One of the things I’ve been taught, when it comes to sports, is to practise the art of ghosting. What is ghosting? Ghosting is where you practise the game or movements by yourself whilst imagining yourself to be in the live situation.
So, if for example, you’re a squash player, you may book a squash court on your own and pretend to have a game. During that time, you’ll focus on your fitness, movement around the court, your pretend strokes of the ball, but your mindset must be that you’re actually playing a real match.
In your mind you visualising the perfect shot and footwork every time, you’re pretending that your opponent is superior to you and yet you’re finding the perfect strokes and match play to equal their game.
In many ways it’s synonymous to shadow boxing, you as the boxer may not have an opponent but you pretend you have one and spar just the same. It’s like you’re sparring against an imaginary opponent, you imagine the moves that your opponent would make.
You visualise all the possible moves your phantom adversary would make, anticipate the moves and react accordingly. You train your muscles to react without the conscious mind taking up valuable processing time.
I do the same in badminton. When I’m waiting for a game to finish or waiting for a court to become available, I’ll use that time to ghost to train my muscles to move and react in the way that I choose.
It’s always the shots that I consciously think about which are the ones that I get wrong. So if you can train your unconscious to do all the hard work, there is nothing left for your conscious mind to do. In badminton the shuttle can travel at speeds of up to 200MPH. In a fast paced game, if the opponent is attacking, you rarely have more than a quarter of a second to react to the oncoming shuttle, it’s all the work of the unconscious mind.
But ghosting doesn’t just apply to sports, you can apply to the same technique to whatever aspect of your life you choose. It’s not always practical, in all cases, to do ghosting with the physical movements. But you can ghost in your mind through visualising.
I remember when I was at the Tony Robbins UPW seminar back in September. The first night, the Friday, was the day that we would be doing the fire-walk. I was so nervous because I had bruised my foot quite badly the night before and could barely walk.
But two hours prior to us doing the fire-walk Tony began to train us on the mental preparation before walking across the glowing red hot coals. Instead of feeling the fear of being burnt, or falling, or doing something stupid in front of thousands of people (which is what most people were probably imagining at that point), he showed us that we could construct, in our minds, exactly how we wanted the walk to go.
We created funny animations of the walk in our minds. We played it backwards, forwards, from different angles, with cartoon like actions, but we solely focused on the success, not the failure. The more wacky and vivid you ghost, the more successful you will be.
You can do the same too! Whether you have a big presentation to get ready for at work, a huge sporting event, or you’re just getting ready to tell someone how you feel. 😉 Ghost the scenery in your mind. A while back I wrote an article called P.I.C.’s. Create some super P.I.C.’s in your mind and visualise that ultimate success coming through every action that you take!
No scary failure ghosties, only the kind successful helpful ones please.