Visualization For Better Performance
Visualization For Better Performance
Believe it or not visualization techniques can improve your strength training and athletic performance. Here’s how.
Preparing for any training session or competition is undeniably important. We’ve all heard a million times how important it is to get a proper warm up in before doing any athletic activity, but what people fail to talk about is the mental component. Today we’re going to discuss how getting mentally prepared is just as important to your athletic success and goals and getting physically prepared. Ready? Let’s do it.
It All Starts In the Mind
What you think about and how you prepare can make a big difference on how you perform. This starts right when you get out of the bed in the morning. Wake up with a bad attitude and you sure as hell going to have a bad game or training session later in the day. Wake up feeling refreshed and ready to attack the day and you’re going to nail it.
Here’s where the visualization comes in. Focus on what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it and what’s going to happened. Don’t think about the “what if’s”, like what if you’re making a mistake, or what if you haven’t taken all potential scenarios into account. Focusing on the negatives or other uncontrollable variables will guarantee that you don’t perform up to your potential.
To prevent this from happening, picture the good things that will happened; what you’ll do successfully in the situations you’ll be facing. If there’s ever a negative thought that pops up. Say “cancel” out loud until you forget about it. If you’re doing this at the bus or train, people might think you’re off your rocker, but who cares! You’re the one who’s going to be smiling when you win the game or crush an old PR.
The Importance of Visualization
The vast majority of the best athletes in the world have some sort of routine that helps get them focused and prepared to perform at their best. This process usually starts with visualizing success.
If you play a sport at a higher level, or want to get to a higher level, this is something worth replicating. Everything in sports happens at high speeds and you need to act within a split second, or else it’s too late. If you’ve been through the actions your sport required in your head several times, you’ll know what to do and will react naturally to the situation at hand. But if don’t and have to take a second to think, then it’s already too late. You got tackled, missed the ball, or got beat by your opponent.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the term mind-muscle connection before. Say you’re learning a new exercise or a new movement that you don’t really get it at first. It requires a lot of focus and coordination. The easiest way to help with this process is to get your mind into it. Visualize yourself doing the movement, even if you’re at school or at work. Go through the motions and actions in your head. Now you can practice the exercise throughout the whole day, and when you step into the gym/field/pitch it will be much easier to perform. After all, it’s your mind that sends signal to the muscles to fire and what actions to perform.
Start getting into a routine where you can optimize your visualization and preparation. This starts with a morning routine like the example below:
- Drink a big glass of water
- Take a 10-15 minute walk, put on some music or a speech that gets you going
- Stretch the hip flexors and glutes to loosen up
- Do some glute bridges, pushups, pull-ups to get the blood flowing
- Visualize yourself being successful, scoring that goal, saving that shot, making that sprint that could be the difference between winning and losing
- And you’re ready to conquer the day, dominating the competition
It’s no longer good enough to show up and expect to be successful. Being successful starts with visualization regardless of whether you’re in the gym or on the field. Use the techniques above this upcoming season and I guarantee you’ll see major differences in the way you feel and perform during any athletic activity.ShareThis
About the Author
Eirik Førlie is a Norwegian Performance Coach and owner of Forlie Sports Performance. He specializes in athletic performance and bridging the gap between the weight room and the athletic field. A former athlete, Eirik’s main focus is making his clients bigger, faster, stronger and better than ever before. For more information please visit www.EirikForlie.com.
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