So Mental practice or visualization techniques is simply using your imagination to practice your sport totally in your mind. You will want to do this because whatever you can create in your mind, you also create in reality. Don’t believe me? It is a studied fact, check out what one of the most famous scientists of our time, Albert Einstein said.: “Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.” Here’s how mental practice works….. The mind and nervous system do not know the difference between a vividly imagined event and a real one.
As far as the mind is concerned it is all the same. If you practice perfect performances vividly in your mind, you are basically teaching your power mind what you want. Jamie Paolinetti, cyclist, who has won every cycling race in America at least once said: “Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” I can’t stress enough how powerful your imagination is and how important it is to take the time to actually do it. In fact, Mental practice or visualization techniques can be almost as good as real practice…and sometimes better if you do it right!
Just to be clear…Imagination practice, visualization techniques or mental rehearsal is the same as “visualization”. I know you must hear that word “visualization” a lot in sports from your coach and professional players. And, just because some people call it “visualization”, you don’t have to “visualize” or see yourself doing your sport in your mind to get the maximum benefits out of your mental practice. Here’s what I mean. Some people are not as “visual” as others, so we use your imagination in our own way.
However you do it is perfect for you. Watch this clip of a very famous athlete: From :19 to :47 seconds.
When you do mental practice, what you want to do is imagine or think, in your own way, your best performances, and skills using pictures, your inner voice, sounds, thoughts or feelings in your mind. It’s just like daydreaming and you can do it with your eyes open or closed. The key is, the more real you can make it, the better.