A Visualization Hack to Get More Out of Your Mental Practice

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes From tennis great Billie Jean King to pianist Glenn Gould, imagery has long been a staple of athletes’ and musicians’ bag of practice tools. When visualizing, a general rule of thumb is that you want whatever it is that you're imagining, to be pretty close to the actual real-life experience that you are working towards. The same sounds, the same kinesthetic sensations, the same visuals. Take tempo, for instance. If it normally…


A Mental Tweak to Shrink the Gap Between Your Best Playing and What Happens Under Pressure

A Mental Strategy to Shrink the Gap Between Your Best Playing and What Happens Under Pressure

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes For me, the days leading up to an audition or competition were often way more stressful and unpleasant than the actual event itself. And inevitably, I’d play some funky mind games in an effort to relieve some of the pressure of doing well. Like trying to convince myself that I didn’t care if I won the prize or passed the audition. And brainstorming all of the reasons why winning may not be such a good thing. With my Juilliard audition, for…


David Kim: On Letting Go and Being Yourself

David Kim: On Letting Go and Being Yourself

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like the only way to get ahead in the world is to be an egotistical jerk? I’m sure that there probably are a number of self-obsessed, egomaniacal dingleberries in the upper echelons of every field, but it’d be nice to think that this isn’t necessary in order to find success, happiness, and meaningful work. Meet David Kim Case in point, violinist David Kim has been concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1999, and is one of the most…


A Scientific(ish) Rationale for Keeping Photos of Friends and Family in Your Case

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Nobody enjoys spam or junk mail, but there’s something particularly aggravating about the dreaded telemarketer call. Maybe it's because deleting emails and tossing out junk mail doesn’t hurt anyone's feelings, while hanging up on a live human feels a bit more personal. So I was intrigued to learn about apps that instead of hanging up on telemarketers, actually aim to waste their time by keeping them on the phone as long as possible (here’s a…


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Get Into "The Zone" More Frequently with This Subtle Mental Adjustment

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Everything else goes away. It almost happens in slow motion, even though you’re doing things at the correct time with the music and everything. Nothing else matters; it is just such an eerie, eerie feeling. The audience fades away, except for the brief moment when they were clapping so loudly - actually that was just a part of us. It was all a part of our experience; it never took us out of our focus. -A figure skater’s description of flow,…