Anthony Watson: England wing visualised try against Wales as he reveals interesting Ayrton Senna link

Six Nations England wing Anthony Watson Credit: Alamy
Six Nations England wing Anthony Watson Credit: Alamy

England wing Anthony Watson has revealed that he visualised the try he scored against Wales in the build-up to his Six Nations return in Cardiff.

Watson, who made his first start for the Red Rose in two years last weekend after a string of injuries, scored in the 19th minute of England’s away victory.

And the wing has explained that he remarkably envisioned his comeback score during one of the 20-minute meditation-like sessions that he regularly does.

Long journey back for Watson

“I was pretty nervous before the game. It felt like a long journey back – almost felt like a first cap,” Watson said as he recalled the 20-10 win over Wales.

“I don’t really judge my quality of games by tries, but to be able to score in the corner was nice and something I had spent a lot of the week visualising.

“It’s weird how it happened exactly how I had pictured it. It was literally in that corner because I was playing on the left wing, and it was finishing with the ball in my right hand in that kind of style.

“The power of visualisation is so important, I have scored tries when it has ended up exactly how I had it in my head.”

He added: “Visualisation is how I try to calm myself down before games. I go into lot of detail with it, it depends on what comes into my head at the time.

“It starts off with just what it would look like from a bird’s eye view and then what it would feel like for me.

“It puts me in good stead for what lies ahead and calms me. Those periods of visualisation are the only time I think about the game. I do it on my own and if you saw me doing it you would probably think I look crazy!

“It’s a common thing to do now. There’s greater respect for the power of mental techniques to prepare for games. Everyone is different, it will be useful for some people and completely useless for others.

“I find it really helpful in terms of blocking out periods to think about the game, and that allows me to be chilled out and do whatever I want to do outside of that.”

Ayrton Senna’s former coach

The Leicester wing is working with Don Macpherson, and among the renowned mind coach’s former clients was Brazilian Formula One great Ayrton Senna.

“Don said that Ayrton Senna’s mind was in the corner ahead while his body was on the current corner,” Watson said as England prepares for their next Six Nations clash, against France on March 11.

“That was something that resonated with me about trying to be one step ahead, trying to see a break before there is a break and being anticipatory for things that might happen.”

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