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Creative Visualization In Sports
The secret is out! It has been known that among elite swimmers at International swim meets, power and technique does not matter any more. What sets them apart is the all important mental strength. That is where Creative Visualization is used extensively with competitive swimmers.
What exactly is Creative Visualization ?
Creative Visualization is the ability to use one�s imagination, see the images in our minds, focusing intensely on the desired goal, repeat mantra or positive affirmations towards making them come true.
Many famous people have used the power of Creative Visualization to transform their lives and lives of others. This is also reiterated by Dr Maxwell Maltz, creator of self-improvement phenomenon; Psycho-Cybernetics who said "When you see a thing clearly in your mind, your creative 'success mechanism' within you takes over and does the job much better than you could do it by conscious effort or 'willpower.'"
In fact, one of the most successful coaches of world-class athletes, Dr Denis Waitley, is responsible for popularizing the practice of �Creative Visualization�, in his book titled �The Psychology of Winning�.
I have personally witnessed how Creative Visualization has made an impact on my son, who swims competitively, representing his college. He takes all competitions seriously and has been in recent years training with a coach who places high importance on the mental training, including Creative Visualization on his charges.
Indeed, the benefits clearly displayed by my son includes
� Reduced nervousness before his races
� A deep inner belief in himself and his swimming abilities
� A greater inner strength and physical energy
� Consistent performances in all his swim meets
� A calm, clear mind and exudes confidence on the block
� Positive outlook on life
In preparation for his swim meets, he always have a picture of the swimming pool he will be competing in, being pasted on the wall of his room. Every morning when he wakes up and every night before he turns in, he�ll spend time pre-programming his mind and body to perform the way it should be during the race. He will mentally experience the roughness of the blocks underfoot, hearing the starter, getting into a clean and swift start, feeling himself slashing through the water with precision, hitting all his turns, maintaining the feeling of all the perfect strokes, building to a strong finish and finally, feeling the exhalation of an awesome swim.
There are different levels and approaches to the Creative Visualization process. What I have listed above is a mental imagery of the entire process which leads my son to him winning the swimming meet.
Some create vision boards by pasting pictures which will lead them to their ultimate goals. With the pictures, they will be able to envision their path towards achieving they ultimate destination.
Yet, some will leverage on the use of audio CDs which is based on scientific research and tested technologies to help optimize the mind, where the beats and pulses will cause shifts in brain patterns.
Dr Harry Emerson Fosdick said, �Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily enough in your mind's eye and you will be drawn toward it. Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success. Great living starts with a picture, held in your imagination, of what you would like to do or be.�
In essence, regardless the approaches used, Creative Visualization in sports or different aspects of your life, it will definitely set you apart from the rest. This is how you will differentiate yourself, be a cut above the rest and it will give you that special X-Factor about your entire being.
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