Visualise yourself to success
Visualisation is one of the most powerful performance enhancing methods any individual can have in their mental toolbox. It improves memory and skills, and specific parts of the brain responsible for particular skills can often be larger in experts. This is why the parts of our minds that know directions and geography are larger in London taxi drivers than others. They don’t learn the street names off overnight though. They learn and practice and rehearse the locations in their mind’s eye. The same is true of athletes. The athlete who practices their sport in their mind is sharper than those who don’t. At elite level, that could make all the difference.
Like every other part of your body, if you want to be good at it you have to practice it regularly. It’s a skill that develops over time. Make sure your practice is consistent, starting off with just ten minutes a day.
Imagine your mind is a multi-screen cinema and you can choose whatever movie you want, starring you. Make sure the blockbuster you’re creating in your head is a positive one. Visualise good performances, snappy moves, gains you’ve made, goals you’ve scored. Later, as you get more skilled at your visualisation, you can start creating ‘what if’ scenarios, and ‘seeing’ how you’d react to mistakes on the field or the unexpected or even noises from the crowd. Your reactions in your movie should always be realistic and positive, thus increasing your chances of success if that scenario plays out in real life.