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Mind-Body Connection: The Link Between Mind & Body in Sports

Mind-Body Connection: The Link Between Mind and Body in Sports

On the outside, sports appear purely physical. The best performers in the world exhibit peak athletic physiques, with explosive movements and powerful bodies. To the unfamiliar onlooker, there appears to be nothing but physical skill propelling athletes towards success.

But to the keen observer, a deeper level of athletic performance becomes apparent. A world where skills can not be measured by stats or judged based on visible perception. Though, this aspect of an athlete’s performance plays a large role in their success.

What’s this world I’m referring to you ask? It’s the psychological side of sports, the mental skills exhibited by an athlete. These skills are not as apparent as physical ones, but they may turn out to be even more important to the success of an athlete.

The Question of Mind vs Body

An interesting question is whether the body or mind plays a larger role in the success of a performer. Is it their physical traits that carry them forward, or their mental capacity that truly propels them towards great heights?

It’s a question I’ve posed to myself a lot. As a mental performance coach, my responsibilities lie in helping athletes build their mindsets. I focus on overcoming mental game challenges that are keeping them from achieving their potential.

Let’s say there’s an athlete performing poorly. He believes his performances are way below his potential, so he seeks help to get himself to the point where he is pleased with his level of play.

How do we know if the challenges faced by the athlete are due to the mind or the body?

Well, it’s not quite as black and white as we like to make it seem. So many times we seek an either-or answer. Simply asking the question of whether a poor performance can be attributed to the mind or body highlights the true issue.

So often we tend to see the body, or physical side of sports, separate from the mind. Yet, this is not the case.

Viewing the mind and body as if they were two distinct entities, separate from one another, completely ignores the connection between the two. A connection that is the true cause for any success or failure experienced within your life.

“Viewing the mind and body as if they were two distinct entities, separate from one another, completely ignores the connection between the two. A connection that is the true cause for any success or failure experienced within your life.”Tweet This

The Mind-Body Connection

What does it mean to have a mind-body connection? Are they not already connected?

Johnshopkinssoulutions.com states the mind-body connection involves the belief that:

“The causes, development and outcomes of a physical illness are determined from the interaction of psychological, social factors and biological factors.”

We can alter this definition, and instead of saying the outcomes of a physical illness, we can use poor performance.

“The causes, development and outcomes of a poor performance is determined by the interaction of psychological, social, and biological factors.”

Using this definition, there is no longer a question of whether a poor performance is to be blamed on a lack of physical skills or the presence of a mental game challenge. We can now take a more holistic approach to understand why an athlete is performing poorly.

The mind-body connection involves understanding the interaction between your mind and your body. For you to reach peak performance, it is no longer enough to simply focus on physical skills.

While the fundamentals on the physical side are important, you must not neglect to cultivate the fundamentals of a strong and healthy mind.

Going Beyond the Physical

The whole premise of mental game coaching is based on the idea that physical training is no longer enough to help you reach your goals. There needs to be the addition of mental training in order to help you reach your full potential.

Why? Simply put, due to the mind-body connection we just introduced. There is a direct link between your physical and mental well-being. We all know that one of the first ingredients recommended to improve psychological health is exercise.

Exercise is physical, yet it is attributed to an improvement in the mind. When examining how to improve athletic performance, we can take an inverse approach. Instead of seeing how the physical can improve the mental, we focus on the psychological elevating the physical.

Now, let me preface by describing my resounding support for physical training. There is no shortcut to success, so by no means am I downplaying the significance of training the physical side of your sport.

If anything, I am proposing additional work to be taken on, aimed at the cultivation of a mind that can support the level of physical skills you’ve obtained. A weak mind will only hinder the level of success you achieve, no matter how good you may be physically.

In focusing on the connection between the mind and body, there are a few key areas that can be highlighted, which have a major impact on your performance.

“The whole premise of mental game coaching is based on the idea that physical training is no longer enough to help you reach your goals. There needs to be the addition of mental training in order to help you reach your full potential.”Tweet This

Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety is defined as extreme worry leading up to, during, and after a competition. When your mind is consumed by anxious thinking, this will have a direct impact on your physical performance.

Think back to a time when you were experiencing anxiety, how did you feel physically? I know that my whole body would become tense, likely trembling at the thought of making a mistake.

