Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mental Imagery in Sport and Life - Kinesiology part 111

The ability to form mental images of things or events

By repeatedly calling up images in your mind and rewiring the circuits of your mind toward a realization of those images. The remarkable feature of imagery work is that it can be accompanied by physiological changes.

Experience that resembles perceptual experience, but which occurs in the absence of the appropriate stimuli for the relevant perception.

Involves focusing your mind to visualize yourself in a certain situation and doing well in that situation.
A cognitive psychological skill in which the athlete uses all the senses to create a mental experience of an athletic performance

There’s nothing mystical about mental imagery. Simply put, it’s a visualization exercise that helps not only athletes but anyone who desires increased success and performance. There’s multiple ways to practice it and it can be done in short spurts or for a long duration.

How Mental Imagery Works

When an athlete imagines himself performing to perfection, he is physiologically creating neutral brain patterns that are similar to small tracks engraved in the brain cells. This enables the athlete to perform athletic tasks by mentally practicing those tasks first in his mind. Mental imagery is intended to train the athletes’ mind, thus teaching the muscles to perform exactly how he wants them to perform.

Practical Application of Mental Imagery

It’s true that we move closer to what we focus on. If an athlete imagines missing a shot, or how good the other team is, or even fears injury, it harms his game concentration and affects the outcome. It’s absolutely essential that athletes visualize success and victory.  Steven Balzac, a psychology professor and former nationally ranked fencer says, “If we imagine success, we prepare ourselves for success because that’s what’s in our heads.”

It’s important to remember that athletes use imagery in different ways. Their imagery may not involve just visual images, but sounds, smells or touch. It really depends on the person. Another important aspect of mental imagery is for the athlete to watch and study his sports heroes and imagine that he is making those same shots with precision. Does this mean the athlete will always perform at top level? No…we’re human and we all have bad days on occasion. But visualization and mental imagery increases the chance of increased and sustained success.

Results of Mental Imagery

Of course physical practice is always the best way for an athlete to improve his skill level and race to the top of his game. However, mental imagery is better than no practice at all and, incorporated with physical practice, is the best way to see optimal results.

Continuous studies are always being conducted to determine just how much mental imagery plays into the increased success of athletes. And, for the rest of us, imagining ourselves more successful is never a waste of time if we are also spending equal or more time physically developing our skill set. The time spent in mental imagery is beneficial not only to the athlete but to the business person, the student, the entrepreneur, and anyone else who desires to develop and increase their level of play.

The more mental imagery is studied; more effective techniques can be developed and adapted by athletes…and the rest of us.

 original article by Michelle Hill

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Becoming a Kinesiologist (Part 11)

In this weeks interview with our featured member Colli Christante, we are “reflecting on the past”. I asked Colli about why she became a kinesiologist…

Becoming a kinesiologist was a natural part of my journey.  In 1979 I moved from Vancouver to Toronto to work in the TV industry, study communications & journalism at Ryerson University.

In 1990 I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and was extremely unwell. An oxygen tank ruled my life and my attending doctors told me to “move & live by the ocean breeze” (at that time there was very little pollution there:)

Before moving to live by the “ocean breeze” I had tried every therapy known to heal the illness but nothing worked. That was until one day my beautiful daughter ( who was 9 at the time ) came home from school with a book that changed my life. The little book was “How to Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. This book made me realize I had to take responsibility for my own health, my life.

Upon returning to Toronto from Manasota Key, Florida in 1992 ( where I went to live in order to recover ), NLP ( Neuro Linguistic Programming ) came in to my life. I was blessed to have studied with some of the finest trainers of NLP. Dr. Chris Hall (President of the NLP Society), Robert Klauss and Eric Robbie.
When I returned to Toronto, my doctors were not only amazed… but mystified by my recovery because they did not think I would live.

In 1993, I moved to Vancouver and continued researching into “mind body communication”. I continued furthering my studies with Dr. Chris Hall, Todd Epstein and Robert Dilts (NLP University in Santa Cruz California). It was then I also discovered the New Method Kinesiology Clinic that was owned by Steve Ariss. Steve is master kinesiologist and teacher (unfortunately the clinic no longer exists and Steve no longer teaches) but through his teachings, I feel in love with Kinesiology. It was amazing to learn from such an incredible man, healer and true master. It was wonderful to have those teachings passed on to me. I still am in love with Kinesiology Now I aspire to pass them on to others.

In 15 years of having kinesiology as one of my main tools, I  have never done a session with a client that does not make me feel that “WOW”! I am so grateful for these amazing healing tools. My clients all say the same “WOW” and are extremely grateful for the transformation in their lives. Kinesiology was a very important tool -allowing me to take even greater responsibilty for my health and life. Through Kinesiology I now assist, encourage and inspire others to take responsibilty for their health and life.

In reflecting on your past Colli, what have you learned from it… and how have you brought that understanding into your kinesiology work?

The most powerful learning from my past is that one cannot go back, one has to go forward; there is nothing to go back to. This is the formula for accepting one’s good and releasing the past. This is why kinesiology is so powerful because it assists you in releasing the past.

