During any sports tournament that is broadcast on television (such as tennis, golf and the Olympics), the amateur players of these sports find that their skills at these sports can improve as they watch the professionals play at the highest level. TV viewers who know what it feels like to play the sport can train the awareness and the muscle memory in their minds and bodies as they unconsciously absorb the skills through visualization and imagination.
The World Cup 2010 soccer tournament in South Africa is a great opportunity to improve your soccer skills just by watching the box. It is exciting to support a particular team and watch them progress (or not!) through to the latter stages of the competition. We feel we are part of the whole event.
There are 32 teams in the competition. There are great players to watch and learn in all soccer positions: goalkeeping, defence, midfield and attack. Players that many are looking forward to see in action are: Kaka of Brazil, Wayne Rooney of England, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, Fernando Torres of Spain, Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast, Lionel Messi of Argentina, and Arjen Robben of Netherlands. Who will be the surprise star of the World Cup 2010? There is always one.
It is well-known that visualization (aka mental rehearsal) can be the difference that makes the difference at the highest level of sport. By creating a mental image or intention of what they want to happen or feel, sports performers can improve their physical and psychological reactions in certain situations. They can also build both experience and confidence in their ability to perform certain skills under pressure, and in a variety of possible situations.
I wonder how many of the World Cup teams are rehearsing the taking of penalties in the minds as well as on the training pitch. I bet not many. Yet they will need to develop mental toughness to succeed under this kind of pressure in front of the millions watching on tv.
Will watching tv improve your soccer skills? Try it and see. Play a game of soccer after watching some of the games in the World Cup 2010 and see if there is an improvement in your ability. While watching you get to wear your favorite soccer cap and soccer jersey. If only all homework was this much fun…
Tags: Football World Cup, learn basic soccer skills, learn soccer, learn soccer skills, mental imagery, mental rehearsal, mental toughness, soccer caps, soccer jersey, soccer skills, soccer tournament, soccer visualization, Soccer World Cup, south africa, taking penalties, visual imagery, World Cup 2010