Visualization & Running III

In my first post on this subject, I outlined many of the ways athletes use imagery as well some supporting data for its use. The second post included some criteria for creating your own script and a sample. Here is the third post on visualization. This one shares a second person directive voice or approach. It appeals to many people.

[If you would like to have a script developed for a unique circumstance or race situation, drop me a line. In the future, I hope to develop podcasts with various imagery scenarios.]

Take a deep breath, inhale all the air you can… exhale slowly. All the tension in your body-is leaving you. You are feeling relaxed. You are relaxing. Let go of your worries and concerns, your mind is clearing. Your mind is free of clutter. Let go of the day. Let go of worries and concerns. Let go of the events of the day. You are thinking clearly. Your body is relaxed, ready to perform. You are focusing on your body. Take a deep breath… exhale slowly. You are poised for action. You are focusing on your body sensations. You are comfortable. You are prepared, fit, healthy,-well trained, strong, confident. You are confident you can meet the challenge of this run. Take another deep breath, inhale all the air you can… exhale slowly.

Imagine yourself running… your posture is erect, arms swinging back and forth crossing in front just about to midline. Your shoulders are relaxed and your head is looking straight ahead. Your eyes are focus 10 yards in front. You see the ground in front of you moving past steadily. Your arms and legs are in perfect synchronization, moving effortlessly. Your legs move back and forth like a pendulums. Your feet glide over the ground, touching the surface only briefly, lightly, as if springs are in your legs. The heel of your foot strikes the ground first just for a second your foot roles forward, up to the toes as you push off from the forefoot, as your other leg lifts high and thrusts powerfully forward, powerfully striding forward, effortlessly, moving like a gazelle over the ground. You feel light. You have boundless energy and enthusiasm. You move effortlessly over the ground, you feel light, your feet glide over the surface, lightly touching, only for a second, moving forward gracefully, mechanically, powerfully, controlled, with spring in your stride …moving over the ground like a gazelle. Light. Your legs move in perfect synchrony… automatic… and effortless.

You feel your body moving smoothly. Your body temperature is comfortably warm. There is a light flow of perspiration over your body. Perspiration drips from your forehead down your face perspiration drips down your neck, down your chest, down your back you feel a cool breeze, it cools your body; your singlet is wet, you feel the breeze blowing through your singlet, there is a cool sensation on your skin. Your shorts are damp from perspiration the perspiration continues to drip down your legs, the light breeze blows across your skin, cooling your body. You are comfortably warm. You feel the moisture of your perspiration and cooling sensation of the wind.

Time is drifting by without notice, time is of no concern. You are feeling free of barriers. You feel confident. You feel free. You are strong. You are ready to do your workout.

Take a deep breath. Open your eyes. You will rise; move deliberately and confidently into your workout.

You are prepared mentally and physically to succeed. You are relaxed. There is no pressure. You are focused on your workout. Nothing stands in your way. Take three more slow deep breaths and go forth.

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About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - trailrunningclub.com. I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for Running-Advice.com. I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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2 Responses to Visualization & Running III

  1. Jeff says:

    I stumbled accross your post while researching visualization techniques for my son. Thanks for the info and your willingness to share. Mental toughness is a difficult task that I am still working on after 35 years of running, but so much harder for a HS kid.

  2. The thing I see most often in HS aged athetes are peer pressure to perform and parental or coach pressure to perform combined with a lack of mental toughness when things “go bad”. The best we can do is reduce pressure for the athlete; refocus them on what they can control (i.e. avoid thinking about all those things outside their control such as the competition, weather, the course, starting on time, etc.) and keep them focused on the moment – now.. only now… this step, this hill, this straightaway, passing this one runner, etc. It does require a lot of patience & repetition. It won’t happen in a race without having practiced it in training.
    Good luck!

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