Mind Mapping

A Mind Map by Peter Mcloughlin, BBC Training

Mind maps help you to visualise.

Athletes can be away for weeks at a time at competitions or tournaments and each trip requires a lot of planning. Before they go, they and their managers and coaches will need to consider: the climate, customs & occasions and therefore what clothes to take; obtaining visas, flights, hotels etc; items they'll need for the big day, such as their lucky socks or equipment; last minute meetings with the physio or sports psychologist, etc. Mind Mapping is a technique which can help them to remember and sort everything that needs doing into a logical order.

Mind maps are similar to spider diagrams or flow charts. They help you to visualise or present a whole concept, idea, theory or process in a logical format. The mind map concept was developed by Tony Buzan and can be used to prepare for an exam or interview, to take notes or help you remember something you've just been taught, to plan a story or feature you have to write, or even to organise a party or event.

They are a personal map of your thoughts; each is unique to the creator. If we each created a mind map around the central theme such as football - they would all be different.

Why do they work?

Your brain thinks radiantly and Mind Maps reflect this - using keywords to trigger images and logical networks of associations. It's not natural to make lists, where ideas just flit around, although our brains have become accustomed to doing so.

How do I make a Mind Map?

  • Central theme: Start in the centre of your paper with the paper orientated Landscape, this gives the brain space to spread out in all directions freely and naturally.
    You can use either a word or picture to represent the central thought or starting point, images are worth a thousand words. Use different colours because it's more exciting for your brain so stimulates creativity and helps you to retain info.

  • Key words: Think of key words or ideas that you associate with the central word or image and write or draw them around the central image. Draw lines to connect these words to the main image, these should be curved as these are more attractive to your brain - it gets bored with straight lines!

  • Branch out: From one of these ideas, or branches, repeat the process to generate even more ideas. You can continue this process to build up your mind map, adding more branches and key words and images as ideas occur to you.

Break the challenge down into doable steps.

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