Keep Your Conscious Clear!

February 17, 2010 Post Comment Uncategorised

I was working recently with a 15 y/o cricketer, and we were coming to the end of the session so I spent quarter of an hour with him on throwing at targets.

First we just explored dead aim from about 15m and he got the usual hit ratio as a start. With a little advice on improving various technical points he and I had a competition (hits out of 10 throws). The most he got was 2 but with a much improved accuracy level. On one set I got 5 – but I explained that I’d been a dead aim devotee for about 4 years, and I also had the facility to shut out distractive elements from my conscious mind.

To conclude the session I asked him what success level he thought he might have with eyes shut. Now, from past experiments and experience* I know that some players with good visualization can actually hit targets as well with eyes-shut as they can with eyes-open.
He was confident he would hit 3 out of 10 – which was more than his eyes-open score. So, he proceeded to visualize, open eyes, visualize and test for strength and clarity; and then when he was ready I asked him to throw with eyes closed.

He hit the target twice in the first three throws!

He continued, but had no more success – and I asked him if he noticed what was going on inside his mind after the first 3 throws.

Turned out he had been thinking (a) how amazing this was for starters and (b) could he keep it up and then (c) he started thinking about why he was missing until (d) he was quite disappointed he had scored no more hits.
I explained to him that for the first 3 throws he had not done any thinking, but had only visualized the target and thrown without attachment or distraction. Thereafter when he returned to use the visualization this had begun to de-focus due to internal dialogue. The chances of any more hits thereafter was almost nil whilst the original process was being degraded this way.
Had he reset the visualization from the beginning, and been able to switch off that internal dialogue (or even dampen it down) then he would have (probably) had even more success.

* – (refers to a past experiment with group of players doing eyes-open and eyes-shut target throwing. See an earlier Blog post for details)