Personally, I am always for the underdog, the athlete that comes out of nowhere, puts up a good fight, and achieves the seemingly impossible against much tougher and fierce seasoned competitors. Indeed, many of us feel this way, which is why such popular movies like Rocky series remain all-time favorites in our culture. Okay so, what does it take to develop the will power, strength of character, and self-confidence to make the grade and emerge victorious against the odds? Well, let’s talk about that, because I believe in the future it might become a lot easier than it has been for past athletes.
Professor Martin Hagger of Curtin University has a great Sports Psychology YouTube Video titled; “The Mental Games: Inside the mind of an Olympic athlete,” which is worth watching. In this video Professor Martin Hagger talks about the importance of imagery for high-performance athletes.
This of course, is nothing new, in fact Maxwell Maltz wrote a great book in the 1950’s titled; “Psychocybernetics” in which he mentions how visual imagery in the mind is a powerful force for an athlete. The best example in that book talks about how basketball players sitting in a chair at the ‘free throw line’ for six hours imagining the ball going in time-after-time, shot better free throw average in subsequent basketball games than those who actually spent 6-hours doing the practice of throwing the ball at the hoop.
Now then, what if we fast forward to today’s technology, things like Virtual Reality, Holographic Projection, and Video Editing and helped even the least imaginative athlete visualize such things? After all, people believe what they see, and if they see it in a sporting simulator, video, hologram, or augmented reality their minds will adopt that reality. Expectation and belief are important for achievement. That is a proven fact. It’s the “Believe to Achieve” concept that so many motivational speakers and personal coaches talk about. It’s real, and I can vouch for the power of mental toughness and visualization in sports as a former high-performance athlete.
What if you had a track star and took that athlete’s image running and that of the competitor they were to beat, and then showed the two running together in a 3-D hologram towards the finish line and then right at the end you showed your athlete beating the other out at the tape. Don’t you think that would be very powerful in the mind of that athlete, akin to the best theories of psychocybernetics? I wish we had that technology when I was in high-school and college as a track star. Sure, I won a lot of races, but maybe I could have won more and gone further in my pursuits? Please consider all this and think on it.