This high school season I had my athletes
practice visualization techniques both as a group
and individually. Visualization is a
powerful mental training tool that enhances
an athlete's ability to overcome obstacles and
perform at their highest potential.
Visualization - as far as athletics go -
is the practice of imagining your competitive
scenario and 'seeing' the outcome in the most
positive manner for yourself. It can help
improve confidence, improve reactions to adverse
conditions, and reduce performance
Like every other technique you
work on, it takes practice to calm the mind and
see this vision from start to finish.
The best time to do this varies. The
key is to approach the visualization process with
a quiet, calm mind.
A few quick
Find a quiet spot, comfortable
position, and focus on your breathing. Empty
Imagine yourself at the start of
your race. Try to feel your muscles and hear
the sounds of the race. Imagine that you
feel fully rested and
Start the race. You
may want to imagine different scenarios, or focus
strictly on the best scenario. Personally I
like to run through a best scenario, and in later
sessions see a few where I overcome various
obstacles (flat tire, slow start, and so
Feel the effort level during the
event. Imagine everything is working
perfectly, smoothly, 'effortlessly'.
Watch your competitors unable to maintain
your pace. You accelerate alone or with only
1-2 still with you.
Cross the finish line
with a surge and a win.
mental performance and make it part of your
experiences going forward. The mind is a
powerful tool, and the memory of an visualized
performance can be just as real as the memory of a
Confidence in your
own abilities is a huge
part of peak
It can help to have a coach
guide this process. But after a few sessions
you should be able to do it on your
Happy mental training!
read more at the following links:
Effect of Mental Imagery on Sports
Visualization for Sport
- E. Quinn
Gaal, CSCS, is a USA Triathlon and USA Track and