When I was a kid, I wanted to be just like tennis player Chris Everett. (Yeah, dating myself.) I would spend six hours a day hitting a tennis ball around the court and against a backboard in the summer, honing my two-fisted backhand. So when I read an article “You’re Not an Olympian: Imagine That” in The Boston Globe’s fitness blog about mental imagery in sports, it took me back. The author delves into how certain visualization techniques can help or hurt your performance and a couple of great research studies.
My favorite quote, “…imagining yourself as Ryan Lochte powering through the 200-meter freestyle may be nice, but imagining you yourself exploding off the walls during a 200 freestyle will yield greater mental and emotional benefits.”
Sure that kid is still inside me. Once in a while I might fantasize about qualifying for the Boston Marathon or Kona. Maybe you do too? But if we really want to get there, we better focus more on visualizing the ways we’re going to become faster and stronger, not the end result.