Now, do you think a stiff, rigid, and tense body is going to perform optimally? Maybe if your job is to be a stand-in for a rock, but all other sports require quickness, speed, and flexibility. All of which are inhibited when you’re faced with anxiety.

This shows a major connection between mind and body. You can train relentlessly on your physical skills, reaching a point where you can execute them perfectly in practice, yet still, fail once it becomes game day.

Why? Well, due to the fact your mind is keeping you from performing freely. You are not allowing the talent you’ve worked so hard to cultivate shine through and as a result, your performance level drops.

“Now, do you think a stiff, rigid, and tense body is going to perform optimally? Maybe if your job is to be a stand-in for a rock, but all other sports require quickness, speed, and flexibility. All of which are inhibited when you’re faced with anxiety.”

Self-Image

Now, you wouldn’t consider your self-image to play too much of a role in athletic performance. However, when talking about the mind-body connection, how you see yourself is tremendously powerful, either contributing positively or negatively to your level of play.

When I say self-image, yes I am referring to your outward appearance, but it also involves so much more than that. Self-image is the way you see yourself in relation to any aspect of your life.

In terms of your athletic performance, self-image relates to the vision you hold of how successful you can be, how you manage anxiety, how you perform under pressure, how much confidence you have, and so much more.

There’s a phrase that says, “You cannot outperform your self-image.” Let’s say you hold onto the belief that you do not perform well under pressure, in other words, the image you hold of yourself is that of someone who chokes in crunch time moments.

When you find yourself in such a situation, you can guarantee your performance will align with the vision you hold in your mind. Maybe every once in a while you’ll get lucky, but in general, there is no outperforming your self-image.

The mind and body seek harmony, meaning, the image you hold in your mind and real-life must align. So when you see yourself as someone who does not perform well under pressure, that creates a mind-body connection that upholds this image in pressure-filled moments.

Ability To Manage Emotions

The mind is a powerful tool, with which you can master your life and elevate the level of your performances. However, such a powerful tool, if left unchecked, can serve an opposite purpose.

Our emotions are a direct response to the thoughts filling our minds and are a direct influence on the behaviors we exhibit. If you are in the middle of a performance, would you rather have your emotions under your control or be under the control of your emotions?

I would expect you to choose the first option. We all should strive to master our emotions, turning them from liabilities to assets.

Yet, so many of us are run by our emotions as a result of an inability to manage the way we feel. This all begins with thoughts running rampant through our minds. Without the ability to manage thoughts, emotions are a hopeless cause to try and control.

But how does this play into the mind-body connection? Since emotions drive behavior, the actions you do on the field will be fueled by the emotional state you are in. If you are operating off intensely negative emotions, your performance will suffer as a result.

However, if you learn to manage your emotions in a positive way, you will gain the ability to use them to your advantage. So once again, what’s playing out within your mind is having a direct impact on your body.

That is why it’s so important to cultivate a strong and healthy mind-body connection. One that will work to elevate your performances instead of seeking to undermine the work you’ve done.

Building a Stronger Mind-Body Connection

It’s not that we need to build a mind-body connection, as it’s already present. The examples given above highlight how the mind is already influencing the body, even if it may be negatively.

What we want to do is focus on strengthening the connection that is there, making the mind and body work better together. Now that you’re aware of just how important the mind-body connection is to athletes, it’s time to learn how to use this connection to your advantage.

How do we go about strengthening the mind-body connection? It all begins with gaining more control of the processes responsible for many negative influences the mind has…your thoughts.

Gaining Control of Your Mind

When anyone is talking about gaining control of your mind, or mastery over your mind, do you know what they are referring to? The processes which we are aiming to regulate are our thoughts.

The reason being, thought is the basis for emotion and action. It is the foundation from which these other two areas grow. Meaning, if we wish to control the way we feel or the actions we display, first and foremost we must turn to our thoughts.

Now, how do we go about controlling the way that we think? It can seem like an extremely daunting task, especially when thoughts are currently swimming through your mind, free from any rule or regulation.

Controlling our thoughts boils down to awareness: we must be aware that we have the power to control our thoughts, and aware of what thoughts we are experiencing and why.

The former is the easy part, as I am telling you right now, you have complete control over the thoughts in your mind. While it may not seem like it now, they are within your power to control, all you need to do is put forth the effort.

The latter, however, is more difficult and is where such effort must be displayed. To gain greater awareness over your thoughts, in order to build a stronger mind-body connection, there are two techniques that prove beneficial: mindfulness and self-reflection through writing.

