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The Power of Visualization

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Eric "Herbie" Watson, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Charles Garfield, former NASA researcher and current president of The Performance-Science Institute in Berkeley, California, talks about a startling experiment conducted by Soviet sports scientists. The study examined the effect of mental training, including visualization, on four groups of world-class athletes just prior to the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

    The four groups of elite athletes were divided as follows: Group 1: did 100% physical training. Group 2: did 75% physical training, 25% mental training. Group 3: did 50% physical training, 50% mental training. Group 4: did 25% physical training, 75% mental training.

    What the researchers found was that group 4—the group with the most mental training—had shown significantly greater improvement than group 3. Likewise, group 3 showed more improvement than group 2, and group 2 showed more improvement than group 1.

    The results were astonishing. Who would expect that athletes training mentally would be able to advance further than their counterparts who were training physically? Garfield said, “During mental rehearsal, athletes create mental images of the exact movements they want to emulate in their sport. Use of this skill substantially increases the effectiveness of goal-setting, which up until then had been little more than a dull listing procedure.”
    Mermaid and North Star like this.
  2. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    I've read something similar to this elsewhere and it's very thought provoking,isn't it?
    Personally, I've always struggled with the visualization thing when I've tried to see myself carrying out certain problem activities but I may try just a more general type of visualization e.g. visualizing myself as being completely physically comfortable and at ease and see how that goes.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Herbie, I think this illustrates the truth of that old Buddhist maxim: "Imagination precedes accomplishment". You can't really do something until you can imagine doing it, which means that the motor coordination to perform a particular athletic skill begins with conceptualizing the motion first in your brain. I think that then you're already establishing a connection between the neural pathways in your brain and their connections to the muscle groups needed to perform that particular physical move or activity. I know that down on the ground at the base of a climb climbers and boulderers are always moving their hands and arms around in the air as they discuss performing a particular balletic rocking climbing move before they actually tackle the climb or boulder problem. Seems like using language to describe what you're going to do also somehow reinforces the brain-body connection? Makes you wonder what role the language and intellectual parts of the brain play in athletic performance too, doesn't it? I know a lot of athletes who are always discussing what "they're going to do" in advance of doing it and testing what they say against what other people are telling them to do.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  5. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's true BruceMC. I remember all the times in the past when I'd be wrestling. If I imagined a move or hold that might have never been done then usually sometimes during the match I'd be able to pull that complex maneuver off rather easily but if I ever tried anything new without imagining it first then I'd usually end up getting hurt. I really think its so important that we visualize ourselves getting healed or anything else we wish to do and actually see it as its done. Even implementing the steps and procedures as you mentioned above. Thanks for the info on the rock climbing techniques -- I always wondered how you'd get started in that if you never have done it before ya know.

    Bless You
  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sounds like repetition, reinforcement, sharing with a group, and collective learning have a lot to do with playing any position in any game or any sport. You may not have to think abstractly like a college professor to be a great wide receiver, but you still have to use your brains to control the way your body moves. Different kind of thinking, much more mind-body coordination. Sounds like assimilating criticism and feedback from your peers is a big part of it as well. Your ego can't be so big that you can't accept criticism from your peers and learn from them.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  7. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks Tennis Tom - this is great. I caught these steps near the end of the workbook. Exactly the way to perform excellent imaging. Awesome

    Step 1:
    Assume a relaxed body position. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, calmly and consistently. Notice how your stomach rises when breathing in and how it falls when breathing out. Breathe deeply and slowly several times. Slowly count to six when inhaling and count to six when exhaling.
    Step 2:
    Imagine the past movement: How did you feel during and while preparing for the performance?
    Step 3:
    Imagine running through the whole thing again. How does your body behave, how does it feel and how much do you control the move? What characteristic is expressed?
    Step 4:
    Go back to the start and watch your performance. Did you neglect any parts of your body? Picture the scene exactly, then put yourself in your own position and pay attention to what you thought right before the performance. What did you feel? Did these thoughts help you or distract you?
    Step 5:
    Is there a change in your technique that you should think about? If so, picture the whole scene again in your mind, keep all the positive aspects and change what would improve your performance. Now visualize the improved version. Further tips on this exercise:
    Use the improved version before performing again.
    The replay can also be used after a perfect performance in order to keep the details in your mind.
    Practice the replay in the training until you don’t have any more
    problems. Then and only then you can use this method in competition.
    Sit straight but comfortably in a chair. Breathe in and out a couple of times calmly and constantly. Imagine a triangular target area, on the court. The target area is formed via the tension belt of the net and the middle line of the T-filed and the T-field line. Imagine serving the ball in this field. You throw the ball and perfectly hit the ball with your racket. The ball lands heavy in the middle of the target area. Your opponent tries to return but can only hit the ball with the frame of his racket. The ball flies against the fence.
    You are
    proud of your successful serve and clench your fist. Repeat the above-mentioned exercise a couple of times.
    nancy likes this.
  8. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    That sounds like it BruceMC. Yes - constructive criticism from your peers will always lead you into a great direction if you follow the advice. A lot of people don't think their peers can tell them any more than they already know -- and they are the ones that usually miss out on the blessings of applied knowledge.
  9. nancy

