Visualization can be a valuable tool in improving sports or exercise performance. For visualization to work, participants must be well practiced in the particular skill. Visualization will not be that effective for participants who are not familiar with the specific motor skills necessary for proper execution of the activity.
Participants will begin by practicing relaxation before their visualization exercises. The first few days, participants are brought through steps 1-5. The next few days, steps 1-7 are practiced, and finally steps 1-10.
Participants are asked to:
- Lie down in a comfortable position.
- Breath deep, steady breaths
- Visualize inhaling relaxation and exhaling tension
- Visualize your feet, imagine the muscles relaxing, as they get lighter and lighter
- Gradually progress upward to each body part, individually visualizing each body part as it losses all tension and grows warm and light.
- Imagine yourself in at your event...
- Try, see, hear, feel, and smell your environment
- Imagine yourself performing your skill perfectly
- Imagine how _______ (invigorating, strong, relaxed, focused, etc.) you feel...
- Awake feeling refreshed and energetic.
After the relaxation and visualization session, participants will be asked to perform the relaxation and visualization exercise at specified times, at least daily. The length of the relaxation and visualization session will become progressively shorter as the participant becomes more proficient in placing themselves in this mental state.