Many top athletes use various mental training techniques to achieve peak performance. It is well documented that imagery or visualization improves sports performance. Mental Rehearsal is a technique where an athlete vividly imagines or thinks about themselves successfully achieving their goal while competing in their sport.
Mental rehearsal steps:
1. Goal statement
Before you begin your mental rehearsal, write down your goal. Specifically, how you would like to play or perform in your chosen sport. What obstacles will you have to overcome in order to reach your goal?
2. Center yourself
With your eyes closed, take a moment to center yourself by taking a few deep breaths while becoming aware of your breathing. Then become aware of the space around you, what sounds do you hear? What sensations you feel?
3. Start your mental rehearsal
Think about yourself successfully practicing your specific goal. This is where you will begin your mental movie (always practicing at the same speed and intensity as you play in your game or competition).
4. Create your Success Image
Now create a success image of you achieving peak performance while playing or competing in your sport. (A perfect golf swing or dismount, scoring a basket, goal, or touchdown, or having more mental toughness, confidence, or intensity).
5. Bring in all your senses
Enhance your peak performance mental rehearsal by bringing in more details into your mental movie. (Where are you? What are you doing? What sounds do you hear? What emotions are you feeling? What do you smell and taste?).
6. Positive self talk
While you are experiencing your success image, give yourself positive affirmations throughout your mind movie. (I am a confident, poised, and determined basketball player).
7. Reward image
Complete your mind rehearsal by creating a reward image that represents you winning and enjoying your reward. Include celebrating your success with your team, coaches, family, and friends.
Repeat your five minute mental rehearsal at least two times each day. Rehearse yourself overcoming all obstacles, setbacks, and distractions. Always imagining yourself how you would like to play or perform in your sport. You may visualize yourself as if you were watching yourself on a movie screen, or as if you are watching from the perspective of looking out of your own eyes.
Source by Darren Hiller