“Movement starts in the mind.” This is something you’ll hear our coaches saying to our athletes around the gym on a regular basis. In order to perform an action at a high level, it is necessary to visualize yourself going through the motions.
The main goal of visualization is to have the imagined outcome occur. Mentally rehearsing helps an athlete just do it and do it with confidence and perfection. Mental repetition can impact the biological functions of the body, but there still must be a conscious decision to act out the desired imagery. In other words, you have to want the imagined to happen.
Repetitive visualization is a great technique for improving technical movements like the snatch and clean and jerk. Try rehearsing the movements in your mind before addressing the bar. “See” yourself moving the bar quickly through the middle of the second pull. Project yourself under the bar in the bottom of the squat, arms locked out overhead, chest and shoulders proud and strong.
Nobody wants to experience failure; however, we often attempt a movement or lift with feelings of doubt distracting our minds. In all honesty, if you don’t want to fail, why would you envision failure? Instead, mentally prepare yourself by imagining what a successful lift looks and feels like.
Visualization gives an athlete the mental edge.
Just before an extremely heavy lift, or when your focus begins to waver during an exhaustive WOD…this is the perfect time to refocus your thinking and imagine yourself completing the task correctly and safely.
We train like athletes. We warm-up like athletes. We should also be thinking like athletes.