Just about everyone who strives to beat their previous best sports or training performance will eventually reach a stage when their progress stagnates or declines even if they have put 100% effort into reaching their goal.
To progress further sometimes all that is necessary is to give it a little time and as the weeks pass into months we eventually reach the targets we have set. This tactic is fine for most of us most of the time but what happens when time is of the essence and waiting patiently is not an option as might be the case for somebody who needs to reach a certain level of fitness to enter the military.
When ever I have faced such a dilemma in the past weather it was in my years in the armed forces, boxing or martial arts I have always relayed on my secret weapon of visualisation to take my training to the next level and I can say that so far it has never failed me.
Take my word for it, if you spend the time necessary to picture your goal in you mind until it feels like you have already achieved it you will be rewarded with some of the most productive training that you will ever do.
In fact this technique is so powerful that I was able to master the one arm dragon flag without ever practising it before hand. All I did was simply visualise myself doing the exercise and I nailed it first time.
How this great gift works is unclear but some experts believe that your subconscious mind is tricked into thinking this is your new reality or in other words once you visualise something several times you can then do it simply because you think you can.
Other people believe visualisation programmes the muscles into working at their most efficient level and still others think that the placebo effect makes us try harder as we assume success is guaranteed.
For me why it works is not important, the only question that matters is does it work and the answer is yes it does and to such a degree that I guarantee if you use this training tool yourself your ability will reach dramatic new heights and not just in sport or exercise but in all aspects of your life.
If you still need more convincing let me say that I also managed the Lalanne press up on one finger and thumb after only a couple of visualisation sessions and without ever practising it before.
Also in all my years as a boxer I never knew of any fighter who hadn’t imagined the coming fight and the actions he would take against his opponent many times before they actually met in the ring.
Finally, anyone who has been in the military will know that when you are asked in training to charge with bayonet fixed at a target the officers will scream that the target is really the most evil person in the world who is about to do unspeakable things to your family. The reason the officers do this is because they know that the images they have conjured up will elicit the fight or flight response in you and the adrenalin now rushing through your body will turn you into a superhuman killing machine.
A physical response to visualisation is also why the acting coach will ask his students to picture one of the saddest times of their lives when he wants them to cry on command and why Olympic gymnasts can be seen repeating their routines many times in their mind before going out onto the mat to perform it for real.
So if you are stuck and have reached a plateau with your sport or training give visualisation a go. After all if it works for others it will work for you.
Try this simple experiment for your self to see the power it has. With your legs together and straight reach forward without undue strain and try to touch your toes. Note how far you get and then stand up and close your eyes and in your minds eye picture yourself bending forward with ease and effortlessly stretching 6 inches further than you did before. Once you have run this in your mind several times and can really visualise it try it for real and I bet you get to exactly where you had imagined.
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