I remember back when I first began seriously getting into hand balancing. I had a goal to hold a free handstand for 30 seconds by the end of August 2006. And this was to be done without taking a single step in any direction (because you have to learn how to stand still, not keep your balance by walking around).
Every morning before I went off to work I would spend between 15 and 30 minutes practicing. I really wanted to hit this goal because I felt that half a minute was a good start.
Not only did I practice but I visualized myself hitting my goal. Since I practiced outside the back of my house I could picture not only myself but the ground and all the surroundings. The cold air on my skin and the birds chirping away.
Here’s an important point that I learned about visualization. Not only do you want to visualize you doing the task, but you have to visualize your celebration afterwards. This was as simple as throwing my hands up into the air and yelling “Yes!” Sometimes I would focus only on this feeling of completion in my visualizations.
If you are not the visualizing type, you might want to give it a try. I know that I would not have hit this goal without it. Sadly, this is one of the few times I have put this level of goal setting and visualization to work, which is neglectful on my part. Considering the power of it, you and I should be using it daily.
There was a study conducted by Dr. Blaslotto at the University Of Chicago. The goal was to determine the effects of visualization on performance.
Here’s what they did:
First, they needed to pick a performance measure. So, they chose basketball players’ percentage of successful free throws vs. shots taken. Next, they tested all the athletes to determine their free-throw success rate as the baseline to measure against. After that, the athletes were randomly assigned to one of three groups.
The first group didn’t do anything. They were told to simply forget about basketball. The second group hit the basketball-court every day for an hour of free-throw practice. The third group didn’t pick up a basketball during the study; instead they spent their time visualizing themselves shooting successful free throws.
Thirty days later the athletes from all three groups were retested to determine the effects of the three different approaches. And here are the results:
The first group (who didn’t do anything) showed no improvement whatsoever.
The second group (who practiced for an hour a day) showed a performance increase of 24%.
And, the third group (who simply visualized sinking free-throws) improved by 23%
Scientific proof of what this can do for you. Take time each day to visualize your success and you can nearly double your chances of succeeding!
Anyway, I was practicing right up until the 31st of that month. As I set out that last day before my deadline I was feeling confident in my abilities because the previous day I had pulled of a 23 second balance (27 seconds with stumbling around the last couple moments).
How do I know this? I just looked that up in an old workout journal. That’s another tip, if you’re not keeping track of your results your bound to not make as much progress.
Started practice that morning. 22 minutes later I hit my goal. Just as I had visualized, my fists flew up into the air, I jumped up and down, and shouted “Yes!” I had just completed my goal.
Using visualization can definitely help you achieve your handstanding goals.
Its also important to have a great approach to learning the handstand like in the Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start DVD. If I had known all that’s in that DVD I think I would have hit a 30 second handstand much sooner.