“You're trying to put yourself in that moment and trying to prepare yourself, to have a 'memory' before the game.” Knowing exactly which kit he will be wearing helps him conjure up a richer, more detailed and authentic vision.
“I don't know if you'd call it visualising or dreaming, but I've always done it, my whole life.” For Rooney, this use of imagery – the act of creating and ‘rehearsing’ a positive mental experience in order to enhance your ability to achieve a successful outcome in real life – is an instinctive method honed since childhood, and one shared by great athletes from Muhammad Ali and Michael Phelps to Jessica Ennis-Hill and Jonny Wilkinson.
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Whilst waiting at the station for a connecting train to London, I spoke to Ian.'There had been a conversation where I had said to Ian if he could contact Helen’s counsellor and see if she knew anything we didn’t.'Ian told me that the counsellor had no information.
I said to Ian: "It’s been long enough now, we’ll have to report Helen missing" - which Ian said he would do.'Mr Bailey told the court how he tragically thought he had found his sister when he later asked a woman if she had seen her at Royston rail station who showed him a photograph of another woman.'In that photograph I was quite sure it was Helen and that is how I felt at the time, I feel differently now,' he said.'I think when you have a loved one missing, I think hope trumps all.'Mr Bailey told jurors Stewart had initially told him that his sister had left a note, but then claimed he 'may have put it in the bin'.
Rooney’s mind craves forensic details before a game for one special purpose: to enhance the accuracy of his psychological preparation.
“I lie in bed the night before the game and visualise myself scoring goals or doing well,” he once revealed.