Creative visualization – how to achieve performance

 

Creative visualization – how to achieve performance

The power of creative visualization
The Australian psychologist Alan Richardson obtained amazing results during his creative visualization experiments.
For starters, he selected three groups of basketball players and tested their ability to perform free throws. Then, he instructed the first group to spend 20 minutes a day practising free throws. He told the second group not to practise and he asked the third group to spend 20 minutes a day visualizing that they achieved perfect goals.
As expected, the group that did not practise made no progress. The group that trained for 20 minutes a day made a 24% progress and the third group got an amazing 23% only by the power of creative visualization – almost as much as the group that had practised.
The psychologist Shlomo Breznitz of the Hebrew University recently did an experiment with a few groups of soldiers. Their task was a 40 km march.
He gave each group different pieces of information. One of the groups was first asked to march for 30 km and then was told to go another 10 km. Another group was told that they would march for 60 km, when in fact they only marched for 40 km. He let some of the soldiers see the distance signs and others had no indication of how far they had got.
At the end of the study, Brenitz discovered that the stress hormons levels in the soldiers’ blood reflected their estimations, not the real distance they had marched. In other words, their bodies did not respond to reality, but to what they had imagined to be real.

 

Creative visualization – how to achieve performanceOne percent perspiration, ninety-nine percent creative imagination
Dr Charles A Garfield, former researcher for NASA and the president of the Berkeley Performance Science Institute, California, claims that the Soviets undertook minute research of the relationship between imagery and physical performance. In a study, a group of world class Soviet athletes was divided into four other groups. The first group spent 100% of the training time training. The second one spent 75% of the time training and 25% visualizing the precise motions and the results they wanted to obtain. The third group spent 50% of the time training and 50% visualizing and the fourth one – 25% training and 75% visualizing. Huge surprise! At the Winter Olympics of Lake Placid, New York, 1980, the fourth group showed the most spectacular increase in their performance levels, followed by the third, second and first group.
Garfield, who spent hundreds of hours interviewing athletes and trainers of champions all over the world, is sure that the Soviets use sophisticated imagery techniques in many of their training programmes, because mental images act as precursors in the process of generation of neuromuscular impulses.
Garfield claims that creative visualization works so spectacularly because the motion is registered holographically in the brain. In his book, Peak Performance: Mental training techniques of the world’s greatest athletes, he says, “These images are holographic and work first of all at a subliminal level. The holographic mechanism of imagining gives you the ability to quickly solve spatial problems such as putting together a complex machine, coreographing a dance or mentally going through the visual images of games.”
 

 

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