Over the weekend John Cullen and I did our first webinar for our group of students that signed up for Pre-Competition Routine course.  This first webinar was on Visualization. We had a lot of really excellent questions posted to our members area. Some were by newbies to the sport others by former USA World Team members and USDAA National Champions.

Visualization is not a “given” to anyone. Just like anything else in life, to get better at it, we have to practice. The thing is, how do you quantify your progress? If you are new to this, how can you tell if you are doing it correctly or most effectively?  More great questions.

When it becomes most effective, visualization becomes your practice rounds before the real thing. Who amongst us wouldn’t do better getting to step into the ring and practice with our dog around the course first? But how to do it? How do you start to do it?

First of all you have all done it. At some point in your life everyone has visualized doing something. Maybe it was visualizing an anticipated first kiss or first drive in a new car. If you can’t remember ever using visualization for any reason, it may be easiest to re-live a moment you have already experienced. Perhaps a “special” run, getting your first clean run or maybe replaying the first time you saw your dog completing a full set of 12 weave poles.

Visualization is seeing events in your minds eye. You see them roll out as if you are doing them. You do this over and over and your subconscious isn’t able to separate the real runs from the ones in your mind. In effect you are rehearsing your runs.

Try something easy. In one of John’s earlier posts he walks you through and exercise cutting a lemon. If you have never tried it before, that would be a great place to start!  For those of us signed up in the course with John and I that missed the webinar it will be posted in the Cognitive Edge members area soon.

Today I am grateful for a week at home giving me a few moments to get caught up and re-pack my suitcase for my next trip.