Practice The Mental Game
“Visualization, or what I call imagery, is just one of several mental skills that can have a direct and positive impact on performance…in any sport,” explains Dr. Jim Bauman, PhD. Sports Psychology, currently at the University of Virginia after having worked with multiple Team USA’s and world-ranked individuals. “I say imagery, because we have found that the more of an athlete’s senses: visual, auditory, olfactory, taste, touch, and kinesthetic feel we can include in an imaginary exercise, the more they will be able to ‘feel’ like they are in that experience.”
As with any part of your training, your mental game has to be something you practice often and consistently. “How often do you run?” asks Bauman, “Every time you go out to practice you should be doing some of the employment of some of these practices as well if you want to get good at it.” With repetition you will hone your skills and thus be able to get more out of each imagery experience.