Visualization is a tool that can help you shift gears. As a coach and as an athlete I encounter people asking me how they can get their game to a new level. The response is simple, yet the meaning is more complex. My answer is that, "You must do more, you must add on." The complexity stems from the fact that it is scenario dependent. For some, I would tell them that they must do more in terms of time spent. For some, they must do more in terms of mindfulness. For others, they must do more in terms of level of difficulty. I had a conversation with my closest friend yesterday about gaining weight. He's gained a substantial amount of weight and muscle in the past nine months and we would like to add more. I said to him, "In order to get to where you are now, you've changed your habits and intake. Even though you are at a new level now, you cannot continue the same practices that you have now and expect to reach a new level. You must add on in some fashion."
Visualization was introduced to me by a lady named Andrea Becker in my time at UC Irvine. She was a sports psychologist from Cal State Fullerton, with a sports background in softball, and was the assistant coach for my men's volleyball team at UCI. When we met, we sat down in a room with the rest of my team and spent an hour and a half essentially re-learning how to breathe; this time in a more meaningful way.
Is it possible to see the future? Sure, it may not have great clarity in the beginning, but we can. Should the variables be correct: We can have such a belief in something mentally, that it becomes a real thing. Coach Becker now works as an assistant with the USA Volleyball Men's National Team. After my time with Coach Becker in 2011 and 2012, my breath had purpose beyond maintaining my heart beat. My eyes become closed much more often when I wasn't sleeping.
Visualization is now a daily thing in my sports world and in my life. Since that enlightening beginning at UCI I have studied more on the craft and spent time working with great and helpful sports psychologists. An example being Michael Gervais during my time at USC. Gervais works with tons of Olympic athletes as well as our NASA space program.
Who controls your destiny? For a while I thought that it was plotted for us from the jump, and I am of the belief that we have a God that sets us on a path. While we are on our path, we make the decisions inside of it on the directions we'd like to turn. Visualization gives a picture that is firm and will subconsciously expand your mind into doing what you have already seen.
We can be successful without it, but we will be more successful with it. Not having seen it doesn't mean you can't do it. But if you have seen it then you know you can do it.
Enjoy your Saturday Morning Coffee.