- Familiarize the athlete with a competition site, a race course, a complex play pattern or routine etc.
- Motivate the athlete by recalling images of their goals for that session, or of success in a past competition or beating a competitor in competition
- Perfect skills or skill sequences the athlete is learning or refining
- Reduce negative thoughts by focusing on positive outcomes
- Refocus the athlete when the need arises e.g. if performance is feeling sluggish, imagery of a previous best performance or previous best event focus can help get things back on track
- See success where the athlete sees themselves performing skills correctly and the desired outcomes
- Set the stage for performance with a complete mental run through of the key elements of their performance to set the athlete’s desired pre-competition feelings and focus.
Now, take these concepts and translate them to anything you want to do in your life, work, career, relationships or sport. Familiarize yourself with the best practices preparing by finding the right skills to learn, best coaches, teachers, mentors, then focus on approaching your goals with a positive mindset. Once you have established the purpose, meaning and direction you want to take, begin to mentally visualize yourself giving a talk, running a race, starting to become a better leader. One key is to visualize as vividly as possible doing everything exactly as you would like the outcome to be. Athletes don’t visual falling, failing or fretting. They visualize precision, execution, to train the brain to react properly in the moment. Thus, no thought is required. Being physically and mentally relaxed allows the mental training to work the magic you have created. Now, close your eyes and rehearse.