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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > November 2017 > SEEING IS BELIEVING!

SEEING IS BELIEVING!

Use imagery to enhance your performance in the open water.

SPORT PSYCHOLOGY

“I’LL BELIEVE IT WHEN I SEE IT!”

Have you ever said this? The likelihood is yes, as it’s a common statement people say. The reason for this is because it is true and it is especially true in relation to sport and our accomplishments. Have you ever ‘seen yourself ’ getting into a good position during a mass swim start, mentally rehearsing a change in stroke technique or pulling over rolling barrels in freestyle? If you have created pictures like this in your head then you can also believe that you’re a successful swimmer. Seeing yourself perform well creates a positive belief about your ability to succeed in swimming – seeing really is believing! This technique of mentally rehearsing aspects of your performance is called imagery, and by using it effectively you can provide vision to program your mind and body to respond in an optimal way for performance.

WHAT IS IMAGERY?

Imagery can be defined as using one’s senses to recreate or create an experience in the mind. The power of imagery allows athletes to practise sport skills, strategies and mental skills without physically being in a training or competitive environment. This practice in your mind allows your brain to actually send chemical signals through your brain and nervous system making the same connections as if you were to physically practise. Of course, this mental practice cannot replace physical practice, but it can enhance it. By creating these connections in your brain and nervous system it enables physical execution to become easier.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Autumn is a pretty special time for outdoor swimmers. Summer’s warmth still lingers and, whether you swim in a wetsuit or skins, a decent swim is possible. Our November issue is packed full of awesome features to inspire your swimming adventures. Tune up your stroke in preparation for winter training; eight of the top winter swimming events to enter now; winter pre- and post-swim gear review; plus, nutrition, technique, events, destinations, interviews and more of your stunning photography and swim stories.