“When anyone is talking about gaining control of your mind, or mastery over your mind, do you know what they are referring to? The processes which we are aiming to regulate are our thoughts.”

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is attention training. There are numerous benefits gained from adopting a mindfulness practice, but one of the major ones is greater self-awareness. When you are seeking to build a stronger mind-body connection, that is the benefit you desire.

Mindfulness is defined as remaining fully present of the moment we are in, aware of where we are and what we are doing. In terms of your thoughts, this means you are fully aware of what thoughts are rushing through your mind.

Mindfulness is a state but is not an easy state to achieve, which is why a mindfulness practice is a must if you wish to improve your self-awareness. The more you practice mindfulness, the greater your ability will grow to recognize, and in return control, your thoughts.

To practice mindfulness, you can go for a mindful walk, perform body scans, do mindful tasks, or my personal favorite, mindfulness meditation.

Any of these work wonders in training yourself to center your attention in the present moment, providing you with the ability to recognize the thoughts influencing your emotions and driving your behavior.

Self-Reflection Through Writing

Coupled with a mindfulness practice, self-reflection through writing is an incredibly valuable tool for gaining more self-awareness. The reason writing helps so much is due to the approach you take to your writing.

This isn’t your ninth-grade English class where you have to design an outline and reach a certain word count. You don’t even have to cite any sources in this form of writing. It’s completely free form, a sort of anything goes type of writing.

In fact, it must be anything goes, because the whole point is to free your mind of all the thoughts jammed up inside. Think of this like word vomiting, the writing doesn’t need to make sense or be in any way well written.

You want to be sure you hold nothing back. When in a counseling session, it’s easy to be a bit reserved, seeking to avoid judgment from the other person we barely know. But with writing, no one is judging you, because no one except you is reading what you jot down.

Through the process of self-reflection, you gain clarity of mind. Thoughts are understood and worked through. If you add a mindfulness practice on top of this, you are destined to drastically improve your self-awareness.

And with awareness comes the power to control.

Seeking Self-Regulation

The reason we seek self-awareness is for the step that immediately follows, self-regulation. It can be a difficult task to gain an understanding of our minds, and such difficulty surely must be followed by something powerful.

Self-regulation is the powerful result of developing a certain level of self-awareness. What self-regulation provides is the ability to manage, or regulate, your emotions and behavior.

As I said in the previous section, thoughts precede emotion and the actions you exhibit, which is why we must first turn to our thoughts. Once self-awareness is established, once you understand what thoughts you have and why it is now time to determine what thoughts you want to have.

This is known as cognitive restructuring and is the process by which you replace harmful thoughts with positive ones. In seeking a greater mind-body connection, regulating the thoughts in your head will contribute to higher levels of performance.

When your head is full of positive thoughts, aimed at increasing your mood, the behaviors you display will be of a higher quality. You will perform more freely, naturally, and full of confidence.

So how do you go about regulating your emotional responses through thought? You must take up a restructuring practice to train this ability within yourself. If you are ready for such control, such self-mastery, read this article on how you can perform cognitive restructuring on yourself.

“When your head is full of positive thoughts, aimed at increasing your mood, the behaviors you display will be of a higher quality. You will perform more freely, naturally, and full of confidence.”Tweet This

Final Thoughts

The mind-body connection is crucial to the performance of an athlete. It proves to be the all too common missing link, keeping talented athletes from reaching their full potential.

It’s not that a mind-body connection doesn’t exist, as we all have one, with our mind directly influencing our physical actions. What happens is, the connection is weak, not being in our control, and as a result hinders our ability instead of improving our skills.

What you must do is seek to strengthen your mind-body connection. Start by gaining self-awareness through mindfulness and writing.

Once you gain clarity of the thought processes within your mind, it’s time to take control of them. Through cognitive restructuring, you can gain power and control, dictating what thoughts fill your head.

By focusing on these two areas, you will improve your mind-body connection and see an improvement in your performance as a result.

I hope you enjoyed this article, and if you did, please feel free to share it with your friends.

If you are interested in getting a more tailored approach to building your mind-body connection, learn how mental performance coaching can help.

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of success in all that you do.

