As a pre-collegiate athlete, my coach would make me lie down and visualize my gymnastic routines dozens of times, at least twice a week. During these visual exercises, I would honestly take a power nap. Luckily, I was young and talented enough to take these visual sets for granted. As a collegiate gymnast, I was assigned these same visual sets but under the advice of a sports psychologist. With the added stress of adulting and graduating around the corner, I took these visualization exercises much more seriously. Now, as a 30-year-old weightlifter, I’ve added visual sets back into my training regimen to help me prepare my body for the movements. It might sound like hocus pocus but a little positive mentation might influence the motor planning of your movements! Here are a couple tips when you’re doing your visualization exercises.
In the beginning, I would imagine myself performing incorrectly or one lift was different from the next. Visual sets can take time. If you close your eyes and don’t see yourself performing perfectly, then its a good opportunity to make self corrections and emphasize recovering from that lift.
2. You can also focus on smaller details.
Before practice, I sometimes focus on certain cues pertaining to a certain part of the lift. For instance, I can focus on and imagine the sensation of feeling my heels down through the second pull of a lift, or having a tight core throughout the dip of a jerk.
3. Internal vs. External visualizations.
Imagine watching yourself perform as well as from your own perspective.
Always end your visual sets by imagining what you want to happen. This will leave your brain on a positive note!
Another thing I like to visualize is a time when I was successful and had accomplished my goal on the platform. I try to imagine, what I felt or what I was focusing on to create such a successful attempt.