• Jeff Butorac

How to use Visualization to Silence your Inner Rival



Visualization is a tool that countless top-level performers and athletes have used to help improve their focus, skillset, performance, and confidence. There is no doubt it has many benefits, but what I am going to cover is HOW you can use visualization to improve your mental game and silence your Inner Rival.


To begin, there are two basic types of visualization. Frist person point of view, which is where you actually see as if you are in the moment. And, third person, which is you watching yourself perform, similar as to if you are watching it on a movie screen. Now, visualization is a skill, so just like any other skill it takes time and practice to improve. You can’t expect to do it once and magically everything is better! It should be used as another way to help grow your mental game and improve your skillset.


One method of visualization is to see yourself doing a skill successfully. Let’s use an example athlete and call her Jill. Jill wants to improve her forehand in tennis. So, what she will do is spend time visualizing herself hitting the perfect forehand. Now as she does this, the more detail she can add from her 5 senses the more benefit she will gain. She wants to picture every aspect of the skill going perfect. If it doesn’t, she will take the time and do it again, as she wants to make sure she sees herself being successful. The more she does it, the more vivid and realistic the vision will become.


Another way you can use visualization is to picture and feel yourself being successful and achieving your goal. A couple examples of this would be to picture yourself being announced in the starting line up or standing on the podium receiving your gold medal. By seeing yourself already being successful, you are helping to put into motion events that will help to get you there. Now, just because you picture yourself being successful doesn’t mean that you don’t have to put in the physical work. This is just an added boost!


A third way visualization can be used to improve your mental game is to see yourself in a difficult situation, overcoming a setback, and still accomplishing your goal. For example, Jill could picture herself down 5-1 in a set and coming back to win the match. Using this can help to keep you from giving up if you see yourself in a tough position. Since you have already visualized yourself down and coming back to win, your subconscious and conscious mind have already been there before and prevailed, so you know you can do it again.


Any top-level athlete will tell you that this tool has been one of the more important ones they have used to get them to the top of their sport. But remember, just like any other skill, it takes time to build it, but it is well worth the work!


Good luck defeating your Inner Rival

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