Keep Athletes Psychologically Sharp With This Visualization Exercise

Being ON all the time is physically and psychologically exhausting. If you notice your athletes becoming fatigued toward the end of the season or at the end of a tournament, it may be because they are not relaxing and re-booting between games. In this video, Lindsey describes two visualization exercises that can help your athletes be ON when it matters, and relax in their down time; helping them ward off fatigue and stay sharp on game day.

In this video, Lindsey points out that visualization training is based on the scientific evidence that the brain responds well to imagery. You can tell yourself to relax, but it's more impactful when you imagine relaxing in a systematic, visual way. Here are two scenarios that you can use to help your athletes visualize decompressing.

Deceleration Visualization

Have athletes relax somewhere quiet. They can lay down or sit up in silence. Tell them to take a deep breath and release. Tell them the following:

  1. Imagine you're driving a car. The car is going very fast in 5th gear.
  2. Now, slowly imagine downshifting the car to 4th gear. The car begins to slow down at a steady rate.
  3. Now downshift the car to 3rd gear. The car slows down again.
  4. Now, continue to slow down by downshifting the car to 2nd gear... 1st gear....

Let the athletes sit or lay there for a while after the visualization has ended. Throughout the visualization, remind them to take a deep breath after each step. Take them slowly and systematically from 5th gear to 1st.

If your athletes are a little younger, they may not quite understand the deceleration concepts, but they will be able to understand the second visualization:

Hot Stove Visualization

Have athletes relax somewhere quiet. They can lay down or sit up in silence. Tell them to take a deep breath and release. Tell them the following:

  1. Imagine you're boiling a pot of water. Your stove is on high, and the water is bubbling.
  2. Now, turn the knob down from high to medium...
  3. The water stops bubbling and starts to cool down just a bit.
  4. Now, turn the knob down to low... simmer....

Let the athletes sit or lay there for a while after the visualization has ended. Throughout the visualization, remind them to take a deep breath after each step. Take them slowly and systematically from high to simmer.


 

Do you have any tools for helping your athletes decompress when they need to? Share it with us in the comment section below!

Close

50% Complete