During 2010 olympics some of the news reports indicated that some athletes might have felt the pressure and not been able to perform in clutch. While no where near their potential or ability as an athlete I can sort of understand and the tool to cope with this is visualization.
I know, I know - whatever Shaun and up to just over a year and a half ago I would have thought the same. But then coach Larry, Zimich, did this visualization exercise with us at the start of the spin class. He talked about energy, he talked about pain, he talked about the race, the spectators, the great moments the bleak moments right to the end of the ride. THEN we did the workout and it was amazing - I was still in rehab at that time but the gains I got that day and the abillity to visualize the pain and work through it was amazing.
I came away with a big lesson that day - see it, believe it, live it - the biggest hurdle we overcome is our mental selves. WOW - talk about an epiphany and just in the nick of time - it was essential for me to get it and start putting it into practice if I was going to overcome all the "extra" hurdles along with the regular to get to Ironman.
People for years had mentioned to me that I should practice visualizing and such but I tried for a nano second and then moved on. But Larry convinced me that I needed to make this part of my training and so I did and I guarantee you it got me through the out and back and the last 4 miles of the marathon in Ironman because I knew I would finish I had seen it for months and I believed it.
Now I give, or at least try to give the same talk to the Denman running room clinics. At lot sit down and take part and some don't but if just one joins me for the run then that is good enough for me. You say the run? Well when I do a visualization talk I actually do the race with them - mentally from bag check to standing in line for the gun to bathroom breaks, water stations, walk breaks, rain, hills, downhills, right down to hearing Steve King ( it is always Steve that announces your name) announcing your name and time as you cross the finish. We go through every step of the course - we talk about power words, mantras and seeing ourselves on the course. I talk about the highs and lows - because there is always a low. The most important point is I talk about getting through the low coming out of the tunnel and continuing the race. I hope it gives them coping skills - actually I know it does because pretty much everyone in the clinic with the exception of those injured or sick made their goal times.
See it, believe it, live it.
Peace out Shaun