Friday, on the eve of the eve of Sunday’s NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks’ second-year quarterback shared one of his preparation secrets. Or re-shared, as Wilson first talked about using visualization on the eve of his first preseason game in 2012.
But this time, Wilson went into the reasoning, as well as the roots, behind a staple of his night-before routine.
“I’m a person that visualizes all the time – different situations and anticipating those situations throughout the week, and the offseason and all that, and the night before the game,” Wilson said after practice, when 10 cameras were focused on him in the auditorium at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
It also plays into the poise that is such a part of his game.
“Grace under pressure and just being calm,” Wilson said. “I really don’t try to worry too much. I trust my teammates. I trust the calls. I trust myself, more than anything. So I just go out there and play the game of football.”
And that’s probably why the Seahawks’ offensive motto could be, “In Russell we trust.”
Asked when he began to use visualization, the 25-year-old Wilson offered, “I started doing that at a young age.”
Or a younger age.
“Obviously, I love sports, playing football and basketball and baseball,” he said, and then added with a laugh, “Wasn’t too good in basketball.”
But that’s where the idea to visualize is rooted.
Wilson was better at baseball than basketball, if not football. He has been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft twice, and played minor-league baseball before turning fulltime to what has become his profession.
“Visualizing is also kind of a baseball technique-type thing,” he said. “And I think it definitely translates to playing the quarterback position, and just trusting myself and trusting the situation.
“At the end of the day, you have to trust what you see. When you’re playing the quarterback situation, things happen so fast, especially when you’re playing a great defense like the 49ers. You drop back, you hit your fifth step and you make a decision. It’s either yes or no. And you make that decision and you just trust it.”
Take it from a guy who’s already seen it.