Plan, Prepare, Practice - Breaking Down Visualization

Let’s break down the process of Visualization.

What is it? It is a form of mental imagery. Creating an image in your mind of a certain task or goal to be accomplished in the future. 

Where to begin? Start by using your five senses. Really engage in them and be specific and as accurate to the real-life scenario as possible. Where are you? Inside or Outside? What are you wearing? What do you smell? Are you with family, teammates or friends? How do you WANT to feel? Is your heart pounding or is it calm? What do you hear? Do you hear your surroundings, or do you have headphones on? 

Use your imagination and harness your inner creativity for this. When you allow yourself to be still, close your eyes, and really get into it, the process is fun and empowering. It also takes practice and time to develop the skill, so patience is key.

This is your chance to create your DREAM SCENARIO. Mentally practice making it most ideal for your desired goals as possible, knowing that uncontrollable factors will always go down in real life. Think of it as a mental rehearsal controlling the controllable. Everything in the scenario that lies within the power of your hands, you can control. Everything else, that is out of your control, you practice letting go of. 

What are some elements to recognize that are not in your control? The weather, your family, your friends, your teammates, other distractions that are outside of YOU and YOUR physical and mental performance. 

With this, it is important to practice visualizing your success in both desired and undesirable situations but reacting in the most positive and success driven way, so you show up in your moment ready to conquer.

According to a New York Time article “The more an athlete can image the entire package, the better it’s going to be,” said Nicole Detling, a sports psychologist with the United States Olympic team.

“When I get there, I’ve already pictured what’s going to happen a million times,” said swimmer Missy Franklin, who won four gold medals at the London Games, “so I don’t actually have to think about it.”

RISE Mentor and Olympic Swimmer, Jean Basson, prepared for his big events by putting himself in the positive frame of mind and visualized the most positive outcome of his events, he felt it in his veins, on his skin, and really focused on the excitement factor. He practiced the outcome that he wanted.

Plan, Prepare, Practice!

RISE Blog Contributor

Jess Rocheleau