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Beating Underperformance with Visualization

Underperformance, especially on the big stage, is one thing that athletes face constantly.

But the pressures of a high stakes situation can cause anyone, in any profession, to underperform.  

It could be a race or a game; even a meeting or a presentation.

Underperformance is usually caused by overthinking, nervousness, loss of confidence due to self-doubt, or, in the case of an athlete a recent injury.

Underperformance, especially on the big stage, is one thing that athletes face constantly.

But the pressures of a high stakes situation can cause anyone, in any profession, to underperform.  

It could be a race or a game; even a meeting or a presentation.

Underperformance is usually caused by overthinking, nervousness, loss of confidence due to self-doubt, or, in the case of an athlete a recent injury.

The Power of Visualization

Visualization is a tool that many athletes use. I can remember a time in my college career where I felt I knew I was in shape but when it came to races I underperformed to the 10th power.

I went to the team psychologist and we discovered that part of the issue was my practice mindset. There was a certain point in my 400m race/on the track (the last 100m) where my mindset would switch from all positive to all negative.

I had to get it under control.

What my psychologist suggested was visualization paired with a positive mindset.

The best athletes/performers are those that can execute under pressure as a result of consistently visualizing their success.

Visualization Took Me from Bust to National Qualifier

Every night before I went to bed I was to lay there and visualize a track and me on it. I had to imagine myself running around it and executing my race plan.

When I got to my problem areas I had to consciously think positively. If my previous thought was I “ I don’t know if I can finish…” I now had to think I’m a super strong runner and I’m going to finish that way.” Or “I feel strong, and I am strong…” and imagine myself crushing the last 100m.

I did this every night and, at practice and over time, things began to change. The night before races I would see myself on the track I was about to compete on and in my lane racing, taking myself through all my points of execution.

The change was not immediate but it DID come. The biggest proof of concept became evident when I qualified for nationals at the end of the season.

I was able to go from a complete BUST to a national qualifier in the span of about 6 weeks simply through a conscious mindset change and visualization.

How to Visualize

START SMALL.

1

Imagine yourself executing your pre-workout ritual or successfully completing that presentation. Visualize yourself in the zone, moving heavy weight in a lifting session, executing a practice rep, or performing confidently.

2

Mentally walk yourself through every step and reaffirm your successful completion of the activity.

3

Internalize what this feels like and see take notice of how you perform. The more you do this the more you’ll come to find yourself less nervous or less unsure of your abilities.

The Takeaway

You can probably imagine many athletes hitting a game winning shot or catching a game winning pass and thinking to themselves, ‘This is the moment I’ve been working for’.

They’ve seen themselves in that situation making that play! They’ve visualized it and by the time they had to execute, boom, they had done it 1,000 times mentally and simply had to perform.

Visualization is only ONE tool that contributes to your success but one that can be profoundly effective, no matter your profession.

Explore it and take advantage of the confidence it’ll bring you.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MIKE ‘THE ARCHITECT’ KIM, D.O.

The Architect is the head doctor and the leader of The BrickHouse Research and Development Team. He has been in the supplement industry developing formulas for many companies before joining the BHN team, and consistently studies the latest ingredients to bring the best nutrition the world has to offer to our products. His number one goal is health for you, your family, and for your future generations. The Architect lives the life he preaches to everyone. When he's not developing nutritional products you can often find him enjoying a fresh round of golf or laying the smack down in the weight room.

 

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