Coach's Casebook

Visualisation: The Practical Application

Visualisation: The Practical Application

Visualisation has had a rough time in the self development and performance improvement world…

It has been used as evidence to discredit certain books, movies and techniques, because visualisation alone hasn’t worked.

“I visualised a £1m and I still haven’t got it!”

Not surprisingly, visualisation alone doesn’t reap the rewards we visualise.  Actually we call those type of visualisation ‘Dreams”.

The act of visualization is actually much more subtle in its application than just having a visual image of the end state, eg. The money.

Visualisation requires an understanding of how our “neck top computer” works.

When we take action, for example, shooting a basketball towards a hoop, our brain records a series of multi-channel sensory recordings that reflect that action. This we can recall on the screen of our “neck top computer” as a series of visual images and normally in the style of a movie. A recalled visualisation sequence.

So the more actions we take, the more we imprint this movie in our heads and the better our brain/body works at that action because we build a level of muscle and brain memory for the sequence of muscular/skeletal/cerebral interactions.

A strange thing about the brain is that if you run just the recorded (or remembered)  movie alone, a significant amount of the muscular/skeletal/cerebral interactions are exercised and again imprinted.  That is, if you see yourself doing it just in your mind, your brain thinks you are actually doing it and so the process works almost as well as actual practise!

No hoop, no basketball, no court…Just your “Neck Top Computer”.

So you can practise jumpshots in your bed!

And what is better, if you practise jumpshots in your head, your don’t need to miss and so it’s more likely that your brain will run the exact sequence to score more shots when you actually get to the court!

And even better, it works on things other than basketball!

I use it extensively for my Aikido practice.

I visualise the likely attacks and visualise myself blending with those attacks and remaining calm and prepared for the next.

Or here visualising several sword attackers and defending in a set of pre-visualised moves.

So the practical application of visualisation is not seeing the end state, but seeing and visualising the actions to achieve that end state.

So think about the mental movie you want to run in order to achieve your goals and get writing the script and movie scenes to your future success.

Change the World


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