Visualize Success – your “Pre-Race Routine”

DownhillSkierI was coaching a client over the phone the other day and it was apparent that he needed to remind himself of how confident he should be of his capacity to succeed in front of the promotion panel at his firm. I’ve experienced him presenting and he is quite good.

We spoke about the ability to visualize success.

I spoke about the 2010 Winter Olympics and the lesson from the downhill skiers. The women’s downhill event faced the worst weather conditions ever in any Winter Olympics. Why were some of the world’s best wiping out mid-course and what made the winners succeed under such adverse conditions?

Pre-race routines.

Pre-race routines that includes visualizing. They visualize – imagine themselves skiing every inch of the course. Every turn, every, gate, every jump. And succeeding.

Similarly, Michael Phelps’ practices included swimming in adverse conditions – without goggles. He counts his strokes and visualizes the length of the pool.

So when his goggles broke in a race in the 2008 Summer Olympics.  No problem.  He used this routine to win his race.

I asked my client, “did you play any sports?”  And he reminded me that he was a professional golfer in Japan.  “Of course. I remember.”

He says he knows the tee and he knows the hole. And how does he attack the hole? He doesn’t focus on his swing – he visualizes how the ball is going to travel to the hole. It’s second nature.

japanese golfer

Very cool. Now why not apply the same principles to presenting to the promotion panel?  He has an approach.  A pre-race routine. One he knows well and he’s internalized within his sport.

And then, today, I see this quote:

“If you have to think in martial arts, you’re dead.  The 20-30 years of training you’ve had means you’ve internalized all the possible patterns and can direct all your attention to what is happening right now.”

Yes, that too.