RENTON, Wash. – I’ll believe it when I see it.
We’ve all heard that cliché, and said it, a thousand times. But in a way, it’s what Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson does every day in preparing for a game, and Sunday's NFC Championship Game is no different.
Wilson firmly believes in the idea of visualization to help him get ready each week for what he may see on game day.
“I’m a person that visualizes all of the time,’’ Wilson said Friday. “I started doing that at a young age. I wasn’t too good in basketball, but just growing up watching [NBA players] Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, they used to always talk about visualizing. So that is something I’ve always kind of worked on ever since I was younger.
“It definitely translates in playing quarterback. It’s trusting myself and trusting what you see. When you’re playing quarterback, things happen so fast, especially when you’re playing a good defense like the 49ers.”
Wilson tries to envision every possible scenario in his mind and how to react to it if it comes up.
“I really believe it helps my game, and also, calms me,” Wilson said. “I’ve already been there 100 times throughout the week, knowing those situations throughout every single play and different situations; end of half, end of game, third-down situations.
“I anticipate those situations before they happen. That allows me to make quick decisions. I think it also gives me that sense of poise and grace under pressure. I really don’t worry too much. I trust my teammates, I trust the calls, I trust myself more than anything, and so I just go out there and play the game of football.”
Wilson believes his ability to understand what he’s seeing cuts down on potential mistakes, especially on scoring opportunities deep in the opponent’s territory.
“I try to visualize every situation,’’ he said. “The biggest area I try to visualize is in the red zone, because things happen so much faster. You really have to be smart with the football and make quick decisions.”
For Wilson, it’s about believing in what you’ve already seen, on the field or in your mind.
“You drop back, hit your fifth step and you make a decision,” Wilson said. “It’s either yes or no, and you make that decision and you just trust it. I think that’s what allows me to play fast.”