HOW IMAGERY TRAINING CAN HELP YOU MAXIMIZE YOUR PERFORMANCE

The science of coaching triathletes and runners has been around for decades. Periodization was developed as far back as 1952. Heart Rate, Power, Cadence, training stresses are all great ways to measure the physical impacts of your training cycle. However, what is the distinguishing factor between someone who has a great training cycle and race and someone who doesn’t? It’s one word: certainty.

Think about it. If you are absolutely certain that you will get the result you want, and that result would be life-changing, you will take massive action. On the other hand, if you are absolutely sure that no matter what you do, it just won’t work, you’re not going to spend any time making any real changes.

Of course, these are the extremes. Most of us find ourselves somewhere in the middle ground – the no-man’s land of “maybe it will work, maybe it won’t.” And this is the real danger zone. Because we end up making half-hearted efforts rather than putting our heart and soul into it.

The key is to create absolute certainty – to fill yourself with the belief that you will accomplish what you set out to, no matter what is happening in the external world. You have to get the results in your head that make you feel certain, as if it has already happened. And one of the best ways to do this is through imagery training.

WHAT IS IMAGERY TRAINING?

Let’s take a look at Roger Bannister. For centuries, it was believed that running a 4-minute mile was physically impossible. But Roger Bannister shattered that myth. How did he do it?

Roger didn’t just go out and physically practice, he made a mental shift as well. He practiced, over and over in his head. He envisioned himself breaking that 4-minute barrier. Because he knew that no matter how much he trained his body, if he was going to get the result he wanted, he had to change his mental state first. He conditioned himself to become so certain that he was capable of achieving this feat, that he believed he would do it with every fiber of his being.

After Roger Bannister ran that 4-minute mile, within just two years, 37 people also ran a 4-minute mile. And remember, no one in history had ever done that before.

This is the power of imagery training – of visualizing the results over and over, as if it had already happened.

We all have beliefs that limit us. Sometimes we let the status quo dictate what we believe is possible. Other times we allow our own self-doubt take precedent. Other times, we may have unconscious beliefs that hold us back.

Imagery training is a technique that lets us overcome those limitations. We are able to see ourselves succeeding – not just on a high level, but on a very detailed, precise way. We see what the results look like, and we envision the way in which we will prevail. What’s interesting about it, too, is that in doing this, we immerse ourselves in the emotions that are part of that success, that experience. Because it is not just a mental exercise, it becomes a fully-body experience that impacts you psychologically, emotionally and physically. And it’s that all-encompassing dynamic that helps produce absolute certainty, which allows you to transcend the boundaries that you had imposed (perhaps unwittingly) on yourself before.

A RITUAL FOR SUCCESS

The potential to achieve anything you want is always there. But whether you tap into that potential has everything to do with you. Most people have a strong belief about what their real potential is, and that influences how much action they take. Then the action they take determines their results, and ironically, those results reinforce their pre-existing beliefs.

If it’s a must for you, you have to make it work. You have to enter the mindset that no matter what, you will make a way. But imagery training is not a one-and-done exercise. It’s a ritual. You have to condition yourself over and over again, so that you know without a shadow of a doubt that you will get the results you want.

Good luck on your journey! Create the mental picture of the results you want. The outcome is yours to determine.

Be Healthy, Train Smart, Have Fun

Coach Jeff

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