Ever wanted to be a super hero, even just a little bit? Then you should try out this technique.
Visualisation is where you draw on the power of your imagination to help you succeed.
It’s a simple tool that is said to have been used by Olympians and sports stars, including basketball great Michael Jordan, former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, and golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
Visualisation involves imagining yourself facing a specific challenge – picturing all the things you would see, think and feel – and then imagining your success.
Along with all the other things you do, like stretching and strength training, visualisation can be an important part of your training toolkit. It’s about using mental imagery to help you map out a path to achieving success.
With this technique you’re not limited to being a mortal human being. You can be Superman or Superwoman, empowered with out-of-this world abilities, strengths and unconquerable mental toughness. It’s your adventure so try to make it as vivid as possible.
Ready to give it a go? Allow yourself 10 to 15 minutes to focus on this technique,
1. Find a quiet spot to lie down, close your eyes and do some deep breathing exercises. This is sending signals to your body to relax and be calm.
2. Clear your mind of all that day-to-day chaos and grind. Try not to think about the dinner you need to cook or the errands you still have to do.
3. Next imagine yourself fronting up on the big day of whatever race, competition or sporting challenge you want to conquer. Get really particular on the details – what do you see around you? What’s the weather like? What noises and smells are there? What are you wearing? How many other people are here?
4. Now focus on what you feel. Think about how strong and confident you are and how well organised you are – remember your superhuman powers and you can be as amazing as you want.
5. Picture yourself heading for the start. Picture the start line if there is one. Visualise how excited and full of expectation you are because you have overcome so many obstacles to get here.
6. If there’s a starting gun imagine the sound. Feel the jostle of the other athletes, the rush of the wind in your hair, the ground under your feet. Visualise how strong and fast you feel.
7. Carry on visualising like this until you reach the finish line. Visualise yourself through each stage of the event, powering through and overcoming all the challenges along the way. Then imagine yourself elated and strong when you get to the end, where you are surrounded by your proud and excited family and friends.
Even if the terrain and conditions look different in real life, by doing this exercise you are actually preparing your body for the reality. According to research by sports scientists, the inner neural pathways and nerve stimulation are bringing home the message of success to your brain.
Visualisation is a powerful technique used by successful people from all walks of life, not just elite sportspeople but everyone from musicians to high-flying business executives, who use it to boost their confidence, performance and results.
Try it each day leading up to your event or goal. It also helps with starting and maintaining a regular gym routine.