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Setting Goals and Visualization - How my 8 year old did it

the winning jump
The winning jump
Last week I went to watch my daughters regional track and field meet. She was selected as the only one to represent the Grade 2 girls in the standing long jump. She also made the 4 x 100 relay team.

I was able to catch her standing landing jump event (missed the relay unfortunately). The participants were given a few practice attempts and I noticed that she was jumping very well. Once the event started she was flying. Her 3 jumps were great and she easily won the the Grade 2 Girls standing long jump by a significant margin.

I was obviously very proud of her accomplishments, however I did have a few questions: What goes on in the mind of an 8 year in an event like this? Did she just jump and hope for the best? Or, did she have a specific goal in mind before she jumped? If any of you have an 8 year old you know how hard it is to get any information out of them.

Wow! I was not ready for the answer I got. It absolutely floored me. She said "Daddy I just looked at the crumpled piece on the jumping mat (the crumpled part was approximately 150 cm out, you can see it in the image) and I knew that I had to jump past it". Really? No way. Yep, that's what she did.
She noticed in the practice rounds that she was the only one getting past the "crumpled part" and she set out to jump past it. She set a goal, visualized it and then tried to accomplish it. Hearing this made me even prouder of her accomplishment.

This exchange has definitely made me think about my own goal setting and visualization techniques. It never ceases to amaze me what we can learn for out kids.

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