Through out the years I have studied many different, wonderful, powerful and amazing modalities of healing. Being a kinesiologist is an art and science. Kinesiology is investigation of the mind and body. It is working with energy – the client’s and the kinesiologists.

One of the most important lessons I have experienced as a practitioner of kinesiology is that if I do not get out of my own way (meaning I allow my ego to take over) this will get in the way and I cannot harness the power of this amazing gift.

With each individual client the healing and transformation comes from within. It is an inside job that reflects outward.  Look around. Do you like how you are feeling what you are hearing and seeing? If not, then you logical levels are not aligned.

For me … this is about aligning the logical levels so that we are congruent with our authentic source. My core purpose is to bring balance between the ego (ambition) and soul (mission).This is the only way one can become a champion in their sport, performance and life.

Thursday, July 15, 2010 interviews Colli Christante

“On the Table” with Colli Christante…by Brendan Rohan

In the movie of your life, who would play you? Kyra Sedgewick. ( An actress married to Kevin Bacon )

If I could live anywhere, I’d choose…Bali, Italy, Canada.

My favourite food would have to be…Clean,organic healthy.

What I love most in life is…Being who I am – experiencing life through giving and receiving unconditional love, laughter, looking into the eyes of a child.

Are you a dog person or a cat person? I enjoy both

My favourite book of all time would have to be…Nancy Drew Series

What I wanted to be when I grew up…Champion figure skater and investigative journalist.

The year I began my kinesiology training…1993

I notice in your bio it says that you’re a journalist, who do you write for?

Wrote for Canadian Living Magazine, CTV National News, recently wrote & created the documentary called “Owning the Zone”, the e-book and fully written book to go with the documentary will be completed soon. Also wrote a TV series called “Somewhere I Belong” and working on another book but cannot reveal the name as of yet.

What kind of articles do you write?

Health, fitness, anti – aging/leadership,confidence building.

After watching your youtube videos, you strike me as a confident person. Have you always been confident with who you are?

Yes, No and now totally – it is a process.

Public speaking is a big fear for many kinesiology people and  it is something that stops many people from expressing their talents and reaching their full potential. What would you suggest to help overcome their fears? I love to share knowledge. I created and teach a course called the Art n’ Tool of the Pitch which totally assist the person in breaking through these fears and come to really enjoy the process. Taught this at the Vancouver Film School and Electronic Arts University to writers and producers. It is a wonderful process which allows for one to package their material, becoming confident and anchors are installed so they always have access to the strategy. Too, there is nothing like having a ( kinesiology ) balance to work with the limiting belief and assist with the imprint of an empowering one

.Reading through your bio, you seem to have many skills ’in your toolkit’. What is the most important tool that you work with and why?There is no most important. They all work together. Every session starts out the same but really it is what the client needs that predicts how the session goes but the tools all get used.If I were to walk into your clinic for my first session, what would I expect to come away with?

Using a combination of body centered techniques, sensitivity training, and mastery, when working with me, you will take a journey into your body to uncover and witness with the full light and compassion of your Presence the core beliefs that have been holding you back from your essence of being. This allows your being’s organic capacity for self healing to activate and reverse the unconscious programs that have kept you from seeing yourself in the full magnificence of who you really are. For 99% of the people who visit me, for the first time to actually start to get a glimpse into who they really are not who they have been programmed to be.

From your biography and the testimonials there, your work seems to be about leadership and bringing out those qualities in people… what are the ingredients of leadership?

No one can answer this like my mentor Denis Waitely. I totally subscribe to his and Phil Jackson’s philosophy. Phil is to be featured in my documentary “Owning the Zone.”A good way to think of leadership is the process of freeing your team members to do the best work they possibly can. I have followed NBA basketball coach Phil Jackson’s career for some time.In his career, Jackson has gone from coaching the record-setting champion Chicago Bulls to the present NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

 He says his principal task is creating an environment in which his players can flourish.In communicating with his championship teams, Jackson convinced them that they had the talent to win championships and that the main goal of the coach was freeing them to use that talent.Today’s business team members say they want, more than anything else, the autonomy to do their jobs without the boss’s interference. Nearly a decade into the new century, it’s already clear that the CEOs of our best-run companies believe that the more power leaders have, the less they should use.

The job of the team leader is to set a mission, decide upon a strategic direction, achieve the necessary cooperation, delegate authority and then let people innovate.To do that we all could take a hint from the late football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Before his retirement as one of the leading coaches in college football history at Alabama, Bryant observed:I’m just a plowhand from Arkansas, but I’ve learned how to put and hold a team together. I’ve learned how to lift some individuals up and how to calm others down, until finally they’ve got one heartbeat, together, as a team.

To do that, there are just three things I’d ever have to say: If anything went wrong, I did it. If it went semi-good, then we did it. If anything went real good, then you did it! That’s really all it takes to get other people to win for you.

The key to authentic leadership is to listen to your followers, and then open the door for them to lead themselves. The secret is empowerment. The main incentive is genuine caring and recognition.