Mind-Body Connection: The Link Between Mind & Body in Sports was originally published in Better Humans on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Visualization Techniques for Athletes

How to use this powerful tool for athletes, performers, and anyone looking to elevate the quality of their life

Venture into the realm of sport psychology and it won’t be long before you come across the term visualization. In fact, this word has become widely used, as it’s received more attention as of late in books and movies.

I find there to be two general reactions from people when they’re introduced to visualization. Either they’re interested and grow excited by the prospect of utilizing their minds for success, or they become sceptical of what seems to be an out there technique.

Having fallen into both categories at one time or another, I understand the reasoning behind each point of view. However, as time has gone on, and my experience with visualization has grown, there’s been one view point I’ve latched onto and don’t plan on changing.

I firmly hold to the belief that visualization is a powerful tool for athletes, performers, and anyone looking to elevate the quality of their life.

What I want to do is focus on athletics. By highlighting the benefits of this practice and revealing four visualization techniques for athletes, you can begin implementing this valuable tool into your training regimen.

Visualization Defined

One word comes to mind when seeking to define visualization: imagination. Do you remember as a kid, creating a whole world within your mind? You’d be playing around with your friends or siblings, in what appeared to be the living room of your home.

But in your head, you were actually venturing through the fields of a fantasy land, seeking a buried treasure or going to fight an evil dragon.

So, what does the imagination play you did as a child have to do with athletic performance? Well, it goes to show how powerful your imagination is. I want you to remember just how real those imaginary worlds used to feel.

On betterhelp.com visualization is defined as the formation of mental visual images. I like that definition, but I want to take it one step further, by adding the word scenes. For me, visualization is all about creating mental scenes.

When you were a kid, you constructed whole worlds within your mind. These scenes played out in such a real way, you could entertain yourself with them for hours on end.

There is no difference in the mental processes between children using their imaginations for enjoyment and you utilizing visualization to improve your athletic performance.

In both situations, a scene is created in your mind, directed by you to play out in the manner you decide.

“There is no difference in the mental processes between children using their imaginations for enjoyment and you utilizing visualization to improve your athletic performance. In both situations, a scene is created in your mind, directed by you to play out in the manner you decide.”

Science Behind Visualization

Alright, time to get technical. Why does this stuff work in the first place? Is there any scientific backing for the implementation of visualization in an athlete’s routine?

The answer is emphatically, yes. It has to do with the neural circuits found within the brain. A research paper released by the International Coach Academy goes into detail on how our brains are creating new connections between neurons with each skill we learn.

As you learn something, such as throwing a baseball or shooting a basketball, the brain is developing memory of the act. Memory is the new neural connections created, so as you seek to perform the act again, your mind simply knows what to do.

Now, it’s not a one time event that creates such memory, but repetitive action. It’s not just physical repetition that strengthens these new connections, either.

Imagery work, also known as visualization, has the same effect on the brain. Here is a direct quote from the research paper explaining how this process works:

“If you exercise an idea over and over, your brain will begin to respond as though the idea was a real object in the world. The thalamus makes no distinction between inner and outer realities, and thus any idea, if contemplated long enough, will take on a semblance of reality. Your belief becomes neurologically real and your brain will respond accordingly.”

I love that term, neurologically real. Our minds perceive the visualization as a real life event. That is why mental imagery work proves beneficial to athletes.

No matter the technique you choose out of the ones discussed below, the reason for its effectiveness lies in this scientific finding.​

Benefits of Visualization on Athletic Performance

Now that you know what visualization is and why it works, let’s examine some of the main areas visualization can benefit athletes. These will directly correlate with the techniques I will introduce in the next section.

When it comes to visualization in sports, the aim should be to improve your performance. In order to do so, we must examine the mental game challenges that derail athletes from performing their best.

Some of these will include:

Low ConfidencePerformance AnxietyFear of FailurePerfectionismHigh StressInability to Handle PressureLack of MotivationInjury

So, in terms of the benefits derived from visualization in sports, they will need to be an inverse reflection of the mental game challenges you see above. Let’s take a look at a few of the main areas visualization improves performance:

Visualization Reduces Stress & Anxiety

I had a coach that would always say, “A relaxed hitter is a dangerous hitter.”

He meant that, the more relaxed a player was in the batter’s box, the more likely he was to get a hit. Do you know why? Because in order to be relaxed in that sort of situation, your mind must be calm.

