In a recent 2014 article in The New York Times February 2014 ( mental-training.html) as well as the Business Insider in January 2015 ( visualization-2015-1) the power of visualization used by Olympic Athletes is discussed. (If you cannot link to these articles paste into your browser). The effectiveness has been proven by Russian scientists who conducted a study comparing the training schedules of four groups of Olympic athletes.

Each group used a different combination of physical and mental training:

Group one: 100% physical training
Group two: 75% physical training, 25% mental training
Group three: 50% physical training, 50% mental training
Group four: 25% physical training, 75% mental training

The scientists found that the fourth group performed the best during the Olympics. Such mental training practice stimulates the same brain regions as we do when we actually perform that same action – a sort of conditioning for your brain. Emily Cook, of the United States freestyle ski team, uses the word “imagery” as it involves using all the senses to perform her best. She also describes how you can rehearse negative possible scenarios by using stop thought or other dismissal techniques to clear the mind of obstacles.

In a relaxed state of hypnosis, the ability to visualize and imagine is enhanced for added benefits for success and
consistency, For more information on sports read the above articles and see my articles:
Sports Performance and Hypnotherapy

My Sports Performance Program

A Sampling of Scientific Research on Sports Hypnotherapy/Imagery