Visualization and relaxation in Sports

Fact: mental shape is as important as physical preparation. Athletes at all levels should acknowledge this. Tennis champion Boris Becker knew this well, when he would lose a match and say that he had lost it “in his head” before he lost it on the court.

Over the years, sport psychology has developed several approaches oriented to mental training as the tool to achieve winning performance and work on failures in a constructive way. One of the most popular ones is based precisely on visualization techniques.  Before diving into what they are and what effects they have, let’s start with relaxation!

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Anton Bernard, former Captain of the Italian National Ice Hockey Team and of Hockey Club Foxes, during a relaxation and recovery session into our Infrared sauna.

Relaxation and sports: an important combo

It is critical that athletes are able to relax. As a matter of fact, relaxation allows to acquire greater self-control and manage one’s own body, thoughts, and emotions in a synergy. And not only that: athletes should develop the ability to relax in any situation, in order to regain the so-called “centering” whenever necessary, even in the toughest circumstances.

In short, relaxing is not at all opposite to the idea of “doing one’s best”. If anything, a lucid and relaxed mind allows you to draw on your most explosive resources, maintaining focus and a healthy balance between relaxation and activity.

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Gianni Moscon, Italian talent of Road Racing Cyclism, has choosen Zerobody and our Brain Training programs to keep mental focus during the lock-down of 2020 for his indoor training sessions.

Visualization Techniques

Visualization in sport is based on a simple assumption: our mind cannot perceive any difference between an experience that really happened and one that was just imagined.  For this reason, images created in one’s mind produce the same psychophysical reactions as real events.

In sports, visualization techniques focus on the goal. Focus helps athletes to achieve better and faster results both physically and mentally. Visualizing ideal movements and actions creates a neural trace that is strengthened with time and repetition.  In short, the practical implementation becomes more natural because the mind is used to repeating it. If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand.

Mental visualization why is it useful for sports

Mental training techniques, including visualization, are indeed the best allies to improve sport performance.  For them to be really effective, they have to involve all the senses.  Visualization techniques can:

  1. favour the learning process
  2. improve the response of body and mind to performance anxiety
  3. create a general sensation of psycho-physical well-being
  4. improve focus
  5. enhance motivation and self-esteem
  6. eliminate or reduce distractions for athletes
  7. help to focus on the goal to achieve
  8. correct motions
  9. develop new strategies for functional training
  10. improve overall physical performance

Mental training and relaxation techniques, combined, can get you extraordinary results at all levels.

 

We at Starpool have understood this complementarity in depth, by carrying out a lot of research in the medical and sports fields. Experience and studies have led us to develop products designed for athletes’ physical and mental health, with the ambition of favouring top performance at all times.  Zerobody, our innovative solution to regenerate body and mind thanks to the power of dry float therapy in combination with our Brain Training programs, is proof of that.

Scelto anche dal campione di sci di fondo Federico Pellegrino è l’ultima frontiera del benessere su misura di sportivo.

 

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