Dr. Darlene Treese
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Dr. Dar's Weekly News You Can Use:

Athletes and Visualizations

Dr. Charles Garfield, former NASA researcher and current president of The Performance-Science Institute in Berkeley, California, cites a startling experiment conducted by Soviet sports scientists.

The study examined the effect of mental training, including visualization, on four groups of world-class athletes just prior to the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

The four groups of elite athletes were divided as follows:

  • Group 1 did 100% physical training.

  • Group 2 did 75% physical training, 25% mental training.

  • Group 3 did 50% physical training, 50% mental training.

  • Group 4 did 25% physical training, 75% mental training.

What the researchers found was that Group 4 - the group with the most mental training - had shown significantly greater improvement than Group 3. Likewise, Group 3 showed more improvement than Group 2, and Group 2 showed more improvement than Group 1. Athletes that did the most mental training improved the fastest. And the trainers were astonished.

Dr. Garfield said, "During mental rehearsal, athletes create mental images of the exact movements they want to emulate in their sport. Use of this skill substantially increases the effectiveness of goal-setting, which up until then had been little more than a dull listing procedure."

If mental exercises and visualization could have such a profound impact on athletes, what kind of impact could it have on you? Imagine using the same principle to improve your attitudes, confidence and skills in any area - whether it be your ability to learn something new, to lose weight, or to reprogram an old habit or belief. In post game interviews notice how many times athletes state that this win is just what they have been imagining. Now see yourself giving your interview for achieving the successes you've imagined!

Next Week: YOLO