Sorry guys for making alot of threads in this section but i asked for this, and Rupert was kindly enough to create it for me, so im going to use it. some people may benefit from this section, who knows but here is a thread about visualisation…

Visualisation can be a very powerful tool in transforming yourself into the most dominating track and/or field athlete, or any athlete for that matter, heck, even person, you could be.

the key to making gains in leaps and bounds is correctly visualising yourself making them gains. by visualising the perfect start in a 100m, or the perfect jump, or throw.

however, visualising isnt as easy as just picturing the perfect sprint, no no, much more to it. in order to be a perfectionist visualiator (sp), you must become a expert at it. you need to practice, hard, you need to strengthen your mind. a few “workouts” a day, heck, even once a day would be good enough. for say 10-15mins, it will really help.

mental rehearsal is the brother of visualisation. a effective method of mental rehearsal is going down to the track, or pits, or field, or court of whatever, weeks/days/hours before a meet and game, and just stare at the track. just stand there, and look, and just picture youself, see yourself flying down that track. sit down and see yourself warming up, see yourself seeing yourself sprinting. the key is, get down to the environment to which you will be competing at and just visual and rehearse what you will accomplish.

visualisation can be very effective, if you know how to use the power. it can be learnt and mastered overnight (nothing can). just have a go at visualising the perfect meet for 10mins every day, or visualising something else, and just work on making the image clearer and more realistic and the such.

we all have the power to transform, whether its physique wise, time wise, distance wise, job wise etc etc. but we need to visualise what we will look like, what we will do for the future so when it comes to that time, we know what to do.

hope this article helped some guys, i will be posting more under different topics over the coming days.

Keep Up The Training

Well Rupert was kind enough to create it, yes, but some of us had suggested it before and I guess he decided it was time.

As far as imagery, I very much doubt the value of the conventional view --“just see yourself doing it perfectly”, etc. What I do think has value is imagining yourself really doing it, including handling your imperfections. Make it, in your mind, real. Make it what you really feel, what you can really do. To daydream yourself running 10 flat is pointless, but imaging yourself as doing the best start you can possibly do right now can take you a step closer to making it happen.

agreed. although i do believe that most people who practice any form of visualization do not put enough time into to see the full results that can possibly be achieved. to add to what juggler said, you should visualize the expected environment, sounds, colors.
i am not saying you can master a skill without actually physically performing that skill (jay schroeder), but i do believe there should be an important emphasis on visualization.

There was some study that found people who thought and imagined gripping stronger increased their strength pretty significantly–almost up to par with people who did actual grip strengthening. If I find the study I’ll post it. I am sure that this won’t work for everything, but I believe it is huge during periods of learning a new skills and high loading.

I have found personally that the biggest benefit of visualization is putting myself in a stressful situation over and over again (a big international tournament where I’m not as confident) until it becomes more natural. My coach actually recorded an audio track that takes you through the morning of the tournament, the feelings of anxiety that go along with it, disagreements with the referee (I am a fencer), etc and encourages relaxation as the means of dealing with it. This has helped my state of mind big time come the day of the tournament because just like in most sports, in fencing relaxation is the key to speed and clearer thinking.

always remember, if your physical fit, than u’ll be mentally fit.

same as doing exams at school, if uve studied properly, u’ll have no problems.

so no matter how mentally strong you are “doing visiualisation and stuff” if he havnt done the work, it wont matter how often you replay it in your head, you’ll still lose or fail your test.

so study and train smart!!!

But visualization allows for more benefit and bonus results in addition to what is already being done.

If pounding away sprints on the track all day made sprinters better, they’d be doing it. But since the idea is to increase performance, you can only train so much. Visualization is added training without any detriment.

Visualization only works to enhance/reinforce what you have already felt in training. You must perfect it first by physical means and then reinforce the execution that you have learned in practice. The key here is “nothing special” - Just repeat what you’ve done in practice- nothing more- and you’ll perform up to your ability. Try for “something special” and you’ll go down in flames!

Yeah, you make a really good point Charlie, for any athlete where form is so crucial to your sucess, you can’t change your form or mess with anything.

I guess I did overstate the “bonus” from visualizing, but used correctly it can give the benefit of reinforcement of patterns in movement and can give you confidence for competition. Obviously this is all without changing your training volume.

I’ll just add/ask a few things as to what has been said already.

1.) Can visualization be used to learn new skills? I’m inclined to say no. Like Charlie said, visualization is best used to reafirm what has already been done, learned and practiced. It has been mentioned that the more specific the visualization is, the more powerful of an effect it will have. Obviously somebody’s going to have a tough time visualizing that which they haven’t done before.

2.) Is there any stress involved in visualization?
I’m again inclined to say, “not really.” Maybe if you are visualizing a specific event (like a championship) that incurs feelings of anxiety, there might be some sort of stress, but I can’t imagine it having much of an effect on the nervous system and obviously none on the muscular system. Anybody have any other opinions on this?

3.) When can visualization be useful?
Honestly, for a sport like track, I don’t see visualization being THAT useful, but maybe it’s just because I’m not as experienced- my background is with team sports. I think visualization has a much more powerful application to team sports, since they are skill based. Some of these skills require so much repetition, but during the season, if you are practicing at high-intensity all the time, you are paving the way for injuries or just lowered perfomance due to accumulated fatigue. Visualization could definitly be a way to “practice” high-intensity skills on a “low” day.

4.) What are the best methods for implementing visualization?
Here’s where I don’t know all that much. Visualization is a topic I’ve become gradually more interested in, but there just isn’t a whole lot of information out there for it. One source of information that I think people can draw on is from “speed-learning” type classes or books, which use certain types of music, visualizations, changes in audio tempo, etc., to put the brain in different states. Could be useful, could be worthless, I dunno. I’d imagine that having your visualization being “led” by a coach would be the most effective. It seems like it would work better if you try to shut your conscious brain off and just let the visualization sort of happen in the sub-conscious, giving it a little “nudge” here and there- as that’s what really happens in competition, pure reaction, barely directed by consciousness.

I dunno, some things to think about. It’s an interesting topic and certainly one that I think has uses, especially for team sports.

When i competed in gymnastics i used to use it all the time to learn new skills quicker. I’d get a video of the olympics and watch a move over and over. I think it helped. But track… ummmm we perhaps it works to enhance relaxation?

I probably misspoke. I didn’t mean that it can’t assist in the learning of new skills. What I meant is that I doubt visualization is going to be effective in teaching you something you’ve never practiced.

Then again, maybe it could and I’m an idiot…

I definitly feel like there’s more of an application to sports that have a higher technical element- basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis, etc.

I think it can help in something you have never learned but i don’t think you are an idiot! Its like watching your parents drive a car for years before trying to do it yourself. Does that help? If you had never been inside a car before you learned to drive would it take longer?

…and rhythm?

What about visualisation of someone elses performance and trying to copy that? Especially if they are a similar build and are silky smooth.

visualization has never worked for me, i just end up tight and overtrying, ergo slow

What about visualisation of someone elses performance and trying to copy that? Especially if they are a similar build and are silky smooth.

meeeh, for me i always thing of myself sprinting very very slowly, everything right in place etc, but then when you are fast and at 100% there are few thing you can think…i think…:stuck_out_tongue:

So imagine youself moving too fast to think!