Recently someone emailed me and asked if there were resources for someone who wanted to get serious about memory training. They wanted to go to the nest level I guess you could say in their mental game.
First of all you need the basics and that goes without saying. I have a ton of free videos on my Youtube channel
and then of course I have my memory course for sale on this website.
But let’s say you already have a basic understanding of memory training and the method of loci. Then how do you take your game to the next level? This person specifically asked what did I do in my training for the USA Memory Championship to go to the next level, which I certainly did. When I began training I don’t think I could have memorized more than 120 digits in 5 minutes and eventually I set a USA record at 167 consecutive digits in 5 minutes. That record has sinse been broken. Actually SMASHED at 348 digits (I think. Something like that). It also took me 6 minutes to memorize a deck of cards and eventually I set the record for the fastest at 1 minute 27 seconds. That record is also broken and currently at 60 seconds I believe.
So how did I go to the next level?
- First and foremost: I committed to it.I decided to train every single day.
- I did train with games at http://memorise.org/memory-gym
These games are great because they have timed tests for you to memorize names, numbers, cards and words. It really is great memorization training. Unlike Lumosity or Fit Brains which if you follow my posts at all you know I think they are garbage
- I created pictures for every number, playing card, etc. This requires advance work but the payoffs are BIG. For example, your picture for the follow may be:
1= pencil because it looks like a pencil
2 = sink because it has 2 options (on/off)
3 = Pyramid because a pyramid has 3 sides
4 = television because a tv has 4 sides
5 = star because a star has 5 points
6 = bullet because the older guns had 6 bullets
7 = dice because opposite sides of dice = 7
8 = snow man because it looks like a snow man
9 = baseball because there are 9 players and 9 innings
10 = fingers because 10 fingers
11 = goal post because a soccer or futbol goal post looks like an 11
and so on. So I created pictures for every number and then when I see the number I think of the picture and it becomes second nature. This enabled me to get fast. What enabled me to get REALLY fast was when I developed a system to have a picture for every 6 or 7 digit #. It is called CHARACTER – ACTION – OBJECT and here is a little info on that https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU4EiYJ71dE
4. I also ate healthy. I lost 20 lbs when training for the 2009 USA Memory Championship (no joke). It makes sense. If you have good blood flow more oxygen gets to your brain and this keeps your brain more alert. I avoided foods that hurt memory (excessive sugar, excessive salt, alcohol, junk food, etc)
5. I sought out a coach. Actually I had 2. David Thomas who was the 2007 USA Memory Champion trained me via email on memory strategy (his insight was PRICELESS) and former US Navy SEAL TC Cummings trained me on my discipline, confidence and focus. His training was also priceless. These 2 guys put incredible resources in my corner. So seeking out a coach is something even someone as highly trained in memory as myself is not afraid to do.
Obviously you need a baseline to start at. You need to understand memory training and the method of loci. But this is the next step and what worked for me. So that is my answer to this guys email and my answer to you