Use of the visualization to win the medal at the Olympics

Winning a medal at the Olympics means being able to stay focused on your performance for the duration of the event, regardless of your score, your opponents, the weather, the crowd, your own expectations or those of others.

For many it represents the competition of a lifetime and for this reason the pressure and expectations are so high that they can destroy an athlete or a team.

Visualization is the psychological technique most used by athletes to live these moments in a way that is positive and effective for them. Below are some statements from the last 35 years that confirm its validity.

“Athletes confirm in their statements the validity of this approach: Alex Baumann (gold in 200 m and 400 m swimming, Los Angeles olympic Games): “The best way I learned to prepare myself mentally for the race was to be able to visualize it in my mind” [Orlick and Partington, 1986]. Sylvie Bervier (gold in diving, Los Angeles Olympics): “I was constantly replaying the dives in my head. At night, before going to sleep, I always repeated my dives. Ten dives [...]. I was doing everything as if I was really there” [Orlick and Partington, 1986]. Franck Dumoulin (gold in pistol shooting at the Sydney Olympics): “I use mental imagery a lot on different occasions, especially when I’m looking for quality. Technique is the base but thinking about technique evokes feelings and it is enough to think about the feelings for the technique to be immediately ready” [Ripoll, 2008]. The Japanese national judo team, holds the record of 72 medals won at the Olympic Games, including 36 gold: “Mental training was integrated into the daily collegiate schedule. Athletes did exercises at 7 a.m. every day. Activities included attitude training, laughing, listening to soothing music, talking with teammates, breathing exercises, meditation, and playing back their best performances in a slowed down manner [Terry et al., 2014)” (From Cei, 2021).

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