General

Visualize to compete better

Using visualization techniques will help you to compete better. It’s easy to experience even a slight improvement if you use this technique. All you need to do is to close your eyes for a few minutes and imagine yourself as the best athlete; Do you want learn how to do it?

Swim like Sun Yang, pedal like Tony Martin or run with David Rudisha´s stride. Would you be able to view, store and reproduce the way they do it in your head? Start storing the way they train in your mind and stream those images, it will be useful for your visualizations.

Lets go train our brains, we can start by visualizing ourselves with the same technique we have seen that great athletes have. Could you invest 5 minutes a few times a week repeating the sequence of images in your mind? Can you close your eyes and imagine yourself flowing in the water, with good technique, a long stroke and without experiencing any fatigue? You need to remember the great feelings you had in your best competition, imagine yourself running with the fluidity that Kenyans have when they compete in marathons, just feel that you are doing it perfectly. If you first create neural circuits about what you want to do, then it will be easier to teach it to your muscles.


You should consider this technique as a motivational factor: Close your eyes, imagine yourself crossing the finish line, making a great mark, achieving your goals as you want to on the competition day. Create the success circuits in your brain and it will be easier to achieve because you already have lived it in your mind. Visualize yourself enjoying the middle of the race, while you are competing hard. Feel the tension in your muscles while you overtake others, feeling powerful. Visualize yourself overtaking the critical moments and especially enjoying the race. It is better to visualize success rather than failure; avoid sending yourself negative messages and anticipate failures 

In my last university year I joined a swim squad to compete in the inter-universities  circuit. I became obsessed with achieving a 400 metre freestyle swim in 4 minutes and 40 seconds and I decided to apply the visualization technique. I began to imagine myself swimming with a perfect technique, a great stroke, and feeling how I progressed more in each stroke. Many nights I slept with those images. The next step was to imagine the competition itself. I turned on the timer of my mobile to 4 minutes 40 seconds and when I pushed the start button and closed my eyes I imagined myself jumping from the podium, drawing each stroke, each turn, counting the metres, until the alarm sounded. I could see myself swimming very strong in the first 100 metres, controlling the next 200m and finishing 100% in the last 100m. Not only I achieved my goal on a couple of occasions, I also improved my marks in the 100m and 800m freestyle. 

Many studies show that visualize is effective, a large number of sports use visualization. With this technique you have the ability to achieve small improvements in your performance in a really simple way.

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