Having a calm mind means it’s free from distracting thoughts. On the other hand, a tense hitter, one whose mind is full of stress and anxiety, is a much easier out for a pitcher and will never perform up to their full athletic potential.

This holds true for all athletes, not just hitters. Performing relaxed is so important, yet unattainable if stress or anxiety is your natural state. Visualization provides you with a way to reduce the amounts of stress and anxiety you feel.

By getting your mind into a relaxed state, as you’ll learn later in the article, you can generate a feeling of calm that will make you a deadly competitor, no matter the sport you play.

“Performing relaxed is so important, yet unattainable if stress or anxiety is your natural state. Visualization provides you with a way to reduce the amounts of stress and anxiety you feel.”Tweet This

Visualization Helps You Manage Pressure

One of the most sought after titles in sports is that of a clutch player. The athlete who coaches, teammates, and fans trust in pressure moments, and the one opponents fear.

How do you gain such a title? By developing the ability to manage yourself under pressure. Feelings of pressure are derived from outcome oriented thinking. If you are focused on the outcome, it’s easy to have self-doubt creep into your mind.

So, to better handle these pressure filled moments, you must go into them with the utmost confidence.

Visualization proves to be valuable in building high levels of self-confidence. Through the process of imagining yourself succeeding under pressure, confidence will grow. The next time you find yourself in such a situation, you’ll know you have the confidence to succeed.

Visualization Helps During Injury Recovery

Finding yourself sidelined due to injury is incredibly frustrating. Being forced to watch your teammates compete, knowing you can do nothing to help, takes a negative toll on the mind.

It can also be difficult to deal with the fact you are not training to improve your skills. When injured, there is little chance you’ll be able to keep practicing, otherwise, you’d be able to play.

When you are unable to practice, a feeling grows that you are falling behind the competition. So, there needs to be an alternative by which you can still work on progressing your skills while sidelined due to injury.

Visualization is such a tool. While you may not be physically capable of training, your mind is readily available to step in and take over the workload.

Utilizing visualization while injured allows you to work on skill mastery, building confidence, reducing anxiety, and many other mental characteristics. If used diligently, visualization can help you return from injury having actually gained a leg up on the competition.

4 Visualization Techniques For Athletes

As you can tell from the benefits listed above, visualization is an incredible tool for athletes and performers. No other mental training tool provides you with the ability to influence your brain in the same way as a real life event.

Through the power of visualization, you can build new neural connections that will increase memory within your mind.

As with any tool, however, starting out can be daunting if you don’t have a process in place. You may want to visualize for confidence, or to help with injury, but you don’t know how to get started.

That’s why a solid technique to follow is valuable. The rest of this article covers four techniques you can use to handle pressure, gain mastery in a skill, relax, and train while injured.

Visualization Technique #1: Handling Pressure

Feeling pressure as an athlete can be the motivating push you need to perform your best. However, for many of us, such high stress moments have the opposite effect, leading to lower levels of performance.

When you find yourself in a pressure filled situation, what can you do to calm yourself, recentering your mind on the process that will help you succeed? It comes down to your emotional state.

You must learn how to alter the state you are in, shifting from high stress and tense, to calm, relaxed, and confident. This can be trained through visualization. The technique looks like this:

Step 1: Find yourself a quiet location, free from any distractions.Step 2: Get into a comfortable position with your back straight. Either sitting on a chair or on the ground. Avoid lying on a couch, as that will make it more difficult to visualize clearly.Step 3: Breathe to get yourself relaxed. Take ten to twenty deep breaths, focusing on your breath and allowing your mind to become settled.Step 4: Create your image. Now you want to bring yourself into the moment in which you feel pressure. Make it as real as possible by incorporating all the sights and sounds of the environment.Step 5: Generate your optimal emotional state. If you make the situation real enough, your normal emotions will set in. Recognize them, and then replace them with how you wish to feel. Feel relaxed, calm, and confident, see yourself succeeding.

Through this technique, you are training yourself to alter your emotional state under pressure. The more you train this, the better you will be at handling pressure.

“Feeling pressure as an athlete can be the motivating push you need to perform your best. However, for many of us, such high stress moments have the opposite effect, leading to lower levels of performance.”Tweet This

Visualization Technique #2: Relaxation

Whether it’s to handle pressure, cope with performance anxiety, or any other challenge that gets in the way of performing up to your peak, being able to get into a relaxed state is vital to your success as a performer.