The five most important words a leader can speak are: “I am proud of you.”
The four most important are: “What is your opinion?”
The three most important are: “If you please.”
The two most important are: “Thank you.”
And the most important single word of all is: “You!”- Denis Waitley

As your work is about leadership, confidence, performance and motivation,how does kinesiology help to bring out these qualities in your clients?

Kinesiology assists in the stripping of institutional lies and myths that encrust people. Through Kinesiology they how to use their mind to direct their emotions.They learn how to use their brain to direct their behaviour.They will break free of old negative survival patterns using their own positive patterns that keep their body balanced. This includes different methods of developing chi, relaxation, letting go, concentration, breathing actively so you are congruently integrated resulting in accessing extraordinary endurance, balance, ease, and psychological confidence.They become aligned on logical levels of environment, behaviour which includes language, senses, movement, experience base, capabilities, values, beliefs, over man giving them the feeling of being in control. A unifying experience involving their entire sense of self. The environment, higher sense of self, their potential, their destiny. They learn to how to become Captains of their souls.

In my own work with people, I have come to believe that the biggest issue that people have is that feel they can’t creatively express themselves to the level they want to… would you agree?

Yes, that is why I called my company Inner Expression. What we do not express, we repress and then depression can creep in. It is a vicious cycle. We are here to express all that flows through us as us. It is our divine right.

I notice that you’re a creative producer – what projects have you worked on? Owning the Zone, Somewhere I Belong, Mystical Journeys too many others to list.

With all this going on in your life, what does your working week look like?

Monday-Friday in the evenings I work with clients on-line. Weekends are for clients private sessions in the clinic. On any given day I may be conducting a seminar, webinar. I update my blogs every third day, my website every week, do radio interviews when they are requested. Writing is done at night. Currently putting all my content (information) into a formula that will be products and ready to launch in Sept.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Live Your Way

Live Your Way

On June 23 rd I had the honor of doing two radio interviews about Creating Champions. Dr. Dave and I had an interesting conversation. If you want to know how to live your your way and be a Champion in Sport, Performance and Your LIFE please take the time to listen to this.

Happy Canada Day Canada.

Great Resources for Pro Athletes

Pro athletes always seem to have an abundance of resources at their disposal; whether they need to make a cross country move, assess their personality and skill level, get their financial picture in order, or simply find a post-sports career job or business. A multitude of businesses clamor for the athletes’ attention but which ones can they trust? I found two businesses that really put their heart and soul into helping pro athletes manage their career and life.

One such business is Sportsdrive. The highly educated, synergistic team performs various levels of athlete assessments using a scientific approach specifically developed to evaluate sports performance and sports behavior.

Annika Olofsson, a sports psychologist with Sportsdrive, works with athletes on the German Olympic squad. I caught up with her via email last week and asked how Sportsdrive can help not just the pro athlete but their supporting cast. Annika stated, “Sportsdrive helps coaches select the right athletes; those who are not only physically strong but mentally fit and committed to achieving greatness on their specific sport. Assessment results will reveal the following to coaches; potential for development, talent, and the internal fire of the athlete as well as the best way to support the athlete in reaching his goals.”

The benefits of scientific, psychological evaluation translate into on-field and off-field success for the athlete. On-field, athletes have a sharper focus and more self-confidence because of understanding themselves and their inner drives more completely. Athletes can utilize their strengths to a higher degree with a more acute self-awareness of their inner motivators. Off-field, a better self-understanding means better communication with coaches and staff and a higher level of emotional stability all around.

Another way companies are helping the pro athlete is through successful and stress-free relocation. A pro athlete may change teams many times throughout his career and he needs to make the transitions as seamless as possible.

Janice Bokor, a Coldwell Banker Realtor in Pennsylvania, specializing in re-location services for the pro athlete, has personal experience with the process.

“I am married to a retired pro football player and come from a family of athletes so I understand first hand the need for a trustworthy, confidential and informed realtor who knows how to connect with the client. Since the above was so hard to find I became a realtor myself to fill the void in this specialized pro athlete market and the rest is history.”

I also asked Janice how she makes the transition easier for the player and his family so moving is not as traumatic as it could be.

“Since moving a lot is, unfortunately, part of the pro athlete’s profession, I want them to leave their problems related to the process to me. My sole purpose is to handle every aspect of the real estate and relocation process so the athlete and his family can concentrate on what is important to them: their family and profession.”

“I also ensure that every detail of their move is in place, including shipment of all belongings, packing/unpacking services, school information, private jet service, bodyguards, personal trainers, chefs, nutritionists, utility service connections, doctors, interior designers, lawyers, financial advisers, etc. I never say no to a personal request and I make it my personal mission to ensure every client transitions smoothly and quickly from every single destination they need to be in.”

These are just two companies making a difference in athletes’ lives in professional and personal ways. Even though pro athletes are often idolized and put on pedestals, they are mere human beings with personal, family, and career needs. Thank goodness for companies willing to step up to the plate and offer genuine assistance for those who entertain us year after year

Michelle Hill