Giving rise to visualization
Pre-schoolers are often in their own little world, you give your little girl a doll, they start role playing being a mother – they feed the doll, they clothe the doll, they sing to the doll to make it go to sleep. You give your little boy a spider man figurine, then he will design a base, build an enemy and ensure that their superhero wins.
Children make their own story up in their mind, and they love it.
Cricket should be no different, imagination is important. The art of storytelling is important. Children identify with what they know and deem to understand, for example if your child is watching sport with you on the weekend, they identify with players, they identify with opponents, they identify with colours and numbers, they will even identify with the occasion.
When I used to play with my dad as a kid, he would create score cards for us. If he was playing as Australia and I was playing as South Africa, I would always win. If he was playing as South Africa and I was playing with Australia, then I would always lose. The players on the score card would be the current team setting at that time, and then I would try and bowl with the same bowling action as the “player” I was bowling as, and when I was batting as my favourite batsman I would concentrate more because I wanted my “player” to have the top score. It was great.
and who can blame a dad for wanting to prime his child in wanting to beat the aussies… 🙂
So when you are playing at home, how can you use imagination for your child’s benefit? Maybe play music in the background, make them wear their favourite player’s shirt, maybe get the whole family to watch and go wild when they hit a great shot. The sky is the limit, you don’t have to be that parent that just stands there and throws the ball boringly, you can make it exciting – and the chances are your child already knows how to lock into imaginary world of a world cup final match or whatever picture you decide to paint.
It is also important to know that professional sportsmen and women use visualisation techniques to enhance their game and increase focus, many gold medal winners or cup holders have practised seeing the result long before it has happened. playing scenarios in your mind actually gives the synapses in the brain the same sensation as actually doing it. Incredible. Visually doing something is actually practicing and learning without the actual practise, make no mistake you need both. but this imagination aspect is the building block that will get utilised later on down the line.