    nancy Well known member

    Hi Eric, excellent advice, I tried it right away, probably too quickly, but it helped
    me to relax, which I haven't lately. Times are rough here right now, trying to deal
    with it all. I Thank You, you are so wonderful. Fondly, Nancy
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  10. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Solange that is exactly the whole idea here. See yourself as already healed and happy with a glow about yourself -- maybe even visualize seeing yourself doing the things you've always wanted to do and you plan to do in the future. What you see in your minds eye will come to pass. This stuff is proven science now ( Candace Pert) Check her out.
  11. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank You nancy, Keep at it and you'll see -- it will get easier and more closer to your hearts desire and needs as time passes. Its about a steady diet of imaging over days, weeks and months. Consistency is the word I'm looking for, you'll thank me soon if you keep it up -- bless you nancy.
  12. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Just think of how much neural programming (i.e. learning) has to occur in her brain before this dancer can make her body jump like this:


    She has to learn from others who've done such a jump and then conceptualize it in her brain before she can really do it herself. Imagine TMS healing first, then apply it. If you can't imagine being pain-free, you won't ever be that way. Creative visualization comes first, then accomplishment.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  13. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is such a beautiful piece of Grace BruceMC - Yes I could imagine how long she would have to take to know and see and feel this movement of poetry in motion. Shes very well trained in body and mind but as the rules go. You have to be prepared in mind like 80 percent and body 20 percent. I believe that's the statistics above too ya know -- the ol 80/20 rule.

    Its amazing what man and woman has achieved with our minds ya know. I believe we can all think and see ourselves doing anything we wish in our minds eye and accomplish it. Like those 80 - 90 year age limit in weight lifting contest they have now. I believe the winner last year for group 80-90 was a 93 year old man. I am amazed every day when I see these remarkable achievements of the mindbody. Awesome
  14. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, Herbie, I think she's doing that ballet move that's supposed to look like the dancer is flying and weightless - one of the hardest moves in classical ballet. You have to start preparing when you're 6 y.o. or so to be able to do it in your 20s and 30s. A whole mindbody training regime from the time you're a little kid. So that's the rule? 80% mental preparation to 20% physical. I'll remember that.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  15. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bruce, your Buddhist reflection on athletes and visualization was terrific.
    If we can transfer it to all our emotions, we'd all be healthier and happier.

    Of course, it would help if it would ever stop snowing. More today in the
    Chicago suburb I live in. Where can I put it all, so my dog can go out in
    the yard and do her things? Good thing Annie is big and black
    or she might get lost in the mounds of snow.
  16. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, Walt. Don't know where I first heard that maxim, maybe it was in a book by the late Alan Watts?

    Just a bit of biographical background on that ballet jump. The dancer in the photograph was recently divorced (young people make rash, headstrong decisions, right?), but was heart broken afterwards. Soon she began developing bursitis in her knees and had to curtail her dancing with a professional troupe back East where she was the center piece. However, her mother is an EFT practitioner in Sacramento, California and began a regimen of tapping and visualizations to cure her daughter's "broken heart". Voila! Her daughter's knees stopped hurting. Shortly afterwards, she returned to her troup healed and is now ascending new artistic heights, even appearing last week live in a duet with one of the world's leading cellists, Gabriel Cabezas. So, I guess EMT tapping and those power therapies can really work! Especially if your mom is there to heal a daughter's "broken heart".
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
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  17. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bruce, thanks for the background on the dancer. A good example of success with tapping.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  18. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    An awesome story BruceMC - Thanks, Wow
  19. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I meant EFT (not EMT!) - Emotional Freedom Technique, one of the Power Therapies on the platter for next week's Tuesday book discussion. Yes, I saw some pics of the dancer's swollen knees all red and puffy, and the first thing I thought was TMS after her divorce. Once you know about TMS, you start to understand the emotion-symptom connection that operates in all sorts of human situations. I see now where her mother's changed the name from "intuitive EFT" to "Intuitive Distance Healing" but it's still listed as a form of EFT.

    Here's the dancer's testimonial:

    "I am a professional ballet dancer. Besides helping heal many injuries she has helped me clear issues that may have led to my stopping dancing altogether, the quality of my performance and freedom to enjoy dancing has opened up in incredible ways.
    [She went] straight to the core of issues that are greatly significant to me. She clears the whole onion, every layer!
    It is hard to express how highly I recommend working with [her]. My life is better in indescribable ways. She's awesome!"
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014

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