When Does Visualisation Become Reality?

In many sports you often hear coaches talking about visualising the activity or outcome, see it in your minds eye and then translate this to your physical performance.

The whole idea of visualisation is interesting, can you see yourself doing something, can you picture what it looks like in your own head? Until I started to learn to swim I had never actually been told to think about it or even try it, I was told to sit down and think about the aspects of my swim stroke and what it would look like in practice.

I am told that if you can picture it in your mind, it is easier for you to then translate this into the actual physical activity. So on this basis I have been trying to visualise my swim stroke to help my progression. I will admit it took a bit of time but in my head now I can see what my swim stroke should be, I see it from the external perspective as though watching myself swimming.

When I see my swim stroke in this way it seems to work well, but my problem is translating this into reality. I decided to do some reading on the subject of visualisation and found an interesting article from the Australian Institute of Sport, which explains the concept in clear terms. You can read the article here.

From reading this and some other articles I have started to wonder whether I spend enough time on my visualisation, I tend to picture my swim in my head and think of it for only maybe 10 seconds and then move on, I think that I need to actually visualise entire lengths and invest some quality time in this, it might lead to improved confidence and relaxation, but time will tell.

I know that not everyone will agree with the concept of visualisation and some will even suggest it is a load of hippy nonsense, but, with the mind playing such key role in sport it might be the key to unlock the hidden performance.


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