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Can visualization help in individual track and field performance?

An athlete can only accomplish a certain amount of physical repetitions during a jumping, running, or throwing workout before their body begins to break down and fatigue. To supplement the actual performance of a track and field event, the athlete can visualize the proper way to perform the exercise while using the coaching cues utilized in the actual practice. The more repetitions an event can be practiced visually the more likely it will automatically happen on the track or in the field. Using different mental scenarios (wind, rain, etc.) can help the athlete be ready to deal with a variety of situations that they may encounter.

I absolutely believe that visualization will improve performance in track and field. In fact, many professional athletes from golfers and bobsleders to basketball players and gymnasts have been known to use visualization. You could visualize the proper body mechanics for your event or visualize the feeling and sensations of winning the event. Either way, visualizing your self succeeding will build your confidence, which is vital in any sport.

I personally believe that the unconscious mind is unable to distinguish between reality and imagination (so long as the imagination is vivid and detailed). Given this, it makes sense to me that visualizing your self succeeding in a sport would be beneficial. Besides, you can use visualization anytime and anywhere so why not?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.