eyes are imperfect, you may need glasses or contact lenses to see at your best. In sunlight, sunglasses can reduce the glare of the sun allowing you to see more clearly and recover more quickly if you are forced to look into the sun. But beyond having basic good vision, can specific visual training improve our performance in sports? Many top Olympic athletes, professional athletes and coaches think so.
One aspect of visual training, guided visualization, is a method frequently used by sports psychologists. In guided visualization, the athlete is first taught how to relax through a combination of deep breathing, isometric exercises and/or meditative techniques. Once the body is quiet, the mind is able to more easily focus on imagining words and images. Guided imagery using mental rehearsal is the most common of the visual strategies: The tennis player might rehearse a perfect serve with a series of images from the starting position, ball toss, point of contact and the ball landing close to the desired target across the net. The golfer might picture the roll of his put from his club head to dropping right into the hole and the basketball player might imagine faking left, dribbling right and making an easy lay-up for the backboard.
Some optometrists have developed specific training methods to improve a variety of visually related skills which can directly enhance athletic performance. One such professional is Dr. Lawrence Lampert who practices in Boca Raton, Florida. He has a series of exercises he provides clients with to train specific vision skills. The skills are designed to help the athlete pick up objects more clearly, track them longer and more easily switch the types of vision used in sports, for example a narrow versus wide visual field. His book is “The Pro’s Edge: Vision Training for Golf.”
Although visual training may not be for everyone, I think that the serious competitive athlete looking for a winning edge should include vision training in the course of their overall skills development.
Upcoming Appearances and Activities
On Saturday, May 26th, I will be presenting a 2-hour workshop on “Blending Ancient Practices (yoga and meditation) with Modern Psychology (cognitive behavioral therapy) for Improved Performance.” The program will be held at the Yoga Sol studio in Delray Beach, Florida. It is open to all. For details go to www.yogasol.com.
On May 29th, I will be attending the Florida United States Professional Tennis Teachers (USPTA) conference in Port St. Lucie, Florida. I expect to pick up some “state of the art strategies” to improve my game and that of my clients.
On June 22nd, I will be presenting a 2-hour workshop on “Helping Athletes Cope” at the Florida Psychological Convention held at the PGA resort in West Palm Beach, Florida.
My newest book, “Winning Ways,” will have 365 ideas to enhance your performance and your life. Every day, a new idea will help you focus on a helpful thought and action or activity to feel and function and better. If you have a brief thought or activity that you would like to suggest, please send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you know someone else who’d be interested in receiving these mailings on mind-body skills and peak performance trainings, please encourage them to sign up through my websites, www.mentalskillstennis.com , www.cognitivetherapy.cc or send an e-mail to email@example.com with the subject heading, “ATTN: add to e-mail list”. Thank you.
Be sure to check out the new blogs and articles on each of the websites as they are updated farily regularly.
If you have ideas for future articles or questions about your own performance, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.