Practice visualizing your sports skills without physical impact and your brain will trigger the same muscle patterns as if you were actually performing the skill. Neuromuscular science is proving that visualization can actually affect your nervous system in the same way the actual movement does. The brain interprets your imagination in the same way it interprets your movement and excites the exact same muscle patterns. But you don’t get tired!
A study done at the University of Chicago (Dr. Blaslotto) did research on visualization and free throws. The researchers divided people into 3 groups and tested each group on how many free throws they could make.
After deciding their baseline free throw percentage, he had each group do something different:
The first group practiced free throws every day for an hour.
The second group visualized themselves making free throws.
The third group did nothing.
After 30 days he tested their free throw accuracy again.
Want to know the results?
The first group (physically practiced free throws) improved 24%.
The second group (visualization only) improved 23%!!! All without touching a basketball for 30 days.
Unsurprisingly, the third group did not improve.
Physical practice is of course important. But imagine using the power of the MIND and physical practice. After all, there is only so much physical practice you can do, your body may wear out, you might get fatigued and practice bad habits, or injuries may prevent you from practicing. Visualization can be a great addition to any training program: it’s safe, it’s efficient, and it works!