A lot of times we think the more excited and amped up we get, the better we play. However, that’s not always the case. Especially when you have the tendency to grow anxious or fearful during a game, relaxation is your best friend.

Relaxation is a skill, one you can develop through practice. Here is what a visualization routine for relaxation looks like:

Step 1: Find yourself a quiet location, free from any distractions.Step 2: Get into a comfortable position with your back. Either sitting on a chair or on the ground. Avoid lying on a couch, as that will make it more difficult to visualize clearly.Step 3: Breathe to get yourself relaxed. Take ten to twenty deep breaths, focusing on your breath and allowing your mind to become settled.Step 4: Imagine a situation in which you feel the most relaxed and at peace. The scene does not matter as much as the emotions it generates. For me, I like to visualize myself on the beach. Either sitting there, looking out at the ocean or walking along with my dog. Be sure to be vivid within your imagery and make sure the emotions are intense enough to be called upon in the future.

Now before a game, during a game, or any time you find yourself feeling stressed, bring the scene you just created back into your mind. The more you practice, the better you will become at immediately generating feelings of relaxation.

“A lot of times we think the more excited and amped up we get, the better we play. However, that’s not always the case. Especially when you have the tendency to grow anxious or fearful during a game, relaxation is your best friend.”

Visualization Technique #3: Skill Mastery

For this technique, we are greatly playing into the idea of building new neural connections within your brain. Just as with physical training, you can learn to master a skill through mental exercises.

This isn’t meant to be a substitute to physical training, but an addition, providing you with another facet of training to elevate your skill level.

Here is how to use visualization for skill mastery:

Step 1: Find yourself a quiet location, free from any distractions.Step 2: Get into a comfortable position with your back. Either sitting on a chair or on the ground. Avoid lying on a couch, as that will make it more difficult to visualize clearly.Step 3: Breathe to get yourself relaxed. Take ten to twenty deep breaths, focusing on your breath and allowing your mind to become settled.Step 4: Begin to create your scene. I’ll use a baseball player hitting as an example. You can visualize yourself hitting off a tee, then progress to hitting batting practice. From there, see yourself hitting in a game. The key is to make it detailed and real. See and feel yourself succeed each time.

This technique can be used for any skill you’d like. Use it before training, or even during training. It’s an incredible way to get extra practice in, without having to further tire yourself out physically.​

Visualization Technique #4: Injury Recovery

When you’re sidelined, your confidence can take a hit, since you’re unable to train. Though, this no longer has to be the case. Through visualization, you can continue your training efforts, all while being injured.

Along with training your skills, you can strengthen the confidence you have in your body. One of the most difficult aspects of returning from an injury is trusting that your body is strong and one-hundred percent.

You can utilize visualization to see yourself once again performing in full health. Here is what both techniques will look like, with the first steps being the same for both:

Step 1: Find yourself a quiet location, free from any distractions.Step 2: Get into a comfortable position with your back. Either sitting on a chair or on the ground. Avoid lying on a couch, as that will make it more difficult to visualize clearly.Step 3: Breathe to get yourself relaxed. Take ten to twenty deep breaths, focusing on your breath and allowing your mind to become settled.Step 4a: Create the scene of you performing. You can use the same technique as with skill mastery, going into detail, seeing yourself train. You can also visualize a whole game, or the parts of a game you’re involved in. That way, you are simulating game-like situations within your mind.Step 4b: Visualize yourself healed. See yourself free from injury, performing at full capacity. Feel gratitude and happiness for being able to return to the game you love.

Both of these are great ways to turn an ordinarily frustrating situation into an opportunity for growth within your sport.

Final Thoughts

Visualization is an incredible tool for athletes. The neural connections generated as you imagine yourself performing instill memory within your mind.

There are many ways you can go about utilizing visualization for athletic benefit. But, the four main areas I find most useful include visualization for handling pressure, relaxation, skill mastery, and injury recovery.

The first three steps will always be the same, working to get your mind and body in an optimal state to visualize. From there, the difference will be what you imagine and how it makes you feel.

Always remember to bring emotion into each scene!

Which technique is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.

I hope you enjoyed this article, and if you did, please share it with your friends.

If you are interested in getting a more tailored approach to visualization, specific to your needs, learn how mental performance coaching can help.

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of success in all that you do.

Visualization Techniques for Athletes was originally published in Better Humans on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.