POLE WITH PEACH: MIND HACKS FOR... HOW TO USE VISUALISATION TO IMPROVE YOUR POLE TRAINING
I will be hosting a seminar at Pole World Festival here in the UK. The event is taking place at the ECC in Bristol on the 12th August. To celebrate this I will be giving you a monthly preview into the topics I will be exploring in my seminar, The 360 degree training mindset: Using your subconscious for pole success.
How to Use Visualisation to Improve Your Pole Training
An impressive pole dancer doesn’t just practice their technique, strength, stretching or endurance training, but must also be mentally resilient and strong in order to succeed. The saying goes that ‘the body achieves what the mind believes’, and as cheesy as it is, it is true!
The power of the mind when it comes to training cannot be underestimated. Although physical training is essential for developing strength, technique and skill, you can in fact improve these areas without even breaking sweat! It’s true!
Visualisation is used by many professional athletes, including dancers, boxers, and weight lifters. It is a pretty well-known technique in the sports world, so why are pole dancers so far behind? C’mon guys, get with the times! If you want to utilise the power of visualisation you have many options including meditation, mental rehearsal and guided imagination exercises.
The benefits of visualisation are numerous including:
/ Injury prevention
/ Choreography training and muscle memory
/ Improving technique
/ Preparing for competitions or performance – beat stage fright
/ Overcome limiting beliefs and mental barriers
Research has shown that visualisation, such as running your choreography in your head, or mentally rehearsing a nemesis trick, can help to improve your skills just as much as actual physical training. In fact, I had been struggling with my handspring when I first started learning it, but nailed it after a 2 week break from pole where I spent time visualising myself doing the trick rather than physically training it.
I know that things like ‘mental rehearsal’ and ‘guided meditation’ can all sound a bit hippy-dippy, but the science is there. Visualisation prepares your body for activity in the same way as physical training. Check out this video for a really cool explanation about what ‘muscle memory’ really is and how it can help you improve your skills:
The best bit about visualisation? No equipment, physical exertion or studio is necessary. So, if you are sick in bed, away on holiday, or sat in a boring lecture, you can still be training your pole skills!
Here are some top ways to use visualisation in your pole training:
/ Rather than running your difficult tricks over and over, replace one training session with a meditation where you practice the moves in your head. Imagine every physical nuance as you play the move slow-mo in your mind. BONUS: This will prevent over-training injuries!
/ Terrified for your first pole performance? Don’t know what to expect? Run through your performance in your head, imagining that it is the actual final. Hear the roar of the crowd, the rush of excitement, and the bright lights. When you get on stage it will be like you’ve already done it before.
/ Mentally rehearsing your routine will also improve your flow and fluidity. Before bed close your eyes and imagine you are practicing your choreography. The next time you go to rehearse in the studio you will find your muscle memory has improved.
I will be doing a monthly ‘Mind Hacks’ post for X-Pole in the run up to the Pole Word Festival, so make sure you check back for more handy hints and tips on using the most of the mind in your pole training.
Check out my seminar on the day, 14:00 – 14:30 pm – Peach Lee Ray – The 360 degree training mindset: Using your subconscious for pole success, for more Mind Hack tips and tricks.